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Ovarian Cancer and Medicare: What You Need to Know

Ovarian cancer is a relatively common form of cancer that disproportionately affects women over the age of 60. Ovarian cancer is much easier to treat when it is caught early, which is why preventative screenings are so important. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare coverage and ovarian cancer.

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer happens when abnormal malignant cells are found in the ovaries and surrounding areas of the body. Without treatment, these malignant cells can spread and become fatal. While there is no cure for ovarian cancer, it can be managed effectively with proper treatment if it is diagnosed in time.

It can be very difficult to catch ovarian cancer early, as the symptoms are easy to misdiagnose. Some of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer are abdominal and pelvic pain, feelings of bloating or feeling full too quickly, and issues with urination. Because of this, it’s so important that you schedule regular cancer screenings.

Does Medicare Cover Ovarian Cancer Services and Treatments?

Medicare plans offer extensive coverage for preventative screenings, which can help you catch ovarian cancer early. The most important of these is your yearly wellness visit, which includes screenings for a number of different conditions.

Medicare also covers screenings for related conditions, including mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, bone mass measurements, cardiovascular checks, and more.

If you’re diagnosed with ovarian cancer, your Medicare plan may cover some of your necessary treatments.

Medicare Part A covers most hospital stays, including those for cancer treatments. For outpatient services, including some (but not all) ovarian cancer treatments, you will need Medicare Part B.

Medicare Advantage plans may offer more extensive coverage for both inpatient and outpatient services.

How Can You Prevent Ovarian Cancer?

While it’s not possible to completely prevent ovarian cancer, there are some things you can do to reduce your risk. One of the easiest ways to do this is simply by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.

These healthy habits will not only help you feel great, but they’ll also reduce your risk for all cancers. Avoiding unhealthy behaviors, like smoking, excessive drinking, drug use, and using products with carcinogens, can all help to reduce your risk for cancer as well. Your doctor can provide even further guidance on preventing ovarian cancer.

If you haven’t had your yearly screening yet, now is the perfect time to schedule one. Medicare coverage can be complex, so don’t be afraid to seek assistance in navigating your policy to ensure you’re getting the most out of your coverage.

Jason and his team at Time for 65 are ready to help if you have questions about your healthcare options with Medicare.

What do you know about ovarian cancer? Do you do your yearly screenings regularly? Have you skipped an exam because of Covid-19 isolation? What do you know about Medicare coverage when it comes to ovarian cancer? Please share in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice. Please consult with your doctor to get specific medical advice for your situation.

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Denise Ward

My sister and I are both positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. I had breast cancer and she does not. I had the CA125 blood test and vaginal ultrasound to screen for ovarian cancer. Medicare paid. My sister had them and Medicare denied them because the tests were preventive. I’m scheduled for surgery to remove my ovaries and tubes as a preventive measure and Medicare pre-approved. My sister wants the same surgery but Medicare won’t approve it. I thought Medicare pays for cancer screening tests for people with a gene mutation. Is it right for these tests to be denied?


The Author

Jason Carrasco is the Medicare expert for Time for 65. Jason loves sharing his expertise and knowledge with older adults, loved ones and caregivers who may be new to, or who simply have a difficult time understanding the ins and outs of, Medicare.

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