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Bone Mineral Density Tests (BMD)

An important step to find out about your bone health is to get a bone mineral density test (BMD). This simple, painless test can be done on your spine, hip, wrist, or heel. This test helps to estimate the density of your bones and can predict your risk of fracture over the next ten years. The most accurate test, known as DEXA or DXA scan (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry), involves measuring the bone density of the hip and lumbar spine. In addition to being simple and painless, the test is quick and has minimal radiation exposure.

Who Pays for Bone Density Tests?

Many insurance companies, including Medicare, cover the cost of these tests for people meeting certain criteria.  Examples of this criteria include:

  • you are a woman age 65 or older
  • you are a man age 70 or older
  • you break a bone after age 50
  • you are a women of menopausal age with risk factors
  • you are a postmenopausal woman under age 65 with risk factors
  • you are a man age 50-69 with risk factors

Check with your insurance company to find our  when a BMD is covered. For most people over age 65, bone density tests are covered once every two years.

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