- Coverage for cervical cancer will depend on which parts of Medicare you’re enrolled in.
- If you have parts A, B, and D — or have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan — many of your costs will likely be covered.
- Medicare Part B usually covers screenings for cervical cancer.
- testing and regular screenings
- radiation therapy
- prescription drugs
If you’re enrolled in Medicare parts A, B, and D, or if you have a comprehensive Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you can expect Medicare to cover the majority of your cervical cancer care.
Read on to find out more about what’s covered and what may not be covered.
Inpatient care is medical treatment you receive after being admitted to a hospital or medical facility. This type of care often involves an overnight stay.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical cancer, you might receive inpatient care if you’re having surgery to remove tumors and cancerous tissue. You may also receive inpatient care for treatment for symptoms related to your cancer.
Inpatient care for cervical cancer is covered under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance).
Most people who have Medicare are enrolled in Part A. You may pay a premium for it, though a majority of people qualify for premium-free Part A coverage. It’s rare but possible to buy into other parts of Medicare without receiving Part A benefits.
Part A costs
Once you’ve met your deductible, Medicare coverage will kick in.
You’ll be responsible for coinsurance costs. Your coinsurance cost will be based on a daily rate, depending on the length of your stay at a hospital or similar facility. The first 60 days of an inpatient stay are usually covered at 100 percent.
Part A coinsurance costs in 2021 are:
A great deal of your cervical cancer care won’t require you to be admitted or stay overnight in a hospital.
You may receive certain treatments at your doctor’s office or at a specialized clinic. These are referred to as outpatient services.
Depending on your treatment plan, your outpatient services can include:
Outpatient care is covered under Medicare Part B (medical insurance). You can receive Part B only if you’ve enrolled in it separately and agreed to pay a monthly premium.
The same outpatient coverage that’s offered under Part B is also included in Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans. These plans are purchased through private insurance companies.
Part B costs
Part B works similarly to Part A. First, you pay for your services until you meet a deductible. In 2021, the Part B deductible is $203.
From there, Part B covers 80 percent of your medical costs up to the Medicare-approved amount. You’ll be responsible for the remaining 20 percent.
In addition to outpatient cancer care, your Part B coverage may apply to durable medical equipment you might need during treatment, including:
- hospital beds for home
Doctors may sometimes prescribe certain drugs to treat cervical cancer. You may take these drugs in addition to receiving other therapies like chemotherapy and radiation, or you may use the drugs for treatment only.
Some of these targeted therapy drugs for cervical cancer may include:
It’s also likely that you’ll need medication to alleviate side effects of cervical cancer, like anti-nausea medication or pain relievers.
Prescription drugs are covered under Medicare Part D.
Part D costs
As with Part B, you must enroll in a Medicare drug plan separately and pay a separate premium for coverage. Part D coverage is also usually rolled into Medicare Advantage plans.
Premiums and other costs for your cervical cancer drugs will depend on your income level and which Part D drug plan you’ve chosen.
If a part of your cancer treatment plan is considered optional or not medically necessary, Medicare might not cover it.
For example, your doctor may suggest:
- wigs for hair loss due to chemotherapy
- at-home nonskilled medical (custodial) care
- long-term care
- nutritional supplements
These items usually won’t be covered by Medicare parts A, B, or D.
If you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage, however, you may have access to additional benefits beyond what original Medicare offers, depending on your specific plan.
It’s always a good idea to call your plan provider or Medicare representative to fully understand your coverage as it applies to your specific situation.
Cervical cancer is covered by Medicare as long as you’re enrolled in parts A, B, and D.
Part A is premium-free for most people (although some have to buy in), and Parts B and D must both be chosen and paid for separately for you to receive coverage.
You can also consider a private Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan to receive “all-in-one” coverage, or you can buy a Medigap policy to help cover coinsurance and deductibles costs left over from original Medicare.