Woman wearing pink to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness

Does Medicare cover cancer treatment?

Does Medicare cover cancer treatment senor woman chemotherapy
Medicare covers chemotherapy cancer treatment

Medicare does cover medically necessary cancer treatment supplies, services, and prescription drugs. Seniors are at greater risk of developing cancer. According to Cancer.net, “60% of people who have cancer are 65 or older.”

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Medicare provides cancer treatment coverage for the following:

Medicare Part A 

Woman wearing pink to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness
Woman celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness

Medicare Part A hospital insurance covers inpatient hospital stays, including cancer treatments. For example, breast cancer may involve surgically-implanted breast prostheses after a mastectomy. If your surgery takes place in an inpatient setting, Medicare Part A covers 80% of the cost. Consequently, you pay the remaining 20% unless you have a Medicare Supplement Plan.

Senior Healthcare Direct recommends Medigap Plan G, which covers 100% of your Part A costs.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B medical insurance covers many cancer-related services and treatments provided on an outpatient basis. Furthermore, Part B includes preventive services. For example, you can get lung cancer and prostate cancer screenings. 

Medicare Part B cancer treatment coverage includes chemotherapy drugs administered through your vein in an outpatient clinic or doctor’s office. Part B also covers the following:

  • Some oral chemotherapy treatments
  • Radiation treatments in an outpatient clinic
  • Diagnostic tests such as X-rays and CT scans
  • Durable Medicare Equipment (DME) like wheelchairs and walkers

Furthermore, Part B covers outpatient surgeries. For example, cancer surgery to remove a tumor. It also covers mental health services to help you cope with these difficult times.

Medicare Lung Cancer Screening - senior man gets LDCT
Senior man has a low-dose CT lung cancer screening.

Patients with head, neck, or esophageal cancers, can get enteral nutrition equipment (feeding pump) as DME. If you have oral intake issues, your doctor can prescribe a feeding pump for use in your home to help you avoid malnutrition and recover for cancer treatment. Medicare covers 80% of feeding pump costs “under the prosthetic device benefit.”

Medicare Part D

Senior gets good news about her cancer treatment
Senior gets good news about her cancer treatment.

Medicare Part D covers chemotherapy and other cancer-related drug treatments. Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs. To get drug coverage, you must enroll in either a Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage or a Part D plan. When you enroll in a drug plan, make sure your plan covers your list of drugs (formulary) and check the drug tiers.

You can learn more about Part D tier costs to minimize your out-of-pocket drug costs. Furthermore, Senior Healthcare Direct can help you choose a drug plan that saves you the most money per year. Please fill out our Part D Drug Finder form.

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Last Updated on April 2, 2021 by Brian Kondas