Does Medicare Cover Over the Counter Products?
While Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn't cover over-the-counter products, Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans that cover OTC health items may be available in some areas. Learn more and find out how to learn if any plans are available where you live that cover OTC items.
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn't cover over-the-counter products. Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans may cover OTC products, but it’s important to note these benefits are not available with all plans or in all areas.
87% of Medicare Advantage plans covered over-the-counter benefits in 2023, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.1
Medicare Advantage plans with OTC benefits may not be available where you live. It's important to carefully review the benefits covered by plans that are available where you live. If OTC products are covered, some covered services may require additional costs such as copays, coinsurance, deductibles or additional premiums.
When Do Medicare Advantage Plans Pay for Over-the-Counter Products?
Although not a standard part of all Medicare Advantage plans, certain plans may provide coverage for OTC items.
The specifics of what OTC items are covered vary greatly between different Medicare Advantage plans. Some OTC benefits might include products like:
- First aid supplies
- Non-prescription pain relievers
- Incontinence supplies
- Allergy medications
- Cold remedies
It's important to check your individual plan details by contacting your insurance carrier directly.
Remember that even when OTC benefits are included in a Medicare Advantage plan, there could still be copayments or coinsurance fees associated with these purchases depending on the terms and conditions of your specific policy. The plan may also require the use of a plan-specific payment card, such as a flex card.
Are All Plans Offering Over-the-Counter Benefits in 2024?
No, not all Medicare Advantage plans offer over-the-counter benefits. If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan and have questions about your plan's OTC benefits, contact your plan provider. They will have accurate information about what is included under your specific policy.
If you are shopping for Medicare Advantage plans, you can request a free plan comparison or get help comparing plans with a licensed insurance agent who can help you find out if plans that cover over-the-counter benefits are available where you live.
We represent carriers such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare®, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna Healthcare, Wellcare, or Kaiser Permanente.
1 Freed M, et al. (Nov. 10, 2022). Medicare Advantage 2023 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation. www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2023-spotlight-first-look.