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Cancer Insurance For Medicare

It’s an unfortunate reality that many of us will eventually be diagnosed with cancer. Knowing how Medicare covers cancer and how to fill in the gaps is extremely important for all seniors to consider.

How Does Medicare Cover Cancer?

Depending on what Medicare coverage you have, you will have different levels of coverage for cancer and chemotherapy.

Original Medicare Coverage for Cancer

Chemotherapy is covered under Part B of Medicare. So Medicare will cover 80% of approved charges (after the deductible) and you will be responsible for the remaining 20% of charges. This only applies to Part B expenses. Any Part D cancer medications will be covered at a co-pay depending on which plan you are on.

Health Eligibility
If you have had any sort of cancer in the last several years, you are typically not eligible.

Medicare Supplement Coverage for Cancer

Because Original Medicare covers chemotherapy under Part B, any supplement that covers the Part B coinsurance of 20% would also cover the remainder of your chemotherapy payments. 

Medicare Advantage Coverage for Cancer

Typically, Medicare Advantage plans require a coinsurance of 20% for chemotherapy. 

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The Solution: Cancer Plan Explained

To protect against the risk of having an expensive cancer treatment, many of our clients enroll into a “Lump Sum Cancer Policy”. It is very easy to understand how these work:

  • You pay a certain amount each month depending on the amount of benefit.
  • If you get diagnosed with cancer, the insurance company mails you a check for the full lump sum amount.

You will have to answer health questions in order to get approved for these plans. Typically there are very affordable prices. 


How Much Does Cancer Insurance Cost?

Typically you can get a Cancer plan for $20-40 per month that will send you a lump sum check of $10,000 if you are diagnosed. 

What Part of Medicare Covers Cancer?

Medicare Part B covers chemotherapy, while Medicare Part D would cover oral cancer medications.

Do I Need Cancer Insurance if I Have Medicare?

Since over half of the costs associated with cancer are non-medical, it makes sense to get a Cancer insurance plan if you can qualify. 


Adding a stand-alone insurance plan that will pay you directly if you’re diagnosed with cancer can be a very smart decision to eliminate one of the biggest health related financial risks.

Sylvia Gordon, aka Medicare Mama®, is an expert on all things Medicare and Social Security. She is the 2nd Generation here at The Medicare Family and has served on the advisory boards of major insurance companies like UnitedHealthcare®, Cigna, and Anthem. In her free time, she can be found taking care of her animals (dogs, goats, peacocks, chickens), and reading a good book. Learn More.
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