According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the average American makes 26 trips per year to buy over-the-counter (OTC) products. As you age, this number may increase. This means you may be spending more on these products each year.
Every penny counts and understanding the products, drugs, and the role of Medicare Advantage pre-paid card can help you save in the long run.
What Are Over-the-Counter Medications?
These medications don’t require a doctor’s prescription to be purchased. They can help ease pains such as backaches, help prevent or treat illnesses such as athlete’s foot and allergic reactions, and help manage recurring issues such as migraines.
The most common over the counter medications are fever reducers, anti-inflammatories, allergy pills, and cold medicine.
Does Medicare Cover OTC Drugs?
Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) does not cover over-the-counter products and medications. Some stand-alone Part D plans may cover the costs, but generally, a Medicare Advantage plan is your best option if this type of drug coverage is important to you.
Your Medicare Advantage plan provider should give clear instructions on how to utilize your allowance towards medications and products.
Oftentimes, your insurance carrier will provide a website or downloadable document that lists the eligible products/medications, instructions to purchase, and the details of the benefit. If you have any issues, feel free to contact a licensed agent here.
What Is a Medicare Advantage OTC card?
Certain Medicare Advantage plans offer beneficiaries a unique way to buy over the counter products: a pre-paid card! These cards can be used to purchase most OTC products and medications.
Once you exceed your allowance (average of $50-$100/month for most providers), the card is no longer valid until it is reloaded by your insurance provider. Most plans reload the cards to the set amount on a monthly basis and any previous balance will be lost.
What Can I Buy With My OTC Card?
Eligible products and medications may vary through your plan provider, but common eligible items include:
- Acne aids
- Cough, cold, and flu medications
- Antibiotic creams
- Denture products
- Digestive aids
- Ear care
- First-aid kits
- Orthopedic support
- Pain relievers
- Sleep aids
- Wart removal
Generally, these items are not covered:
- Dietary supplements
- Teeth whitening products
Where Can I Use My Medicare Advantage OTC Card?
Stores and locations that accept your card will vary by provider. However, the following stores are included in most plans:
- Dollar General
- Family Dollar
- Rite Aid
How Do I Get OTC Medicare Coverage?
Are you interested in getting OTC Medicare coverage? Our licensed agents are contracted with most major carriers in your state. There are countless plans that can fit your personal needs and budget all while having the additional benefit of over-the-counter drug coverage.
Already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan? You may unknowingly have this benefit already, and we want to help you use it. Call us today at 833-438-3676 or fill out this form to get started.
This post was originally published on January 17, 2019, by Kelsey Davis and updated on July 15, 2019, by Troy Frink.