Medicare covers medically necessary services for Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that affects millions of people. Do you find yourself living and dealing with A-fib?
Medicare Coverage for Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib)
A-fib is an irregular heartbeat. Heartbeats of those with A-Fib experience a faster, more chaotic heartbeat that doesn’t distribute blood to the body as effectively.
Although, there are several treatment options that your provider may use to help treat your Atrial Fibrillation.
Medicare covers medically necessary services for Atrial Fibrillation. However, some costs can come out of the beneficiaries pocket in the form of coinsurance or copayments.
Let’s dive into possible treatments.
Risk Factors for A-fib
While A-fib can affect anyone, it typically affects elderly patients at a higher rate. However, patients may be at a higher risk if they have a history of heart surgeries, other heart conditions, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, or diabetes.
It’s also entirely possible for a patient to be born with Atrial fibrillation.
Men tend to be more of a target than women do, especially if they smoke or drink. Although, it’s possible to have a slightly higher chance of having A-fib if there is a family history of this condition.
Medicare Covers Atrial Fibrillation (A-fib) Treatment Routes
There are both short-term and long-term treatments for A-fib. These are to help control or even reduce irregular heart rhythms from A-fib.
Most of these treatments have coverage under Medicare benefits and it’s important to understand which part will cover which procedure.
Diagnostic Testing has coverage under Part B covers things like blood tests, electrocardiography, implantable Monitors, chest X-rays, and cardiac ultrasounds.
Mineral Deficiencies have coverage under Part B for Magnesium Deficiency, Potassium Deficiency, and Vitamin D Deficiency.
Medications have coverage under Part D. When using Drug therapies, you should know that providers use two approaches to tackle A-fib. Rate Control drugs and Rhythm Control drugs.
Rate Control Drugs: These may include calcium channel blockers, Beta-blockers, and cardiac glycosides. These drugs slow ventricles and reduce symptoms; however, they don’t control the main risks of A-fib.
Rhythm Control Drugs: These will help to reduce the frequency and length of each arrhythmia episode. Many of these medications will require a hospital stay for several days to monitor you for any adverse reactions.
Does Medicare Cover Cardioversion
This is an inpatient therapy that has coverage under Part A.
There are two different types of cardioversion therapies:
- Chemical Cardioversion: This is a hospital service. You’ll receive a combination of medications through an IV.
- Electrical Cardioversion: With this form of treatment, you’ll receive a low-voltage shock while unconscious to help coordinate your heartbeats.
Ablation has coverage under Part A. This procedure is minimally invasive. It will block the electrical signals that can cause irregular heart rhythms.
Cox-Maze & Mini-Maze Surgeries & Hybrid Surgery/Ablation
Inpatient services have coverage under Part A.
Cox-Maze is an open-heart surgery that is usually performed along with other heart disease treatments. However, the Mini Maze is not open-heart surgery. Small incisions are made in the patient’s chest or diaphragm.
Hybrid Surgery is where a cardiac electrophysiologist performs a surgical procedure inside the heart, while the surgeon works outside.
Ablation of the AV Node and Implanting a Pacemaker
This is an inpatient service with coverage under Part A.
Sometimes viewed as a “last resort” procedure, this eliminates your AV node so that A-fib signals won’t reach the ventricles. Also, this keeps your heart from beating erratically and can vastly improve the quality of your daily life.
However, going this route ensures the use of a permanent pacemaker because it replaces your AV nodes.
Pacemakers & ICDs
Pacemakers and ICDs have coverage under Part A.
A Pacemaker is an implant in your heart that gives pacing support. This is particularly helpful if you tend to have a slower heart rate.
ICDs shock your heart into a normal rhythm. These can be painful and cause many interruptions because you may be shocked throughout the day.
Percutaneous Coronary Intervention has coverage under Part A. This is the insertion of a catheter into the heart, followed by an injection of dye into your coronary arteries.
Choosing a Method of Treatment
With so many different treatment options, you may be asking which one is the best option. This will best be determined between you and your provider.
Many things come into play when deciding on treatment routes for this heart condition. This is considered a progressive condition, it’s best to be seen and treated much sooner, rather than later.
Talk to an Agent About Medicare Options to Cover Atrial Fibrillation
With time, this condition will progress. It’s incredibly important to seek treatment.
While Medicare may help cover treatment services, Medicare Supplement plans are a great resource to help alleviate those excess costs.
Please call us at the number listed above to speak with one of our licensed agents today. It is our goal to help you find the best coverage options. We are here every step of the way. Fill out an online rate form today!