How To Get The Most Out Of Your Medicare OTC Drug Card
(ConservativeInsider.org) – Did you know more than 2.9 billion trips are made annually to retail pharmacy locations for the purpose of purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) medications? It seems like a relatively large number, but it’s true. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who spend a lot of money on OTC medications, you may be able to save money on every visit.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created the Medicare Advantage savings plan, which can help cover the costs of OTC drugs. If you want to save money on drug purchases, read about the Medicare OTC Drug Card, where to get one, and how to use it.
How to Access a Medicare OTC Drug Card
Medicare was initially designed to cover health-related costs for those in need, but it does not cover the cost of OTC drugs. Therefore, people receiving these benefits are still responsible for buying medications over the counter from pharmacies.
Applying for a Medicare Advantage plan helps people buy OTC drugs without worrying about costs. Depending on the plan you choose, you may receive an OTC drug card, among other things, to help pay for your health care.
How Does the OTC Card Work?
As long as your card is active, you can use it to pay for OTC medicines at participating pharmacies. Most plans offer OTC drug cards and charge them with funds every three months. Recipients must use these funds or they will lose them. These funds can pay for cold medicine, medical supplies, and more.
Once the plan expires for a quarter, unused funds on the card will be depleted, and a new balance will be issued. In addition, if you use all the benefits available on the card, you will have to wait until the balance is recharged.
Most providers have a list of where the cards can be used and many have their own online shopping portals. Common participating retail locations include:
- Dollar General
- Family Dollar
Some providers allow their cards to be used with online pharmacies that deliver. These include:
- Health Warehouse
- Planet Drugs Direct
- My OTC Store
- Blink Health
What Can You Purchase With Your Card?
Medicare OTC drug cards can be used to purchase drugs at specialty locations. The plan you sign up for should list everything you can buy with the card. The common ones are:
- Denture-related products
- Digestive medications
- First-aid materials
- Pain relievers
- Antibiotic creams
- Cold medications
- Orthopedic support
- Cough medications
- Wart eliminating products
- Wellness Products
- Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
- Sleep aids
- Flu medication
- Additional Health Products
- This list is just the start of the items you can use your card to buy. For a complete list, talk to your insurance provider.
Activating and Checking Your Card Balance
Cards are invalid until you receive them, so you must activate your card once it comes in the mail. Instructions should be right on the front of the card.
Not all Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare OTC drug cards, so you must check what services are covered in your plan. That said, this is definitely a benefit you won’t want to let go to waste if it is a part of your plan. Call your insurance provider directly if you are unclear about your benefits and additional perks.
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