Millions of Americans receive cancer diagnoses each year. The risk increases as people reach 70 years old. Luckily, Medicare covers cancer care for those over the age of 65. If you or someone you love received this diagnosis, use this guide to better understand your coverage options.  

Common Questions About Medicare Coverage for Cancer

What do Medicare Part A & Part B cover?

Original Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) plans cover essential cancer treatments and services.

Part A assists with inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing services, and home health care, including occupational therapy and hospice care. Part B is for outpatient services, including doctor visits, X-rays and CT scans, mental health counseling, and walkers and wheelchairs. 

What do Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) cover?

cancer-careOffered by private insurers under contracts with Medicare, Part C plans offer the same benefits as Original Medicare. They may also cover additional services or add Part D coverage, which provides assistance with most prescription medications and chemotherapy treatments taken orally. For maximum savings, you must use in-network providers.

Can I change my plan after my diagnosis?

Yes. Do so during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which runs through October 15 to December 7. Coverage begins on January 1.

If you have Medicare Advantage, the Open Enrollment Period happens between January 1 to March 31. You can only change your coverage once during this period.

What do I pay for cancer care with Medicare?

Most plans have copayment and coinsurance costs, as well as deductibles you must meet before insurance kicks in. Medicare typically has maximum payment amounts for different services. The price you pay depends on the type of facility you work with and the exams you receive.


If you or a loved one needs cancer care, turn to Lifetime Care. This health care facility serves Monroe, Wayne, Livingston, Ontario, Yates, Seneca, Cayuga, and Schuyler counties in New York from five locations. They accept Medicare, Medicaid, and a range of private insurance plans. They provide pain and symptom management, as well as 24-hour emergency support for patients and families. Learn more about their services online, or call (585) 214-1000 to talk to a compassionate staff member.