To speak to a Licensed Insurance Agent, Call Now!


Cancer treatment is a critical healthcare need for many seniors, particularly those over the age of 76. Understanding how Medicare supports these treatments can significantly impact the decisions made by patients and their families. This article delves does Medicare cover cancer treatment after age 76, explores the costs involved, and reviews the best Medicare plans for cancer patients, including Medicare Advantage.

Understanding Medicare Coverage for Cancer Treatment

This is a federal health insurance program for people aged 65 and up. It also helps younger people with certain diseases and disabilities. It is very important to know about the different parts of Medicare and how they cover cancer care:

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital care, including cancer treatments during hospital stays. This includes:

  • Hospital services
  • Inpatient care in a skilled nursing center (not long-term or jail care)
  • Hospice care
  • Some home healthcare

For cancer patients, Medicare Part A can cover the costs of surgeries, hospital stays, and some specialized treatments received as an inpatient.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers outpatient care, including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Diagnostic tests (like MRIs, CT scans, and blood tests)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy administered in an outpatient setting
  • Some medications

Part B is crucial for cancer patients because it covers many services and treatments that do not require hospitalization.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. Since cancer treatments often involve expensive medications, having Part D is essential for reducing out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Private insurance companies approved by Medicare sell plans under Medicare Advantage. Parts A, B, and often Part D are covered. You could get extra benefits from these plans, like care for your teeth, eyes, and ears. Also, they might pay for more cancer medicine.

Does Medicare Cover Cancer Treatment After Age 76?

The short answer is yes. Medicare covers cancer treatment after age 76. There are no age restrictions on coverage. As long as you are enrolled in Medicare, you will continue receiving coverage for cancer treatments regardless of age.

Coverage Specifics

  • Inpatient Treatments: Covered under Part A, which includes hospital stays, surgeries, and inpatient care.
  • Outpatient Treatments: Covered under Part B, including doctor visits, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and diagnostic tests.
  • Medications: Under Part D, you are covered for prescription drugs. Under Part B, you are covered for some treatment drugs in a doctor’s office or hospital outpatient setting.

How Much Does Cancer Treatment Cost with Medicare?

Cancer treatment can cost much money, but Medicare can help ease the financial strain. The costs can vary based on the type of treatment, how long it lasts, where it’s given, and your Medicare plan. Here are some tips for figuring out costs in general:

Costs Under Medicare Part A

  • Hospital Stays: For 2024, you have a deductible of $1,600 for each benefit period. For days 1-60, you pay $0 coinsurance per day. For days 61-90, you pay $400 coinsurance per day, and for days 91 and beyond, you pay $800 per “lifetime reserve day” for up to 60 days over your lifetime.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility Care: After a certain length of time in the hospital, you are covered for up to 100 days per benefit period. You don’t have to pay anything for the first 20 days. From day 21 to day 100, you have to pay $200 per day.

Costs Under Medicare Part B

  • Monthly Premium: The standard Part B premium for 2024 is $174.70 (higher for those with higher income).
  • Annual Deductible: $233 in 2024.
  • Coinsurance: After meeting the Deductible, you typically pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for most doctor services, outpatient therapy, and durable medical equipment.

Costs Under Medicare Part D

  • Monthly Premium: Varies by plan.
  • Deductibles and Copayments: Vary by plan, with some plans having no deductible. You may also have copayments or coinsurance for medications.

Costs Under Medicare Advantage (Part C)

Costs for Medicare Advantage plans vary widely depending on the plan and provider. These plans often have different cost structures, including premiums, deductibles, copayments, or service coinsurance.

Best Medicare Plan for Cancer Patients

Choosing the best Medicare plan for cancer treatment involves considering your specific healthcare needs, financial situation, and the plan’s coverage options. Here are some tips to help you choose:

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) with Part D

  • Pros:
    • Most healthcare providers accept broad coverage.
    • Being able to choose any doctor or expert that takes Medicare.
  • Cons:
    • Potentially high out-of-pocket costs, especially for frequent doctor visits and treatments.
    • No cap on out-of-pocket spending.

Medicare Advantage (Part C)

  • Pros:
    • Usually, it comes with extra benefits like eye, dental, and hearing care that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
    • Most plans include prescription drug coverage.
    • It might cost less out of pocket than Original Medicare.
  • Cons:
    • Limited provider networks: you may need to use doctors and hospitals in the plan’s network.
    • Requires pre-authorization for certain treatments.

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans

  • Pros:
    • It helps pay for copayments, coinsurance, and fees that Original Medicare doesn’t cover.
    • Provides more predictable healthcare costs.
  • Cons:
    • Additional monthly premium.
    • Doesn’t cover prescription drugs; you need a different Part D plan.

Key Considerations

  • Coverage Needs: Ensure the plan covers the specific treatments and medications you need.
  • Network Restrictions: Check if your preferred doctors and hospitals are in-network.
  • Costs: Compare premiums, deductibles, copayments, and out-of-pocket maximums.
  • Additional Benefits: Consider whether you need extra perks like dental or vision care.

Does Medicare Advantage Cover Cancer Treatment?

People with cancer can get care through Medicare Advantage plans. At least Parts A and B of Original Medicare must be paid for. In other words, they will pay for cancer patients’ time in the hospital, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and doctor visits. You can get brand-name drugs with Part D of many Medicare Advantage plans.

Advantages of Medicare Advantage for Cancer Treatment

  • Cost Savings: Medicare Advantage plans often have lower out-of-pocket costs than Original Medicare.
  • Additional Benefits: Many plans offer extra benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as wellness programs dental, vision, and hearing care.
  • Coordinated Care: Medicare Advantage plans often provide coordinated care, which can be beneficial for managing complex treatment regimens.

Potential Drawbacks

  • Network Restrictions: You may be limited to the plan’s network of doctors and hospitals.
  • Prior Authorization: Some treatments may require pre-approval from the plan.
  • Plan Variability: Coverage details and costs can vary widely between plans, so it’s essential to review each plan carefully.


How long does Medicare cover cancer treatment after age 76?

Medicare covers cancer treatment for as long as it is medically necessary, regardless of age. There are no age-related restrictions on coverage.

What is the best Medicare plan for cancer patients?

The best plan for each person is different. Original Medicare with a Medigap plan and Part D can cover many things, but Medicare Advantage plans can give you more benefits and maybe even lower costs. You should look at different choices based on the type of treatment you need and your budget.

How much does cancer treatment cost with Medicare?

Costs vary widely depending on the type of treatment, the setting, and the specific Medicare plan. Out-of-pocket costs can include premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Original Medicare typically involves higher out-of-pocket costs compared to some Medicare Advantage plans.

Does Medicare Advantage cover cancer treatment?

Medicare Advantage plans pay for hospital stays, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and doctor visits for cancer patients. Many plans also cover prescription drugs and offer extra perks.

Can I change my Medicare plan if my cancer treatment needs to change?

You can change your Medicare plan during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) from October 15 to December 7 each year. If you are already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can also change plans during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31.


Medicare provides essential coverage for cancer treatment at any age, including after 76. Understanding the different parts of Medicare and how they cover cancer treatments can help you choose the best plan for your needs. Whether you opt for Original Medicare with supplemental coverage or a Medicare Advantage plan, reviewing your options carefully and considering coverage, costs, and network restrictions is important. With the right plan, you can focus on your treatment and recovery with greater peace of mind.

Ready to find the best Medicare plan for your cancer treatment needs? Get free quotes today at!

To speak to a Licensed Insurance Agent, Call Now!
Amelia Sunshine, MD
About Amelia Sunshine, MD

Dr. Amelia Sunshine, MD, is a board-certified physician and an award-winning writer specializing in health and wellness. With over 15 years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Sunshine brings an unparalleled depth of knowledge and a passion for helping others navigate the often-complex world of health insurance. Dr. Sunshine's journey began in a small village nestled high in the Himalayas. From a young age, she was fascinated by the body's intricate workings and the power of natural healing. This fascination led her to pursue a medical career, where she excelled in academics and clinical practice. But Dr. Sunshine's calling extended beyond the walls of the hospital. She longed to share her knowledge and empower individuals to control their health. This led her to embark on a parallel path as a writer, crafting informative and engaging content that demystifies complex medical topics and empowers readers to make informed decisions about their health insurance. Dr. Sunshine's writing has been featured in numerous publications, including "The New York Times," "Healthline," and "WebMD." She is also a sought-after speaker and has presented at prestigious conferences across the globe. In addition to her medical expertise, Dr. Sunshine holds a Master's degree in Creative Writing. Her unique blend of medical knowledge and literary talent allows her to translate complex medical jargon into clear, concise, and engaging pieces that educate and inspire. When Dr. Sunshine isn't writing or practicing medicine, she can often be found hiking through the mountains or meditating in her serene home garden. Her love for nature and holistic wellness practices infuses her writing, providing readers with a holistic perspective on health and well-being. Dr. Sunshine remains committed to bridging the gap between healthcare providers and the public. Through her writing and expertise, she strives to empower individuals to make informed choices about their health and navigate the complexities of the healthcare system with confidence and clarity. Please note that I'm AI-Amelia, an AI-driven writer proficient in health insurance content creation. Leveraging advanced language capabilities, I skillfully produce informative and engaging material. Grounded in extensive knowledge, my work offers new insights into the dynamic realm of health insurance. I strive to seamlessly blend clarity and creativity, aiming to transform your interaction with and comprehension of health insurance topics.

Read More