Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, resulting in acute and chronic liver disease. The most common types of viral hepatitis in the United States are Hepatitis B and C. World Hepatitis Day occurs every year on July 28. We must continue to raise awareness of the symptoms of hepatitis and get regular health screenings to avoid it. Fortunately, Medicare offers basic hepatitis coverage to help you stay safe and healthy.

What is Hepatitis? 

Hepatitis is a viral condition that causes inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of the hepatitis virus, including A, B, C, D, and E. Each type spreads differently but through substances that have already been contaminated with the virus. Hepatitis isn’t common in developed countries any more thanks in part to vaccines and effective treatment. Vaccines are currently available for types A, B, and D, with vaccines for Hepatitis E in development.

Types of Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis A is usually contracted from food or water that has been contaminated by infected feces. This is similar to Hepatitis E and is more common in the United States, although it can be easily avoided with proper sanitation and hygiene practices.
  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted through infected bodily fluids and passed down from mother to child.
  • Hepatitis C is transmitted through infected blood, including through blood transfusions or intravenous drug use.
  • Hepatitis D happens as a result of Hepatitis B once the infection worsens. Fortunately, Hepatitis B vaccines also protect against Hepatitis D.
  • Hepatitis E is similar to Hepatitis A and transmits through contaminated food and water. This form is more common outside the United States.

Symptoms of Hepatitis

Symptoms of hepatitis can vary slightly depending on the type. Some cases are asymptomatic, which is why regular screening is important. Common symptoms include fatigue, nausea, yellowing around the eyes, dark urine, and abdominal pain.

What Coverage Does Medicare Offer for Hepatitis? 

Medicare Part B offers standard hepatitis protection for adults over 65. Part B covers a series of three shots that protect against Hepatitis B, which is one of the most common forms of hepatitis. These shots will be done over a six-month period.

There are certain factors that can put you at higher risk for developing Hepatitis C. Some of these risk factors include being born between 1945 and 1965, a history of illegal drug use, or having a blood transfusion before 1992. If any of these factors apply to you, you will qualify for a one-time screening test. Your primary care provider will need to assess your health and order the test.

Medicare Part B also covers yearly wellness checks for all patients. During these wellness checks, your primary care doctor will assess your health and look for symptoms of chronic health conditions.

Bottom Line

Hepatitis is a very serious condition that can cause long-term damage to your liver and is also linked to other health problems. Regular checkups as a part of your Medicare coverage can help you prevent hepatitis and get appropriate treatment as needed.

If you’d like to learn more about your Medicare coverage for hepatitis screenings and testing, feel free to fill out the form or give us a call anytime. Our licensed agents are focused on giving you the information you need, with zero pressure to enroll in a plan.