Did you know there are 5 different types of viral hepatitis? These viruses cause more than one million deaths each year, and that number keeps growing.
Fortunately, Medicare can help keep you protected from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States.
Hepatitis is contagious. The Hepatitis B and C viruses spread through contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected person. These viruses can cause either a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute) or a serious long-term illness (chronic) that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.
Part B covers Hepatitis B shots, which usually are given as a series of 3 shots over a 6-month period. You need all 3 shots for complete protection.
Medicare also covers a one-time Hepatitis C screening test if your primary care doctor or practitioner orders it and you meet one of these conditions:
- You’re at high risk because you use or have used illicit injection drugs
- You had a blood transfusion before 1992
- You were born between 1945 and 1965
If you’re at high risk, Medicare covers yearly screenings.
July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. Learn more about steps you can take to protect yourself from hepatitis.