Jul 28, 2020

Make sure you’re protected from hepatitis

Hepatitis viruses cause more than 5,000 deaths each year in the U.S., and that number keeps growing.

Fortunately, Medicare coverage can help keep you protected from Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, the most common types of hepatitis in the United States.

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 or a serious long-term illness that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.

Part B covers Hepatitis B shots, which usually are given as 3 shots over a 6-month period. You need all 3 shots for complete protection from Hepatitis B.

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 all the different types of hepatitis.