smoker and lungs illustrationCertain smokers covered by Medicare have a new preventive service benefit. On February 5, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its decision to cover counseling and an annual Low-Dose Computed Tomography screening of current and former smokers who meet eligibility requirements. Those include being between 55 and 77 years of age, having no signs or symptoms of lung cancer, having a smoking history of at least one pack per day for 30 years, and being a current smoker or one who has quit smoking within the last 15 years. Cancer specialists who recommended approval of this benefit in October 2014 before the CMS’s Coverage and Analysis Group in Woodlawn, MD included Gerard A. Silvestri, M.D., MS, Hillenbrand Professor of Thoracic Oncology in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at MUSC Health. More information here.