Does Medicare Cover Chemotherapy?

Medicare typically covers chemotherapy. Medicare Advantage plans also cover chemotherapy, and MA plans can also cover benefits not found in Original Medicare.

Medicare Part A and/or Part B typically cover chemotherapy for beneficiaries who have cancer and receive treatment from a doctor who accepts Medicare assignment.

Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans also cover chemotherapy for qualified beneficiaries. Medicare Advantage plans may also cover other benefits not covered by Original Medicare.

Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not typically cover prescription drugs.

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How much does Medicare pay for cancer treatment?

If your chemotherapy services are covered under Medicare Part B, you typically pay 20 percent coinsurance of the Medicare-approved amount (after you meet your Part B deductible, which is $240 per year in 2024).

If you’re an inpatient and receive chemotherapy while in the hospital, your treatment may be covered by Medicare Part A rather than Part B.

The specific amount you’ll owe for inpatient chemotherapy may depend on type of inpatient facility, how long you stay and whether your doctor accepts assignment.

We recommend asking your health care provider for specific cost information.

Does Medicare cover chemotherapy pills?

Though prescription drugs are not covered by Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B (including some used during the course of cancer treatment), chemotherapy pills may be covered by a Medicare Part D or MA-PD (Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug) plan. 

Some of the prescription drugs that may be covered include:

  • Medications for chemotherapy only available to be taken by mouth
  • Anti-nausea drugs
  • Pain medication and other prescription drugs used in the course of your cancer treatment

By law, every Medicare Advantage plan must provide the same level of coverage as Original Medicare. This means the chemotherapy services that are covered by Original Medicare will also be covered by Medicare Advantage.

Plan benefits and availability can vary based on where you live.

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Or call TTY Users: 711 24/7 to speak with a licensed insurance agent.


About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

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