Hepatitis C is a disease that affects the liver and can be a cause of liver cancer.  It appears that the baby boomer generation is highly susceptible, and the CDC encourages all people in this age group to get tested.  Please see the PDF that I provided for additional information. http://www.cdc.gov/knowmorehepatitis/Media/PDFs/FactSheet-Boomers.pdf

Per the study, it is unknown why baby boomers seems to be the most likely age group, but the article states that, “People born from 1945–1965, sometimes referred to as baby boomers, are 5 times more likely to have hepatitis C than other adults” (CDC, 2016).  The PDF cites a cadre of possible issues that range from blood transfusions to dirty medical equipment as possible reasons. 

The suggestion of getting tested is an excellent method of helping to deal with the illness.  Another article from WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/hepc-guide/digestive-diseases-hepatitis-c#1, discusses symptoms and the need to see a doctor if you exhibit these:

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The CDC recommends you get tested for the disease if you:

  • Received blood from a donor who had the disease.
  • Have ever injected drugs.
  • Had a blood transfusion or an organ transplant before July 1992.
  • Received a blood product used to treat clotting problems before 1987.
  • Were born between 1945 and 1965.
  • Have been on long-term kidney dialysis.
  • Have HIV.
  • Were born to a mother with hepatitis C. (WebMD)

Awareness is the best way to combat this virus.  The Hepatitis C virus can lay dormant in the body for many years without symptoms, so even if you feel healthy, it is good to get tested anyway.   

Medicare covers an initial visit to test for Hepatitis C and annual visits for those deemed “high risk” for the illness. (Medicare.gov)

Your costs in Original Medicare

Medicare will only cover Hepatitis C screening tests if they’re ordered by a primary care doctor or practitioner. You pay nothing for the screening test if the doctor or other qualified health care provider accepts assignment. (Medicare.gov)

Know how your coverage can help you address this matter.  Medicare advantage plans may address this differently, depending on your plan, but remember that they must offer all the benefits of Medicare. Contact your insurance company, read your EOB (Explanation of Benefits) or your SOB (Summary of Benefits) in your application workbook).  If you need additional assistance contact the telephone number on your Medicare card 1(800) Medicare (1-800-663-4227).  Also, you can call John Clark (973) 518-0676 or email at jlc3consulting@gmail.com