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Does Medicare Cover Pet Scans?

Christian Worstell

by Christian Worstell | Published October 27, 2023 | Reviewed by John Krahnert

In most cases, Medicare does cover PET scans, as long as they are considered medically necessary.

A Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) plan can help pay for your out-of-pocket Medicare costs when you get a PET scan, such as deductibles and copays.

Doctors consulting in hallway

Understanding PET Scans

PET scans help detect cancer and other diseases, including those in the heart and brain.

Positron emission tomography scans (PET scans) allow doctors to check for a number of diseases in your body.

These include:

  • Cancer

  • Heart problems

  • Disorders of the brain

  • Central nervous system problems

With PET scans, patients are given a special dye, injected in their veins. Bodily organs absorb this dye. Then, when highlighted under a PET scan, these images reveal characteristics such as blood flow and oxygen use.

These important measures help physicians diagnose illnesses by providing a clear window into complex diseases, including: 

  • Coronary artery disease

  • Memory disorders

  • Brain tumors

Additionally, PET scans help your physician judge whether you have a cancer that has spread through your body and can even reveal how chemotherapy is affecting a tumor.

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How Much Do PET Scans Cost With Medicare?

PET scans can cost in the thousands of dollars without insurance. If you have Medicare Part B, your PET scan will likely be covered.

Medicare considers PET scans to be “diagnostic non-laboratory tests,” a category that also includes CT scans and MRIs.

However, even with Medicare coverage, your PET scan likely will not be free. Medicare Part B still requires beneficiaries to pay 20 percent of all Medicare-approved costs of these tests, and your Part B deductible must be paid before Medicare will cover its share.

In 2024, the standard Part B deductible is $240 per year.

You may be able to find a Medigap plan in your area that will help cover these out-of-pocket PET scan costs.

Call a licensed insurance agent today who can help you compare plans in your area that will help pay for your Medicare costs.


Medicare Supplement Insurance can help cover your out-of-pocket PET scan costs.

Find a plan Or call to speak with a licensed insurance agent.


Christian Worstell is a health care and policy writer for He has written hundreds of articles helping people better understand their Medicare coverage options.

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