News, Stories, Guidelines, Opinions, History

Medicare lowers starting age to 50 for free lung cancer screening

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has expanded eligibility for people with Medicare to get free lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (LCDT) by lowering the starting age for screening to 50 years and reducing the tobacco smoking history from at least 30 packs per year to at least 20 packs per year.

The only recommended screening test for lung cancer is LDCT, a unique computed tomography (CT) scan technique that combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple, cross-sectional images of the inside of the body.

Medicare also requires that before the first screening, the patient must receive a counseling and shared decision-making visit with a healthcare professional that includes counseling on the importance of maintaining cigarette smoking abstinence and, if appropriate, information about tobacco cessation interventions.

See “CMS Expands Coverage of Lung Cancer Screening with Low Dose Computed Tomography” on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (February 10, 2022)

Scroll to Top