Blood transfusions are important and often life-saving procedures that are used to replenish a patient’s blood supply. January is National Blood Donor Month, and if you’ve never given blood, now is a great time to consider it. Regular blood donation is extremely important, as it allows medical providers to continue offering blood transfusions to those who need them. If you have Medicare and require a blood transfusion, you’ll find that Medicare may cover this important procedure – here’s what you need to know.

What is a Blood Transfusion? 

A blood transfusion is the process of taking donated blood and giving it to someone that needs it. There are a number of reasons why someone might need a blood transfusion. Many people require a single blood transfusion after an injury or after major surgery. Some people will need more regular blood transfusions as a result of a blood disorder. The transfusion is given using an intravenous tube. During a blood transfusion, you’ll rarely receive whole blood – generally, you would receive the parts you need, whether that’s red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, or plasma.

How Can I Donate Blood? 

In order to provide blood transfusions for those in need, hospitals rely on healthy blood donors. To donate blood, you must meet certain health requirements. You will be screened for infections such as hepatitis and HIV before donating blood. You also generally need to weigh at least 110 pounds and cannot be an intravenous drug user.

If you’re interested in donating blood, you’ll need to find a local blood donation center and set up an appointment. Some blood donation centers will also allow you to walk in and give blood. You will talk to the doctors on staff about your eligibility to become a blood donor before getting started with the procedure. You can donate blood more than once, but there is a waiting period between donations.

Does Medicare Cover Blood Transfusions? 

If you have Medicare Part A, you will receive blood transfusions for free as long as the hospital gets the blood from a blood bank, which they do in most cases. If they receive the blood elsewhere, you will need to pay for your first three units of blood. This is also true for Medicare Part B, except you will need to pay a copayment to cover the blood handling. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your blood transfusion may be covered – you’ll need to check the details of your specific plan to learn more.

Blood transfusions can save lives in many different circumstances, and it’s so important to have an insurance plan that will cover them. If you’re interested in learning more about your Medicare options, talk to our licensed insurance agents today. Fill out this form or give us a call to learn more about how we can help.