In case you are not aware, immunotherapy, which cures cancer, is of four different varieties. Post the shelling out of your deductible. Your Medicare plan will cover the expenses related to immunotherapy. You might have to pay for a few out-of-the-pocket costs, but that will be dependent on the type of coverage you are entitled to. In case you or you’re a member pf your family have been detected with cancer and getting ready to go for treatment, the first thing that might strike you is whether Medicare would cover the medication expenses for immunotherapy. How would you find out of it does or not? Read on.
What Is Immunotherapy?
For those who don’t know what immunotherapy is, it is a kind of cancer treatment that uses the immune system of your body to detect and kill the cancer cells. Immunotherapy is of four different types. Monoclonal antibodies fight the cancer cells. Oncolytic virus therapy uses a virus which genetically modified to detect and eliminate cancer cells. T-cell therapy is generally useful for curing blood cancers. Cancer vaccines help the body build up a defense system to fight cancer. In addition to radiation or chemotherapy, immunotherapy is also an effective procedure for treating cancer. Also, it can be useful in post-surgery to make sure that your body can ward off cancer cells that may be left behind.
Parts of Medicare That Cover Immunotherapy
Every part of your Medicare plan covers a distinct portion of the treatment. A proper breakdown might make things easy for you. Medicare Part A covers the expenses you incur during your hospital stays after being asked to get admitted. The costs can be for only when you stay at the hospital, your meals, any therapies or medications you are offered while you are at the hospital, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Medicare Part B covers the costs in case you pay a visit to the freestanding clinics or a doctor’s chamber. When you are going through cancer treatments, Part B will be covering various therapies, such as the CAR-T form of immunotherapy, radiation treatments, and radiation treatments. Medicare Part C, or the Medicare Advantage Plan, happens to be a private one that provides coverage for those services under the categories A and B.
Aside from that, the incorporation of prescription drug coverage might be a reality too. As far as Medicare Part D is concerned, it provides coverage for prescription drugs you buy while at home. The coverage that you get from each plan depends on the formulary and the tier system of the Medicare plan.
The Cost of Immunotherapy
At the start of your cancer treatment, your primary concern is the cost that you would have to incur for your treatment. Medicare provides coverage for some of the expenses linked to immunotherapy. You should have detailed knowledge about how much you would have to incur when every part of Medicare. Under Medicare Part A, the deductible amount in 2020 is something around $1408 for every benefit period. In all likelihood, this amount will be covered in case you are paying visits for the cancer treatment sessions.
Under Medicare Part B, the monthly premium is close to $144.60. However, the sum might accentuate, but that will depend entirely on your income. The copayment stands at 20% of the cost of immunotherapy treatments approved by Medicare. Talking about Medicare Part C, the expenses will differ based on the plan and the provider you have availed. Each plan is bound to have a distinct deductible, coinsurance, and of course, a copayment amount. Don’t forget to get an elaborate idea related to the costs and specific coverage. Part D expenses and coverage might vary.
What Are The Types Of Cancers That Immunotherapy Is Perfect For?
Immunotherapy is often a prescription for various cancers. This includes renal cell carcinoma or kidney cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hepatocellular carcinoma or liver cancer, esophageal cancer, and cervical cancer.
Immunotherapy has certain side effects. The list includes body aches, headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, skin reactions, and dizziness. So, make sure you sit with your doctor and understand the process and it’s side effects completely. While the procedure is painful, the healthcare psychologist can surely help you cope with it if you seek help.