Does Medicare Cover Ativan?

Tamera Jackson by Tamera Jackson | Licensed since 2007
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This article was updated on: 09/10/2018

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Ativan (generic: lorazepam), according to MedlinePlus (a National Institutes of Health website), is part of a class of drugs called benzodiazepines that may be prescribed to treat anxiety.

Does Medicare Part A or Part B cover Ativan?

If you’re a Medicare beneficiary who takes Ativan or the generic equivalent, lorazepam, keep in mind that prescription drug coverage under Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, is limited. Medicare Part A will typically cover medications you get as part of your treatment during a covered inpatient stay. Medicare Part B generally covers some medications that you receive as an outpatient, such as in a freestanding clinic or doctor’s office – generally prescription drugs you wouldn’t take yourself.

How might I get Medicare coverage for Ativan?

If you want Medicare prescription drug coverage for Ativan or other medications, you can enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan under Medicare Part D. Prior to January 1, 2013, Medicare Part D did not cover benzodiazepines, including Ativan. However, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans may now cover Ativan when it is used to treat anxiety disorders or anxiety due to depression. According to Medline Plus, Ativan (generic: lorazepam) might also be prescribed for other reasons, such as:

  • As an anti-seizure medication (for example, to treat epilepsy symptoms)
  • To treat nausea symptoms from cancer treatment
  • To help settle agitation due to withdrawal from alcohol addiction
  • To treat irritable bowel syndrome

Ativan and lorazepam may be covered through a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan or through a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MAPD). Both types of plan are available through private insurance companies approved by Medicare. You need to continue paying your Medicare Part B premium, and live within the plan’s service area.

How can I make sure a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan covers Ativan?

To find out if a plan covers Ativan, look up the plan’s drug formulary, which is a list of all medications covered by the plan. Keep in mind that Medicare prescription drug plans may make formulary changes every year, either to add or remove prescription medications. You may want to check the plan’s Annual Notice of Change that it sends every fall, to see whether Ativan and the other prescriptions you take are still covered. But please note that a plan’s formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary.

Medicare prescription drug plans can also vary in costs for covered medications. Each plan places drugs in its formulary into separate tiers, with different copayment or coinsurance costs for the drugs on each tier. Higher-tier drugs will have higher costs than drugs on lower tiers. These costs can vary among plans, as do formularies.

If you’re looking for Medicare Part D coverage for Ativan or lorazepam, it may be helpful to take the time to compare all available options in your area to find the lowest costs for the drugs you need. I’m here to help if you have any questions. You can start by using the links next to my photo to set up a phone appointment or have me email you some personalized recommendations. Or, if you’d like to see some options now, use the Compare Plans buttons to begin comparing plans in your zip code.

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