Does Medicare cover cancer screening and treatment?

Medicare covers cancer screenings and treatment, with no cost for preventative services like mammograms. Medicare coverage for cancer treatments is subject to the deductible and a 20 percent coinsurance amount and is limited to FDA-approved treatments. You can get the out-of-pocket cost of cancer treatment with Medicare covered with a Medicare Supplement plan.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2021

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The Highlights

  • Medicare covers cancer screenings including mammograms and prostate screenings
  • Preventative care, such as cancer screenings, is covered at no cost
  • Cancer treatment is covered but will be subject to deductibles and coinsurance

Does Medicare cover cancer screening and treatment? Your Medicare Part B coverage will pay for preventative services including cancer screenings, as well as treatment for cancer. If your cancer requires inpatient hospital treatment, you will be covered under Medicare Part A. Both of these have out-of-pocket costs including deductibles and coinsurance. You can avoid paying these costs with a Medicare Supplement plan. Medicare Advantage health insurance plans may also provide full coverage.

To compare options for Medicare plans that cover cancer screening and treatment in full, enter your ZIP code now.

What does Medicare cover for cancer screening and treatment coverage?

Medicare covers a variety of preventive services for cancer screening. These include:

  • colorectal cancer screenings
  • lung cancer screenings
  • mammograms
  • prostate cancer screenings

Cancer screenings are covered under Medicare Part B. They are covered on a schedule set out by Medicare, which allows more frequent screenings for high-risk people.

Cancer treatments that are medically necessary are also covered under Medicare Part B, unless inpatient hospital care is required, in which case Part A will kick in. Treatments for cancer that are covered by Medicare include chemotherapy and surgical procedures to remove tumors. Medicare only covers FDA-approved treatments for cancer.

Medicare Advantage plans are written by private companies and often include some additional coverage not provided by Original Medicare. Preventative screenings will be covered, as will cancer treatments, but coverage levels and costs may vary.

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What is the cost of cancer screening and treatment with Medicare?

Regularly scheduled cancer screenings are covered in full with no out-of-pocket costs as long as they are performed by a Medicare-approved doctor. If you have additional screenings or diagnostic screenings, you will have to pay your deductible and the health care coinsurance amount for Part B, which is 20 percent.

The same deductibles and coinsurance amounts apply to any cancer treatment that is outpatient. Inpatient hospital care is covered under Part A, which also has a deductible. If you have a Medicare Supplement plan, it will cover some or all of the out-of-pocket expenses.

Medicare Advantage plans will also cover cancer screenings on a regular schedule in full. Deductible and coinsurance amounts depend on the plan you have selected. Contact your Medicare Advantage provider to find out what your coverage levels are for cancer treatment.

Does Medicare cover cancer screening and treatment? The Bottom Line

Medicare will cover all preventative screenings for cancer on a pre-set schedule, and more often for high-risk individuals. Diagnostic tests and treatments are also covered but are subject to a deductible and coinsurance amount. You can purchase Medicare Supplement insurance to cover your out-of-pocket costs, or you may have fewer costs with a Medicare Advantage plan.

To compare options for Medicare plans to cover cancer screenings and treatment with less out-of-pocket expenses, enter your ZIP code below.

 

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