Medicare Coverage and Cancer Treatment

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 1.7 million new cancers will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018. The good news is that mortality from cancer (deaths from cancer) is much lower than the incidence of cancer (i.e. new cases of cancer). The incidence of cancer is 439.2 per 100,000, while deaths from cancer are only 163.5 per 100,000 (depending on cases / deaths in 2011-2015). Some lives are saved by the treatment of cancer.  Get a 2019 supplement plan at

What are my options for cancer treatment?

The type of cancer treatment your doctor chooses will depend on what type of cancer you have and how advanced it has been. In the United States, there are many options for the treatment of cancer which include:

  • Surgery to remove cancerous cells from the body.
  • Radiation therapy to reduce tumors and kill cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy which destroys cancer cells with medication.
  • Immunotherapy that can help the immune system fight and destroy cancerous cells.

According to the National Institutes of Health, surgery for the treatment of cancer may include the removal of a tumor that surrounds healthy tissue and near lymph nodes. Surgery works best with solid tumors that are contained in an area. An operation cannot be used for cancer of the blood or for cancer that has spread. Surgery is often combined with other treatments for cancer.

Medicare Part A and B may include certain cancer treatments for cancer patients, including (but not limited to) radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Your Medicare costs depend on whether you receive cancer treatment for outpatients or inpatients. Ensure you obtain the treatments for cancer from Medicare health care providers. This is to enable Medicare pays its share.

Medicare Part B can cover some cancer screening services, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer.

Is the cost of chemotherapy for cancer treatment covered by Medicare?

According to the National Institute of Health, chemotherapy treatments against cancer can inhibit the growth of cancerous cells either by eliminating them or by stopping them from splitting. Chemotherapy can be given in several ways, including by injection, mouth, infusion or skin. This depends on the type and stage of the type of cancer to be treated. The Medicare Part A program treats the chemotherapy and other treatments for cancer you receive as a hospital for patients after paying the Part A deductible.

Medicare Part B generally includes outpatient chemotherapy and cancer therapies, such as in an independent clinic or in a doctor’s office. For this case, you will pay 20% of the amount approved by Medicare after you have paid the Medicare Part B deductible.

Medicare also includes radiation therapy for cancer patients. If you are covered by Medicare Part A, you pay the excess inpatient and any additional payments. If you receive outpatient radiation therapy, you generally pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount and the Medicare Part B deductible is true.

The cost of chemotherapy and treatment of the bladder tumor depends on a number of factors, including the time during which you receive treatment. If you receive many treatments, you may have to make substantial coinsurance payments, since Medicare is not limited.