Does Medicare Pay for Over-the-Counter (OTC) Products?

Medicare Advantage plans can over-the-counter coverage that pays for health items, though these benefits can be limited and may not be available where you live. Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans, the benefits plans can offer and how to find out if Medicare Advantage plans with over-the-counter benefits are available where you live.

While Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) doesn’t typically cover over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or products, Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans can offer benefits Original Medicare doesn’t cover. Medicare Advantage plan availability and benefits vary depending on where you live, however, so it's important to compare plan benefits online or with the help of a licensed insurance agent. You can find out if any plans in your area cover OTC drugs and health products, how much they cost and more.

Keep in mind, however, that these benefits may not be available where you live and, in some cases, can be limited to beneficiaries who also have Medicaid or who have a qualifying chronic health condition.

85 percent of 2024 Medicare Advantage plans include over-the-counter benefits, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.1

Compare plans today.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent


Do Medicare Advantage plans pay for OTC drugs?

The benefits offered by Medicare Advantage plans can vary greatly from one location to the next, as can their costs. Medicare Advantage plans that pay for over-the-counter products such as cold medicine or vitamins may not be available where you live.

Be sure to compare plan options from your local area to find out if these types of plans are available and explore any usage restrictions or other details related to the plan benefits.

Which drugs are not covered by Medicare?

Medicare Part A and Part B typically do not cover over-the-counter drugs or products such as:

Some durable medical equipment (DME) may be covered by Medicare if your doctor certifies they are medically necessary and prescribes them for you. Speak with your health care provider for Medicare coverage information.

Explore Medicare Advantage plans where you live

A licensed insurance agent can help you compare Medicare Advantage plans that are available where you live. Plans that cover over-the-counter products may not be available where you live, so be sure to carefully compare plans.

We represent carriers such as Humana, UnitedHealthcare®, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Aetna, Cigna Healthcare, Wellcare, or Kaiser Permanente.

Compare plans today.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent



About the author

Christian Worstell is a senior Medicare and health insurance writer with He is also a licensed health insurance agent. Christian is well-known in the insurance industry for the thousands of educational articles he’s written, helping Americans better understand their health insurance and Medicare coverage.

Christian’s work as a Medicare expert has appeared in several top-tier and trade news outlets including Forbes, MarketWatch, WebMD and Yahoo! Finance.

Christian has written hundreds of articles for that teach Medicare beneficiaries the best practices for navigating Medicare. His articles are read by thousands of older Americans each month. By better understanding their health care coverage, readers may hopefully learn how to limit their out-of-pocket Medicare spending and access quality medical care.

Christian’s passion for his role stems from his desire to make a difference in the senior community. He strongly believes that the more beneficiaries know about their Medicare coverage, the better their overall health and wellness is as a result.

A current resident of Raleigh, Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

If you’re a member of the media looking to connect with Christian, please don’t hesitate to email our public relations team at

MarketWatch logo

Yahoo Finance logo 


WebMD Logo

South Florida Sun Sentinel Logo Logo

Deseret News Logo

Healthcare Finance Logo

1 Freed M, et al. (Nov. 10, 2022). Medicare Advantage 2023 Spotlight: First Look. Kaiser Family Foundation.