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U.S. News

U.S. May Pay for Sex Disease Tests for Elderly

February 25, 2011

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Thursday it is mulling the inclusion of certain STD tests for seniors and the disabled. Medicare currently covers HIV testing, but may include screening for diseases like syphilis and hepatitis B in its push toward preventive treatment.

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Life expectancy in the United States has increased -- approximately 39 million Americans age 65 or above are insured by Medicare, along with 7.6 million disabled -- and studies show larger numbers of the elderly are sustaining active sex lives.

According to public health officials, early STD detection and prevention lowers costs by circumventing problems stemming from postponed care, as well as the transmission of disease to others.

CMS has been able to provide preventive coverage since 2009, and already includes pap smears, pelvic exams, and screening for colorectal cancer and diabetes. Most STD tests under consideration are for women and some are particularly for pregnant women, who are included in Medicare?s disabled beneficiaries.

Medicare is deliberating including examinations for:

  • chlamydia in sexually active or pregnant women 24 and under, or for older sexually active or pregnant women at higher risk.
  • gonorrhea in all sexually active or pregnant women at increased risk.
  • hepatitis B in pregnant women.
  • syphilis in all males and females at high risk.
  • intense behavior modification therapy for sexually active youth and adults at high risk for STDs.

Back to other news for February 2011

Adapted from:
Reuters
02.24.2011; Susan Heavey


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
See Also
More News on Medicare/Medicaid

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