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Medicare & Medicaid Recipients: Learn More About Allowances for Over-the-Counter Supplies

Learn about Medicare Special Needs Plans (SNPs) that may provide a monthly allowance to buy over-the-counter medications such as pain pills and diabetes supplies.

If you have Medicare and Medicaid, you may be able to enroll in a Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) that offers an allowance for certain over-the-counter products.

A woman smiles as she speaks with her doctor about prescriptions

Certain SNPs may provide a monthly allowance that you could use to buy over-the-counter medications and supplies such as:

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  • Allergy, cold and flu medications
  • Antacids
  • Bandaids
  • Denture care supplies
  • Diabetes supplies
  • Pain pills
  • Personal care items
  • Vitamins

The exact amount of the allowance will vary depending on the plan you choose.

Some Medicare plans even allow you to order these products online or over the phone. The products are then shipped directly to your address.

Added benefits

In addition to the over-the-counter benefits, certain Medicare SNP plans may offer additional benefits that can help you stay in control of your health.

All SNPs include Medicare Part A benefits, Medicare Part B benefits and prescription drug coverage.

Many plans offer dental, vision, hearing and wellness programs. In addition, some plans offer other benefits such as gym memberships, meal delivery, transportation services and a personal care coordinator.

Affordable and $0 premium plans may be available, too.

Some plans available where you live may offer an over-the-counter allowance and other benefits. Some plans may not. Keep in mind, this type of SNP plan may not be available in your area.

Local plans

These Medicare plans may vary depending on your location and ZIP code.

You may qualify for a specific SNP if you meet the following 3 requirements:

  1. You have Medicare Part A and Part B.
  2. You live in a service area of a specific SNP plan.
  3. You meet the requirements of a specific SNP plan.

Read additional medicare costs guides to learn more about Medicare costs and how they will affect you.

A licensed insurance agent can help you determine your eligibility and see if an SNP plan is available where you live. They can also help you understand if a particular plan offers a specific benefit, like an over-the-counter allowance.

Compare SNP plans in your area

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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

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