Does Medicare Cover Pap Smears?

Medicare typically covers a Pap smear once every 24 months, and more frequently if you’re at high risk for cervical or vaginal cancer. Medicare Advantage plans may also cover Pap smears.

Medicare typically does cover Pap smears once every 24 months to screen for cervical and vaginal cancers and HPV. Pap smears are covered by Medicare Part B.

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may also cover Pap smears, pelvic exams and clinical breast exams once every 24 months.

Medicare covers 100 percent of the cost of Pap smears – without applying deductibles or copayments when you see an in-network provider (for certain Medicare Advantage plans) and if your doctor accepts Medicare assignment.

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When does Medicare pay for Pap smears?

Pap smears are covered by Medicare Part B (medical insurance).

A Pap smear, pelvic exam and a clinical breast exam are covered once every 24 months for women who are Medicare beneficiaries.

You may be eligible for these screenings every 12 months if:

  • You are at a high risk of cervical or vaginal cancer
  • You are of childbearing age and have had an abnormal Pap smear in the past 36 months

You may be considered to be at high risk for cervical or vaginal cancer if:

  • Your mother took diethylstilbestrol (DES) while she was pregnant with you
  • You began having sex before age 16
  • You have a history of sexually transmitted infection (STI), including HIV
  • You have had fewer than 3 negative Pap tests in the past 7 years
  • You have had 5 or more sexual partners in your lifetime

How much does a Pap smear cost with Medicare?

If you visit a doctor or health care provider who accepts Medicare assignment, it means that they agree to accept Medicare reimbursement as payment in full for your Pap smear.

As long as you visit a provider who accepts Medicare assignment, you pay nothing for your qualified Pap test and lab HPV tests, your Pap test specimen collection, pelvic exam and your breast exam if you receive them at the frequency Medicare requires.

We recommend speaking with your doctor directly for specific cost and coverage information.

At what age does Medicare stop paying for Pap Smears?

Pap smears will be covered by Medicare as long as the beneficiary wishes to have them. 

Medicare Advantage plans have other healthcare benefits

Medicare Advantage plans are privately-sold alternatives to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B).

Every Medicare Advantage plan must cover everything that Part A and Part B covers, which means that if your Pap smear is covered by Original Medicare, it will also be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan.

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans that are available in your area.


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About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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