Enrollment

List of Drugs Covered by Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B can cover certain drugs administered in health care settings, such as some injectable drugs, cancer drugs and more. See a list of the drugs covered by Medicare Part B, and compare Part B drug coverage do Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Part A and Part B (the two parts of what’s often called Original Medicare) don’t typically cover prescription drugs. However, Medicare Part B can cover select drugs that are administered by a health care professional in a doctor’s office or other outpatient setting.

Medicare Part A offers coverage for certain drugs administered in a hospital, skilled nursing facility or while in hospice.

In this guide, we explain Part B drug coverage, and we offer some alternative ways you may be able to find Medicare prescription drug coverage, either through a standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan that includes prescription drug coverage. The vast majority of Medicare Advantage plans cover prescription drugs

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What drugs does Medicare Part B cover?

Medicare Part B is the medical insurance part of Original Medicare. While Part B doesn’t typically cover the types of prescription drugs you might get at a retail pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens, it can help pay for other drugs that are more difficult to administer.

Below is a list of the types of drugs Medicare Part B covers.

Drugs that pair with durable medical equipment

Medicare Part B covers durable medical equipment (DME), such as wheelchairs and walkers. But DME also includes items that are used to administer drugs, like an infusuion pump or nebulizer. If the item of DME is covered by Part B, the drug that pairs with the item will also be covered provided that the drug used is considered medically necessary. 

Antigens

Part B covers some antigens when prepared by a doctor and administered by a properly trained person (which can include the patient). 

Injectable osteoporosis drugs

Women with bone fractures who meet all other coverage criteria can receive Part B coverage for an injectable drug to treat osteoporosis

Erythropoietin

Medicare Part B pays for this drug is you have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or need the drug to treat anemia related to certain other conditions. 

Blood clotting factors

Part B will cover blood clotting factors given by injection if you have hemophilia. 

Injectable and infused drugs

These may include drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis and more. 

End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) drugs

Medicare Part B pays for some oral ESRD drugs when other ESRD coverage criteria are met. 

Parenteral and enteral nutrition 

Part B offers coverage for intravenous and tube-fed nutrients if you are unable to absorb proper nutrients orally or through your intestinal tract.

Intravenous Immune Globulin (IVIG)

Medicare Part B covers IVIG drugs if you’ve been diagnosed with primary immune deficiency disease.

Vaccinations 

Part B provides coverage of flu, Hepatitis B and pneumococcal shots along with other select vaccines when directly related to the treatment of an injury or illness. 

Organ transplant drugs

Medicare Part will cover the cost of your transplant drug therapy if the transplant itself was covered by Medicare. 

Oral cancer drugs

Part B covers some orally ingested drugs to treat cancer. And as new cancer drugs are developed, Part B may adopt coverage for those as well. 

Oral anti-nausea drugs

Anti-nausea drugs that are used as part of a chemotherapy treatment program are covered by Part B when certain circumstances are met. 

Self-administered drugs in hospital outpatient settings

Part B may cover the cost of some self-administered drugs if needed when receiving hospital outpatient services. 

How much do drugs cost with Medicare Part B?

Drugs covered by Medicare Part B are typically covered the same way other Part B services and items are covered. That means the annual Part B deductible applies ($233 in 2022) followed by a 20% coinsurance of the Medicare-approved amount.

Preventive vaccinations are covered in full by Part B, and the deductible does not apply.  

Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans and Part D plans

Most medically necessary prescription drugs filled at a pharmacy are covered by Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) and Medicare Part D plans. Some Medicare Advantage plans may also cover over-the-counter drugs like headache and cold medicine. 

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies. Call to speak with a licensed insurance agent to learn about Medicare plans available in your area that include prescription drug coverage.

Christian

About the author

Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

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