Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a ballooning of the aorta. When left untreated aortic ruptures can cause life-threatening internal bleeding.

New Medicare patients may receive a referral for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) ultrasound screening at their Welcome to Medicare preventive visit. Patients who have the ultrasound should pay no coinsurance or deductible if they see providers who take Medicare assignment. Doctors who take assignment cannot charge you more than the Medicare approved amount. This free ultrasound screening is for people who have never received Medicare coverage for AAA screenings and are at risk. 

Medicare only covers an AAA ultrasound if:

  • The patient received a referral from their doctor or other health care provider based on the Welcome to Medicare visit, and
  • The person being referred is at risk for an AAA.

People are considered at risk for AAA if they:

  • Have a family history of AAA, or,
  • Are a man age 65 through 75 who has smoked 100 or more cigarettes in his lifetime.

The AAA ultrasound screening procedure may become diagnostic. This means your doctor may need to run other tests and procedures after the first ultrasound screening. If the AAA ultrasound becomes diagnostic, you may be charged for extra testing.

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans cover all preventive services the same as Original Medicare. This means MA plans will not be allowed to charge cost-sharing fees (coinsurances, copays or deductibles) for preventive services that Original Medicare does not charge for as long as you see in-network providers. If you see providers that are not in your plan’s network, charges will typically apply.