How do you get discounts for over-the-counter medications if you're on Medicare?


Quick Answer

As of November 2015, there are no discounts for any over-the-counter medications for patients enrolled in Medicare. Non-prescription drugs are prohibited by law from being covered by Medicare, according to Medicareinteractive.org.

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Full Answer

The Medicare Part D Plan, also known as a Prescription Drug Plan, has several exclusions in addition to over-the-counter medications. These include drugs for fertility, cosmetic purposes, colds and erectile dysfunction. Medications that treat weight issues are only approved to help with the physical wasting of diseases, such as AIDS or cancer.

In addition to exclusions on certain types of medication, Medicare also has limits on other aspects of prescription drugs. In some cases, the patient or healthcare provider must contact Medicare's drug plan in order to fill some prescriptions. The prescriber may need to give Medicare proof that a drug is deemed medically necessary before Medicare will cover it, notes Medicare.gov.

Medicare also places limitations on how much of a medication a patient can receive at a time. Patients must use step therapy for prescription drugs, which means that they must take at least one similar drug of a lower cost before the plan covers a more expensive prescribed drug. However, Medicare covers all commercially available vaccines that are necessary to prevent an illness, such as shingles or the flu.

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