Does Medicare Cover Cordarone?
This article was updated on: 09/10/2018
Cordarone is the brand name for the prescription drug amiodarone, which is used to treat certain types of potentially life-threatening irregular heart rates (ventricular arrhythmias), according to the National Institutes of Health’s Medline Plus website. Medicare Part A may cover Cordarone if it’s used as part of your treatment as a hospital inpatient.
In most cases, Original Medicare, Part A and Part B, has restrictions on its prescription drug coverage and typically doesn’t cover medications you take at home. You might want to learn about prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D.
The Food and Drug Administration advises that treatment with amiodarone begin in a hospital so your doctor can monitor your response to the medication.
When does Medicare cover Cordarone?
The Medicare program has four parts: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (Medical insurance), Part C (the Medicare Advantage program), and Part D, prescription drug coverage.
If you need prescription drug coverage for medications such as Cordarone (amiodarone) that you take at home, you generally have two choices about how to get this coverage (if a plan described below is available in your area):
- A stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan can work alongside your Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) benefits. If you decide on this option, instead of getting your Medicare benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (described below), you may also be able to sign up for a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan to help pay for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. Different Medigap plans pay for different amounts of those costs, such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Medicare Supplement plans sold today don’t cover prescription drugs, and you can’t use them with Medicare Advantage plans.
- A Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan delivers your Original Medicare benefits, except for hospice care, which Part A still covers – as well as prescription drug coverage and possibly other benefits, like routine dental care. So if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan, you’re getting all your Medicare benefits in one plan. You’re still enrolled in the Medicare program, so you’ll still need to keep paying your Medicare Part B premium, besides any premium the Medicare Advantage plan may charge.
The Medicare options described above are offered through private insurance companies approved by Medicare, and each plan has its own formulary, or list of covered medications and the benefits available for each. Formularies may vary among plans, so if you need coverage for Cordarone or amiodarone, you can use the Compare Plans button on this page, which leads to a list of plans in your vicinity along with an option to enter the names of your prescriptions to help you identify plans that cover them.
Please note, however, that plans may change their formularies from time to time, but you will receive notice from your plan when necessary. Keep in mind that you may be responsible for out-of-pocket costs such as a premium, deductible, coinsurance amount, or copayment with your plan – and these amounts vary among plans.
How can I get Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for Cordarone?
Although prescription drug coverage is optional under Medicare, if you want this coverage for Cordarone or other medications, it may be a good idea to sign up as soon as you become eligible for Medicare. If you wait to enroll and don’t have creditable prescription drug coverage through another source such as an employer plan, you may be subject to the late-enrollment penalty described below.
“Creditable” coverage is that which pays at least as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you go for more than 63 days in a row without such coverage after your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period has passed, you could face a Part D late-enrollment penalty when you do decide to get this coverage.
Do you think you might want to sign up for a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan? If your Medicare Initial Enrollment period is over, read about the time periods when you can sign up.
Need help understanding your Medicare coverage options for Cordarone? I’m happy to help. You can request information via email or schedule a phone call at your convenience by clicking one of the links under this article. To see a list of plans in your area, click the Compare Plans button or the Find Plans button. You can also find out more about me by clicking the “View profile” link.