Does Medicare Cover PET Scans?

Medicare typically covers medically-necessary PET scans to test for cardiac problems, cancer and more. Medicare Advantage plans may also cover PET Scans and include an annual out-of-pocket spending limit, which Original Medicare doesn’t offer.

Medicare typically does cover PET scans that are ordered by a doctor. Medicare Part B typically covers diagnostic non-laboratory tests or screenings, like PET scans, to learn how your organs and tissues are functioning.

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may also cover PET scans that are deemed medically necessary by your doctor, and they also include an annual out-of-pocket spending limit. This can potentially save you money in out-of-pocket Medicare costs for your PET scans.

Original Medicare does not include an out-of-pocket spending limit.

Find a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan today.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent


A doctor smiles as she speaks with a couple

When does Medicare pay for PET scans?

PET scans (positron emission tomography scans) may be ordered by your doctor in order to check for or diagnose a suspected disease or condition.

Some of the conditions a PET scan may be used to diagnose include:

  • Many types of cancer
  • Brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or tumors
  • Cardiac problems and heart disease

A PET scan may be able to reveal information that aren’t typically seen by a CT scan or an MRI.

Medicare Part B (medical insurance) typically covers your PET scan when ordered by your doctor.

What is the cost of a PET scan with Medicare?

If ordered by a doctor, Medicare Part B will typically cover 80% of the cost of a PET scan, up to three times per year. You'll be responsible for the remaining 20% after you meet your annual deductible for Medicare Part B, which is $233 per year in 2022.

Speak with your doctor directly for specific cost and coverage information.

Medicare Advantage plans may also cover PET scans

Every Medicare Advantage plan must cover everything that Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) covers.

If your PET Scan is covered by Original Medicare, it will also be covered by a Medicare Advantage plan.

Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover prescription drugs, which are not typically covered by Original Medicare.

You can call to speak with a licensed insurance agent, who can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans that are available in your area.

Compare Medicare Advantage plans in your area

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!


About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

Where you've seen coverage of Christian's research and reports:

MarketWatch logo

Yahoo Finance logo 


WebMD Logo

South Florida Sun Sentinel Logo Logo

Deseret News Logo

Healthcare Finance Logo