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U.S. health regulators on Thursday approved Medicare coverage for lung cancer screening by low-dose CT, the first time the government health insurance program for the elderly and disabled will pay for such a program of early detection in an effort to save lives.
The decision applies to Medicare beneficiaries aged 55-77 who are current smokers or who quit within the last 15 years, and who racked up at least 30 “pack years.” The latter is possible if they smoked one pack a day for 30 years, for instance, two packs a day for 15 or three packs a day for a decade.
The coverage is effective immediately, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced, and applies nationwide.
The usually-incurable disease will kill about 158,000 people in the U.S. this year, according to the American Cancer Society; 221,200 cases will be diagnosed.
originally posted by: caladonea
a reply to: Anyafaj
I think that there should be a lung cancer screening once a year for everyone; not just people who are current smokers or ones that quit in the last 15 years. There are many people who are non-smokers that could get lung cancer too. To me this new medicare coverage is too selective.