The average American makes around 26 trips every year to buy over-the-counter medications, according to a study by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. And as individuals age, this number increases which means you may be spending more money on OTC products than you realize.
When it comes to saving your money, every penny counts. Understanding medical care, OTC products, and medicines and the role of OTC Medicare Advantage Plans can help you save a lot of your money.
What are OTC Products and Medications?
The counter, medicines are products that don’t require a doctor’s prescription for consumers to purchase. They are medicines for common ailments and pains like backaches, colds, small infections, and allergies amongst other ailments.
Does Original Medicare Cover OTC Drugs?
Original Medicare, which covers Part A and Part B, does not cover over-the-counter drugs. You can get an additional Part D plan to cover the costs, but you would have to pay additional premiums on this add-on. OTC Medicare Advantage plans are your best option if you think OTC coverage is important to you.
Your MA plan provider will give your clear instructions on how to get a card and use your allowance on such products. Often, your carrier will point out a website or a catalog that lists out the eligible medications that are covered, instructions to purchase, and other important details.
What Can be Bought With OTC Cards?
Before you decide if you need an OTC Medicare card, find the OTC catalog on your plan. Eligible products vary from plan to plan and provider to provider, but the most common medications covered would include:
- Acne medication
- Cough, cold, and flu relievers
- Antibiotic ointments and creams
- Bandages and first-aid kits
- Products for dentures
- Digestive medication
- Ear products
- Orthopedic products
- Non-prescription pain medication
- Sleeping medication
Where Can MA OTC Cards Be Used?
Most retail stores and pharmacies these days accept OTC cards. Again, the exact stores vary between different providers, but these are the stores that are included in almost all plans:
- Dollar General
- Family Dollar
- Rite Aid
Along with an inventory of all the over-the-counter medicines in the stores, many major pharmacies also have a home delivery service option to have medicines shipped straight to your door. You may also be able to avail coverage for shipping charges under your plan.
Here are the most common online pharmacies that allow you to use OTC cards:
- Blink Health
- Health Warehouse
- Overstock Drugstore
- Planet Drugs Direct
- My OTC Store
How to Save Costs On Prescription Drugs?
While a Medicare Advantage OTC drug card can be a great benefit, you can also cut down on your prescription costs. See if you’re eligible for ‘extra help’, which is a medicare savings program for prescription medication. If your current coverage covers this plan, have a licensed agent help you apply for a free prescription drug savings card. It may not cover all your charges but can certainly help you cut costs!
Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan today and reap all the benefits from your own OTC benefits card! If you have any doubts or need help, contact your coverage provider today!