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does Medicare cover cardiac event monitors?

Does Medicare Cover Cardiac Event Monitors?

Event monitors are portable devices that capture the heart’s electrical activity, similar to an EKG. 

Heart monitors record your heart’s electrical activity over time. They aid in diagnosing heart rhythm disorders. This is especially helpful in the early detection of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias.

Cardiac monitors are available in various formats. They range from a large computer screen at the hospital bedside to a stylish smartwatch.

If this is a device you or a loved one may need, a common question you may have is, “Does Medicare cover cardiac event monitors?”

In this article, we answer the question in clear, plain English. You will also find the average cost of these monitors and other helpful information.

Does Medicare Cover Cardiac Event Monitors?

The short answer is yes; Medicare will cover the cost of cardiac event monitors. But not 100% of the time. As is often the case with Medicare, you must meet certain conditions for Medicare to pay. 

Below we look at what these are so you know what to expect.

Original Medicare Coverage of Monitors

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) provides coverage for necessary cardiac event monitors. First, your healthcare provider must order the operation, then Original Medicare will pay.

Which Part of Medicare Covers Monitors?

Part A covers cardiac event monitors. Once approved, this plan covers 80 percent of the costs of an echocardiogram. You will pay for the remaining 20 percent. 

Medicare Advantage Coverage of Monitors

Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) also provide coverage for cardiac event monitors. They must cover everything Original Medicare covers. The plans offer some additional benefits too.

What each plan covers and how much the out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on your plan’s specifics. 

Original Medicare also provides coverage for necessary echocardiograms. This scan is used to look at the heart and surrounding blood vessels.

Echocardiograms are comprehensive, heart-focused tests. They look for abnormalities in the size, shape and function of the heart. The test monitors cardiac event monitors to determine if they are functioning.

How Much Do Cardiac Event Monitors Cost?

Outpatient cardiac monitoring for 30 days can cost anywhere from $284 to $783, but it falls to an average of $532.

Tips for Cardiac Event Monitors

You should talk to your doctor to decide if a heart monitor is right for you. They require daily wear and can be uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor about what kind of monitoring Medicare covers.

If you are prescribed a cardiac event monitor, there are several things to keep in mind. Here are a few:

  • When showering or swimming, you may need to remove the electrodes and replace them after. Yet, some devices, such as wrist monitors, may be waterproof.
  • Avoid high-voltage areas like metal detectors and microwaves. This is because they can interfere with the recording.
  • These sensors are very safe, the only irritation you may experience is from the adhesive rubbing against your skin.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage. Always be sure to double-check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

This article is part of our series on “What does Medicare cover?”

Also, you can check out other articles in this series, including: Does Medicare cover blood pressure cuffs?

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Medicare Plan Tips Team

Annie Kaye is a writer and researcher who was thrown into the Medicare world while taking care of her ailing mother. Even with a degree in Library Science and a long history of fighting for what's right, she felt lost. She learned a lot about Medicare during that time and now writes to help others understand how the system works.