Does Medicare Cover Xanax?

Pamela Cannaday by Pamela Cannaday | Licensed since 2011

This article was updated on: 09/12/2018

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If your doctor prescribes Xanax for you, you might have questions about Medicare coverage of this prescription drug.

What is Xanax?

Xanax (generic name: alprazolam) is a prescription medication that your doctor may prescribe to treat anxiety, according to the National Institutes of Health. This medication belongs to a class of prescription drugs known as benzodiazepines.

What is Xanax used for?

Xanax may be used to treat anxiety disorder or panic attacks, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports. Doctors might also prescribe Xanax for depression, premenstrual syndrome, or agoraphobia (fear of open spaces). It may help reduce abnormal excitement in the brain, the NIH explains.

Is Xanax covered under Original Medicare?

If you have no other health-care coverage besides Original Medicare (Part A and Part B), you’ll only be covered for prescription drugs like Xanax in certain limited situations.

  • Medicare Part A may cover medications you get as part of treatment during an inpatient hospital or skilled nursing facility stay.
  • Medicare Part B may cover some medications you get as an outpatient, such as in a doctor’s office. These are generally medications that you can’t give yourself, such as prescription drugs given by infusion or injection. So Part B might not cover Xanax in most situations.

Is Xanax covered under Medicare Part D?

You can usually get prescription drug coverage from a private, Medicare-approved insurance company through Medicare Part D. Benzodiazepines, including Xanax and the Xanax generic equivalent, alprazolam, are a class of medications that  used to be excluded from Medicare Part D coverage. However, starting in January 2013, benzodiazepines may now be covered under Medicare Part D.

Xanax and alprazolam may be covered by a stand-alone Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan (MAPD).

To find out if your plan covers Xanax or other prescription medications, check the plan’s formulary, which is a list of the prescription medications covered by the plan. The formulary may change at any time. You will receive notice from your plan when necessary. You may want to review your coverage annually when your plan sends you the Annual Notice of Change (in the fall).

Keep in mind that costs for prescriptions like Xanax may vary from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another. Medications in the plan’s formulary are usually placed into tiers, with different copayment and coinsurance costs in each tier. You may have lower costs if you take a generic medication instead of a brand-name prescription drug, but it will depend on the plan and the approval of your physician.

If you want help finding Medicare Prescription Drug Plans that may cover Xanax, I’d be glad to help. Then, use the links below to set up a time for us to talk by phone, or I can email you some possible plan options. Our Compare Plans and Find Plans buttons are right on this page, too, if you’d like to begin searching for plans now.

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