Save Money at the Register with Medicare OTC Drug Cards

Learn How Medicare OTC Drug Cards Can Save You BIG At The Register

( – According to research by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, over 2.9 billion trips were made to retail locations to purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications. If you are one of the millions of Americans who spend large amounts of money on OTC medications, you may be able to save money on each of your visits.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have created the Medicare Advantage savings plan, which allows for assistance in paying for the costs of OTC drugs. If you want to save money on your medication purchases, read on to learn about the Medicare OTC Drug card, where to get one, and how it works.

How to Access a Medicare OTC Drug Card

Medicare’s primary purpose is designed to cover health-related costs for struggling individuals but does not help with purchasing OTC medications. As such, people receiving these benefits are still responsible for buying nonprescription drugs from pharmacies.

Applying for the Medicare Advantage plan can help people afford to purchase their OTC medications without worrying about being able to afford them. Once approved, you will receive the OTC drug card, among other things, which helps you afford the cost of healthcare.

Activating and Checking Your Card Balance

The cards are inactive until you receive them, so you must activate them before making a purchase. Usually, the issuer will provide information on how to do this, but if not, you can talk to your insurance provider or check online for more. Make sure you have the card number accessible before activation to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Checking the remaining balance on your card is simple. Most OTC drug cards will list a number where you can check your remaining balance. Additionally, you may be able to check your balance online. If you have more questions, contact customer service.

How does the OTC Card Work?

Once your card is active, you can use it to offset the cost of OTC drugs at participating pharmacies. Most plans offer OTC drug cards with a quarterly use it or lose it plan, allowing them to afford cold meds, medical supplies, and more.

Once the plan expires for the quarter, the unused funds on the card will expire, and a new balance will be applied. Additionally, if you use all of the available benefits on the card, you will need to wait for the balance to be reloaded.

Most providers have a set list of locations where they will allow the cards to be used at. Some common locations include:

  • CVS
  • Walmart
  • Dollar General
  • Kroger
  • Publix
  • Target
  • Walgreens
  • Family Dollar

These cards can also be used with some online pharmacies that deliver. These include:

  • Health Warehouse
  • Planet Drugs Direct
  • My OTC Store
  • Blink Health

What Can You Purchase With Your Card

The Medicare OTC drug cards can be used to purchase medications at specific locations. The plan you enroll in should provide a list of all of the eligible items you can purchase with the card. Common items include:

  • Additional Health Products
  • Wellness Products
  • Vitamins
  • Durable Medical Equipment (DME)
  • Pain relievers
  • Antibiotic creams
  • Wart eliminating products
  • Band-Aids
  • Cold medications
  • Medications
  • Sleep aids
  • Flu medication
  • Orthopedic support
  • Cough medications
  • Denture-related products
  • Digestive medications
  • First-aid materials

This list is just the start of the items you can use the card to purchase. For a complete list, speak with your insurance provider.

Not all of the Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare OTC drug cards, so it is vital to check what services your plan includes. If you find yourself spending large amounts of money on OTC medications, and need help affording these purchases, then the Medicare Advantage plan may be the best choice for you. Talk to your insurance provider for more information on eligibility requirements and specific items this plan covers.

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