How Medicare Helps You Fight Cancer

In the United States, more than 60% of cancer cases are diagnosed in people 65 and over.  Advanced age is the biggest risk factor for cancer overall, as well as for many individual types of cancer. It is predicted that almost 2 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed this year, and with such a large number of these diagnoses being among seniors, it is important that all older adults are fully insured, in order to be protected no matter what happens. 

After all, it’s no secret that cancer treatments are not cheap – but fortunately, Medicare will cover many of these treatments, and what is not covered by Medicare can be covered by a Medicare Supplement Plan. Whether you are dealing with cancer, or are worried about being diagnosed with it in the future, find out just how Medicare can help you kick cancer’s butt.

Prevention Is Key

According to the World Health Organization, between 30 and 50% of all cancer cases are preventable. Prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer; Medicare Part B actually covers a lot of preventive measures to protect you from cancer, such as:

  • 8 smoking cessation counseling visits per year
  • mammogram machineMammograms– Breast cancer screenings are covered at 100% every 12 months, and 80% if you require more than one a year.
  • Cervical cancer screenings– These screenings are covered at 100% every two years; if you need them more often, Medicare will cover them at 80%.
  • Prostate cancer screenings– The blood test for prostate cancer is covered yearly, but an annual digital rectal exam is only covered at 80%.
  • Colorectal cancer screening– The blood test for this cancer is covered every year, and colonoscopies are covered every two years if you are considered high risk, or every 6 years if you are not high risk. Part B will cover extra screenings at 80%.

How Medicare Covers:

Cancer Treatments

Cancer treatments can be very expensive because they are ongoing, and can be required for months or years to help you fight your cancer. You will need diagnostic tests like X-rays and CT scans, which are covered at 80% by Part B. In addition, if you need durable medical equipment, like wheelchairs and walkers, Medicare will also cover these at 80%.

Chemotherapy is covered under part A or Part B, depending on if you receive your treatment in a hospital setting or at a doctor’s office; if you choose to have oral chemotherapy treatment, Part B will also cover these costs.


If you need to have surgery, or surgeries, because of your cancer, Part A will cover any inpatient surgeries and hospital stays, as well as any treatments or medications you receive while admitted,  at 100%. Then, after you have been admitted to the hospital for three days, Part A will also cover any skilled nursing facility care or home health care services that are required after your hospital stay. This can include rehabilitation center services, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing care.

hands holding an elderly person's hand
Medicare will pay 100% for hospice care and cover grief counseling for your family.

It is important to know your status while you are in the hospital for these surgeries. If you are considered an outpatient, or under observation, Part A will not cover the costs. Instead, Part B would pay for the costs at 80% of the allowable charges, and you would have to pay 20% after meeting your Part B deductible.

Hospice Care

If it comes to the point that you require hospice care, this type of care is covered 100% by Medicare. Grief and loss counseling for you and your family is also covered by Medicare.

Extra Help

As stated, Medicare Part B, which covers the costs of cancer prevention and treatments, only covers 80% of these costs. This will leave you with the remaining 20% to pay for out-of-pocket, but a Medicare Supplement Plan can help you pay the medical expenses that aren’t covered by Medicare Part B. One of these plans can actually help you save hundreds, or maybe even thousands of dollars each year. 

Medicare Supplement Plans can cover your Part A deductible and coinsurance costs, as well as your Medicare Part B copayment, coinsurance, and deductible. There are 10 different plans to choose from, and depending on which plan you choose, you could get anywhere from 75% coverage of your medical expenses all the way up to 100%. Each plan offers a range of coverage at different price points; if you are battling cancer, your best option is to get the plan with the most coverage possible, so you will only have to worry about paying your Medicare Supplement Plan monthly premiums. 

Medicare Supplement Plans can help save you money and keep you from stressing over medical bills for your cancer treatments, leaving you with more time and energy to focus on your health. EZ can compare all 10 Medicare Supplement Plans and find the one that will meet your financial and medical needs. Our agents work with the top-rated insurance companies in the nation, which makes comparing plans easy, quick, and free – our services come at no cost to you because we just want to help you save money so you can focus on your health. To get free instant quotes on plans that cover your doctors, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak to a local licensed agent, call 888-753-7207.

About The Author:
Cassandra Love

With over a decade of helpful content experience Cassandra has dedicated her career to making sure people have access to relevant, easy to understand, and valuable information. After realizing a huge knowledge gap Cassandra spent years researching and working with health insurance companies to create accessible guides and articles to walk anyone through every aspect of the insurance process.

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