A cancer diagnosis can be devastating. Understanding what costs are covered by Medicare Parts A, B, C and D can help you focus on what matters most––your health.

Which cancer screenings does Medicare cover?

When it comes to cancer, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why Medicare covers common cancer screenings to help find problems early—when treatment works best. This includes:

  • Screening mammograms for breast cancer
  • Pelvic exams and Pap tests to screen for cervical cancer
  • Colonoscopies and fecal blood tests to screen for colorectal cancer
  • Low-dose CT scans to screen for lung cancer
  • PSA (prostate antigen) tests and physical exams for prostate cancer

Does Medicare cover chemotherapy?

Yes. Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) covers chemotherapy you receive as a hospital inpatient. Medicare Part B (medical insurance) covers chemotherapy you receive in a hospital as an outpatient. Part B also covers chemotherapy you receive in a doctor’s office or an outpatient clinic. Regular copayments and deductibles apply.

Does Medicare cover radiation therapy?

Medicare does cover radiation therapy for treating cancer. If you receive radiation therapy during a hospital stay, Part A will cover it and you’ll pay any applicable deductible and coinsurance. If you receive radiation treatment as an outpatient or in an outpatient facility, it will be covered by Medicare Part B once you meet the Part B deductible and copayment.

Does Medicare cover immunotherapy for cancer treatment?

Yes. As with any covered medical treatment, you must first meet your plan’s deductible. You may have coinsurance and/or copay costs, as well.

Get started with Humana Medicare

Humana Medicare plans offer benefits beyond what Original Medicare covers. Explore all the plans available in your area!

What to do if your treatment is denied by Medicare

Never hesitate to ask your doctor what your expected costs will be before you receive care. There may be times when Medicare denies a claim for your treatment, leaving you to pay some or even all the costs. For example:

  • If your doctor prescribes more chemotherapy than Medicare covers
  • If your treatment costs more that Medicare’s maximum allowed amount for certain services
  • If your doctor recommends a treatment that Medicare doesn’t cover

If any of these situations arise, don’t panic! You may have options. If you disagree with their decision, you can file an appeal with Medicare.

How much does cancer treatment cost with Medicare?

Medicare coverage for cancer treatment works just like treatment for any other illness or injury. Part A offers coverage for hospital care, Part B covers outpatient care and treatment, and Medicare Part D may help pay for drugs used to fight cancer. You may be responsible for copayments, coinsurance or deductibles as required by your plan.

In 2024, the Medicare Part A deductible is $1,632 per benefit period and the Part B annual deductible is $240. Some Medicare Advantage plans may have their own deductible, and some even feature a $0 deductible.

Learn more about Medicare Part A, B, C and D costs.

Does Medicare Advantage (Part C) cover cancer screenings and treatment

Yes. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private health insurance companies. They are required by law to provide all the benefits of Original Medicare Parts A and B—and many include prescription drug coverage plus coverage for dental, vision and hearing care—benefits not covered by Original Medicare. Additional benefits may include in-home support services, meal delivery, transportation to medical appointments, and home-based palliative care. Some Medicare Advantage plans also include coverage for alternative care like acupuncture.

A unique feature of Medicare Advantage plans is the “maximum out-of-pocket” cost. Once you’ve paid that amount, you’ll pay nothing for covered services for the rest of your plan year, but you’ll generally have to use care providers in your plan’s network. In 2024, the maximum you will spend for in-network care is $8,850, although some plans have lower limits.1

How to find a cancer treatment center

Medicare.gov offers a helpful tool to find and compare doctors, hospital and other care providers in your area.

If you’re a Humana member, you can use our Find Care tool to locate providers in your plan’s network.

Frequently asked questions

There are no additional costs for Original Medicare coverage if you have a preexisting condition. Medicare Advantage (MA) plans won’t reject your enrollment if you have a preexisting condition. But because MA plans are offered by private insurance companies, coverage levels and costs can vary from company to company.

Medicare Part B covers most chemotherapy drugs. If you have Original Medicare plus a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, your Part D plan may cover drugs that Part B does not.

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Source

  1. Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limit,” Medicare Interactive, last accessed March 26, 2024