Hepatitis C, an infection that affects the liver, is the leading cause of chronic liver disease. Starting June 2014, Medicare covers one time blood tests to detect hepatitis C for people with Medicare who:
- Were born between 1945 and 1965;
- Had a blood transfusion before 1992; or
- Are considered high risk due to current or past history of illegal injectable drug use.
Your primary care doctor or other primary health provider such as a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant must order the test.
It’s important to note that high risk individuals also qualify for yearly screenings following the initial test.
If you have Original Medicare, there is no coinsurance or deductible for the hepatitis C screenings if you use providers who takes assignment. Doctors and other health care providers who take assignment cannot charge you more than the Medicare approved amount.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, your plan cannot charge you deductibles, copays, or coinsurances as long as you see in-network providers. If you see providers that are not in your plan’s network, charges will typically apply.