Does Medicare Cover an Endoscopy Procedure?

Does Medicare cover an endoscopy? In short, yes – when it’s medically necessary and prescribed by your doctor. This coverage can be a relief for those facing the possibility of an endoscopy, a valuable tool in diagnosing and treating numerous health issues.

This article aims to provide a concise exploration of Medicare coverage for endoscopies, what your obligations might be, and how to navigate the insurance process seamlessly.


Key Takeaways

  • Medicare covers endoscopy procedures when they are deemed medically necessary and performed by a Medicare-approved provider, with patients generally responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount after the Part B deductible is met.



  • Out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing an endoscopy can include a Part B deductible, 20% coinsurance, and other possible fees. Medigap and employer or union plans may provide supplemental coverage to help with these costs.

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Understanding Endoscopy and Medicare Coverage

Endoscopy holds a pivotal place in medical diagnosis and treatment, providing non-invasive access to examine internal organs and tissues. From a diagnostic perspective, it’s often the first step towards understanding a wide range of health conditions. But did you know that Medicare steps in to shoulder a significant part of the associated costs? Yes, Medicare provides coverage for endoscopy procedures when a physician deems them medically necessary.

This includes a range of endoscopic procedures like colonoscopies and gastroscopies. Familiarizing yourself with Medicare’s rules for covering these procedures helps you secure the right coverage and steer clear of unforeseen expenses. After all, no one wants to be caught off guard when it comes to healthcare costs, right?


Decoding Medicare's Coverage for Endoscopy

The Role of Endoscopy in Medical Diagnosis

Endoscopy is a powerful diagnostic tool that allows doctors to visually examine different anatomical structures, including:


  • the throat
  • esophagus
  • stomach
  • duodenum
  • ears
  • nose
  • colon
  • joints


This non-invasive procedure involves the use of a small camera and is a common example of outpatient medical treatments. It offers a significant advantage over open surgery by allowing a thorough examination of internal organs and tissues.

Imagine a scenario where an anomaly, such as a tissue mass, is observed during an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. In such cases, a biopsy or tissue sample may be obtained for further examination to ascertain the nature of the condition. It’s vital that the procedure is performed by a Medicare approved doctor to guarantee coverage.


When Endoscopy Becomes a Treatment

In certain cases, endoscopy goes beyond diagnosis and serves as a therapeutic tool. For instance, it is used for the removal of polyps through procedures such as endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) or endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD).

These techniques allow for the removal of large polyps without necessitating surgical resection, which is a significant advancement in medical procedures.

Endoscopy is also employed for:


  • Obtaining biopsies in instances of gastrointestinal complaints
  • Obtaining biopsies in cases of normal upper endoscopic findings
  • Testing for diseases and conditions


Although this might seem overwhelming, bear in mind that endoscopy is considered safe when performed by skilled medical professionals. The potential risks, such as allergic reactions to the sedative, digestive tract bleeding or infection, are usually minimal.

Decoding Medicare’s Coverage for Endoscopy


Does medicare cover biopsy So, how exactly does Medicare cover endoscopy procedures?

Well, endoscopies are covered by Medicare when they are considered medically necessary and are performed by healthcare providers who are part of the Medicare program and agree to accept the Medicare-approved amount as full payment.

However, the cost structure of Medicare Advantage plans may vary considerably from that of Original Medicare. Certain Medicare Advantage plans may implement fixed copayments for outpatient services like endoscopies, potentially providing beneficiaries with more consistent expenses and potentially lower costs compared to Original Medicare.

Prior to scheduling an endoscopy procedure, be aware that you might need to secure approval from Medicare or from your plan provider if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. This step, known as preauthorization, is key in confirming the medical necessity of the procedure, managing costs, and minimizing the risk of claim rejections.



Original Medicare (Part B) and Endoscopy

Diving deeper into the specifics, Original Medicare (Part B) usually covers endoscopy as it meets the criteria for an outpatient procedure, including colonoscopy screenings, if the doctor or healthcare provider accepts Medicare. When Medicare covers the procedure and it is covered by Original Medicare, beneficiaries are generally responsible for 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for the procedure, while Medicare pays the remaining 80%.

However, the cost can vary depending on the facility utilized and the geographic location where the procedure is conducted. Original Medicare (Part B) uses the official Procedure Price Lookup tool to determine the Medicare-approved amount for an endoscopy, which compares the national average costs with those specific to ambulatory surgical centers and hospital outpatient departments.

The Role of Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as “Part C” or “MA Plans,” are provided by private companies authorized by Medicare. They encompass all the services offered under Original Medicare, with some also providing extra coverage for:


  • Prescription drugs
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Dental
  • Wellness


The customary copayments for endoscopy procedures within Medicare Advantage Plans may vary from $57 to $112, contingent upon the type of facility utilized. What’s more, these plans can enhance the affordability of endoscopy by frequently providing coverage for up to 80% of the cost once the annual Part B deductible, amounting to $226 in 2023, has been satisfied.

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Endoscopy Under Medicare

Now, let’s talk about the out-of-pocket costs associated with endoscopy under Medicare. These may encompass:


  • a 20% coinsurance
  • anesthesia fees
  • expenses for any immediate treatments or interventions during the procedure
  • separate charges for facility fees and physician services

This means that the total cost could be higher than expected.


Understanding Your Deductible

A deductible is the annual sum that an individual must pay for covered healthcare services before their Medicare plan begins to provide coverage. Once the deductible is met, the individual will generally only be responsible for a copayment or coinsurance, with Medicare covering the remaining costs.


Cost of endoscopy with medicare



Before Medicare begins to cover the cost of an endoscopy procedure, the Part B deductible must be paid out of pocket. As of 2023, the deductible amount for Medicare Part B for endoscopy services stands at $226. Remember, the deductible amount for Medicare Part B resets annually on January 1st.


Coinsurance and Copayments

Coinsurance and copayments are essentially your share of the cost for endoscopy, which can vary depending on your Medicare plan. Coinsurance involves sharing costs based on a percentage of the total cost, while copayments involve fixed, predetermined amounts.

In the Medicare system, once the annual deductible is met, Medicare can provide coverage for up to 80% of the approved cost for an endoscopy procedure. The remaining 20% coinsurance is the individual’s responsibility, on the condition that the procedure is carried out at a Medicare-approved facility by a Medicare-approved provider.

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Selecting a Healthcare Provider for Your Endoscopy

Choosing the suitable healthcare provider is a vital step in your endoscopy journey. This decision not only guarantees that you receive top-notch care but also significantly impacts your out-of-pocket costs.


In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers

In-network providers are those who agree to accept your health insurance plan, whereas out-of-network providers are not contracted with your insurance provider.

Medicare typically provides coverage for endoscopy services provided by out-of-network providers if the procedure is considered medically necessary. However, the patient’s out-of-pocket costs may be higher when using an out-of-network provider in a hospital outpatient setting.


Preauthorization Requirements

Preauthorization is a process where the insurance company assesses and grants approval for an endoscopic procedure before it is carried out, ensuring its medical necessity.

Securing preauthorization is paramount for endoscopy under Medicare Advantage plans since it authenticates the medical necessity of the procedure, thus averting unexpected out-of-pocket costs and assuring the procedure’s coverage by the plan.

Additional Insurance Options to Consider

In addition to Medicare, there are other insurance options that you might want to consider when planning for an endoscopy procedure. These include Medigap policies and employer or union plans, which can help cover costs that Medicare doesn’t.


Medigap and Endoscopy Costs

Medigap serves as a supplementary insurance to complement Original Medicare coverage. In the case of an approved endoscopy procedure under Part B, Medicare will cover 80% of the care costs, and Medigap will assist in covering the remaining out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles and coinsurance. This is how Medicare pay works in conjunction with Medigap.


Does medicare cover colonoscopy



This additional coverage, which insurance plans cover, can provide a safety net, ensuring that you are well protected from unexpected costs.


Employer or Union Plans

Employer or union plans can also offer additional coverage for endoscopy procedures, potentially reducing out-of-pocket expenses. These plans typically encompass a range of providers and might provide monetary advantages such as reductions on deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance for endoscopies.

Comparing Medicare Plans for Endoscopy Coverage

Finally, let’s discuss the significance of comparing Medicare plans to identify the most suitable endoscopy coverage. There are various online tools that can assist in comparing Medicare Advantage plans for endoscopy coverage.


Factors to Consider When Comparing Plans

When looking to compare Medicare plans for endoscopy coverage, one must:


  • Scrutinize the Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and Annual Notice of Change (ANOC)
  • Evaluate the inclusion of prescription drug coverage
  • Ascertain the options for doctors and hospitals.


Tools for Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans

Various online tools such as the plan compare tool, NerdWallet’s comparison tool, and Humana’s comparison tools can assist in comparing Medicare Advantage plans for endoscopy coverage. This can help you assess which plan offers the greatest value and aligns with your particular healthcare requirements.


In summary, understanding how Medicare covers endoscopy can help you navigate the financial implications of this essential medical procedure.

By comparing Medicare plans, considering additional insurance options, and choosing the right healthcare provider, you can ensure that you’re well-prepared for the costs associated with endoscopy. Remember, knowledge is power, and being informed about your Medicare coverage can empower you to make the best decisions for your health.

Frequently Asked Questions



Is a colonoscopy and endoscopy covered by Medicare?

Yes, Medicare Part B covers both colonoscopy and endoscopy procedures. Medicare will cover screening colonoscopies at 100% once every 24 months for those at high risk for colorectal cancer, and there may be coverage for endoscopy if used to screen for disease.


Why is endoscopy not covered by insurance?

Endoscopy may not be covered by insurance because it is considered a diagnostic procedure, rather than a treatment. However, if something is found during the endoscopy that requires further treatment or surgery, insurance may cover it as part of pre-hospitalization expenses.


→  How much does an endoscopy cost in the US?

An endoscopy in the US can cost between $1,250 and $4,800 without insurance, covering the physician’s fee, anesthesiologist, and facility costs.


What medical procedures are not covered by Medicare?

Medicare does not cover routine dental exams, dental work, dentures, routine vision care, hearing care, most dental care, weight loss medications, long-term care, most vision care, cosmetic surgery, eyeglasses or contact lenses, and certain other medical procedures.

This includes some elective and most cosmetic surgery, as well as alternative forms of medical care such as acupuncture, acupressure, and homeopathy. Therefore, individuals will need to consider alternative coverage options for these services.


What is the significance of endoscopy in the realm of medical diagnosis and treatment?

Endoscopy is crucial in diagnosing and treating various health conditions by allowing non-invasive examination of internal organs. It is essential in modern healthcare.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.