Medicare & Thyroid Tests

Thyroid conditions are very common in people over 60, and chances of developing them increase with age. In fact, an estimated 20% of women over the age of 60 have some form of thyroid disease. Each kind of thyroid condition – hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism – has different symptoms and treatments associated with it, and being able to identify each of them can help you get the necessary treatment more quickly. But when it comes time to talk to your doctor about a thyroid condition, will Medicare cover the tests?

Thyroid Disorders

picture of man and woman's insides with the thyroid and other functions showing
The thyroid gland can produce too little or too much hormone in your body, causing abnormal changes

Your thyroid gland is located in your neck below the voice box, with two lobes on each side of the windpipe. It produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, T3 and T4, which are essentially chemical messengers that control your metabolism and mood. If your thyroid either makes too much or too little thyroid hormone, your body will experience certain changes. There are two different conditions related to too much or too little thyroid hormone:

  • Hypothyroidism– This is the most common type of thyroid condition in seniors, with up to 1 in 4 patients in nursing homes dealing with it. It is caused by the underproduction of thyroid hormones and results in a low metabolic rate. Symptoms include sleepiness, dry skin, joint and muscle pain, constipation, intolerance to the cold, and weight gain. 
  • Hyperthyroidism- With this condition, your metabolism increases because your  thyroid produces too many hormones. Symptoms include mood swings, hyperactivity, swelling in the neck, diarrhea, and muscle weakness.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, talk to your doctor so that you can get tested for a possible thyroid condition. In order to test for a thyroid condition, your doctor will take a blood sample, which can be done at their office or at a laboratory. If the lab work reveals that you do have a thyroid condition, you can get the proper treatment to help control it and decrease your chances of any other conditions developing or worsening. 

Medicare Coverage For Thyroid Tests

Thyroid disorders that occur in older individuals can disguise themselves as other conditions, so in order to confirm or rule out a thyroid disorder, you need to get tested. Medicare covers thyroid testing and screening: anything that is done on an inpatient basis will be covered by Medicare Part A, and anything done in an outpatient setting will be covered by Medicare Part B, if your doctor orders the test. The criteria you will have to meet in order for Medicare to cover thyroid testing include:

  • Having symptoms that could be linked to your thyroid.
  • Your doctor confirming that it is medically necessary
  • Getting the test done at a Medicare-approved laboratory.

If you are not at risk for any thyroid conditions, a test can be performed 2 times per year. If you are at risk, have had thyroid cancer, or are adjusting to thyroid medications, your doctor can request more than 2 tests per year, and Medicare might cover it. a persons hand with purple gloves on, holding 2 blood vilesIf your doctor orders thyroid testing, Medicare Part B will cover 80% of the cost, leaving you responsible for meeting your Part B deductible and paying the 20% that Medicare does not cover. 

Extra Coverage

Over time, the 20% coinsurance that you have to pay with Medicare Part B can really add up, especially if you have any chronic conditions that need to be managed. But, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, any coinsurance that you have to pay (the 20% not covered by Medicare) will be covered by the plan. All you will have to do is pay a monthly premium for the plan, and the plan will handle your coinsurance and other medical expenses. 

If you are interested in exploring your Medicare Supplement Plan options, EZ can help you. Our agents work with the top-rated Medicare Supplement insurance companies in the country, and we can provide instant free quotes in minutes to you. We will go over your needs and each Medicare Supplement Plan to help determine which is right for you. We can help you save hundreds of dollars each year with a Medicare Supplement Plan. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to one of our licensed agents, call 888-753-7207.

Signs There Might Be An Issue With Your Thyroid

A thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the throat that sits above the Adam’s apple, and it’s main function is to control the body’s metabolism. More than 30 million Americans have some type of thyroid disease, and more than half of them do not even know that they have one. Women are 5 times more likely to develop a thyroid condition. The two primary thyroid diseases are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid, while hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid. There are numerous conditions that can cause these thyroid diseases, and many different symptoms that accompany them. Learn what they are in order to spot it early on, get

Millions of people have thyoid issues and do not even know it.
Millions of people have thyoid issues and do not even know it. Women have a higher chance of having thyroid issues.

tested, and get your body on the right track to producing the correct amount of metabolism.


Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland is underactive and does not produce enough of its hormones that regulates metabolism. The conditions that can cause this are:

  1. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis– is usually painless, and the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is a hereditary disease of the immune system. Occurs at any age, buy most common in middle-aged women. The body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing it to not produce a lot of its hormone.
  2. Thyroiditis– an inflammation of the thyroid gland.
  3. Postpartum Thyroiditis– occurs in women after giving birth, and is usually temporary.
  4. Non-functioning Thyroid– One on 4,000 babies are born with a non-functioning thyroid gland. If not corrected, it can cause mental and physical development issues.
  5. Iodine Deficiency– used by the thyroid to produce hormones. Can be cured by the use of iodized salt.


  • Weight Gain- gaining weight and having a hard time losing weight despite exercise and calorie deficiency.
  • Cold Sensitivity- feeling intolerant of the cold
  • Fatigued- Despite sleeping for a long time, you constantly feel exhausted. Take long naps.
  • Depression- feeling depressed more often
  • Forgetfulness and memory loss
  • Hair is dry and breaks easily. Loss of hair.
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle, thin nails
  • Hoarse Voice
  • Severe constipation
  • Heavier periods, painful menstruation, and less time in between menstrual periods.


Hyperthyroidism is the opposite of hypothyroidism. This is when your thyroid gland is overactive and produces too much of its hormone that regulates metabolism. The conditions that can cause this is:

  1. Grave’s Disease– the most common cause of hyperthyroidism affecting 1 in 200 people in the US. The body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland causing it to overproduce hormones.
  2. Thyroid Nodules– A nodule is a growth that forms on or in the thyroid gland. The causes are unknown. The nodules can be solid or fluid-filled, and most are benign. It is more common in women. There are no symptoms but if they get large enough, it can cause swelling and difficulty breathing.
  3. Thyroiditis– Occurs mostly in women after childbirth. Can be painful or painless, and can last a couple of weeks or months.
  4. Too Much Iodine– Certain drugs contain a lot of iodine, which in turn causes the thyroid to produce too much of its hormone.
One of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism is blurred vision.
One of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism is blurred vision.


  • Weight Loss- losing weight despite eating normal, or losing weight despite increased caloric intake.
  • Heat Sensitivity- Feel hot despite normal room temperature.
  • Can’t Sleep- having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Racing heart at bedtime.
  • Anxious- feeling anxious, or having panic attacks and panic disorder.
  • Severe Hair Loss
  • Skin Rashes
  • Blurry vision or any change in your vision
  • Diarrhea or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Shorter periods, lighter flow, or if your period stops all together.
  • Muscle Weakness

You can not prevent hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism in most cases, especially when caused by Grave’s disease or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. If not taken care of, a thyroid condition can lead to complications. Complications include pregnancy complication, neuropathy, osteoporosis, atrial fibrillation, and even a coma (which is rare). A doctor can prescribe thyroid hormone medication to help regulate your thyroid gland function. In order to prevent any complications from occurring, or the condition getting worse, go to the doctor if you experience any symptoms or suspect a thyroid problem. Your doctor will do a physical exam, and a blood test to check your levels. Thyroid conditions can be treated effectively as long as you know the signs and get checked.