How to Get Over the Counter Medicine With Medicaid

Getting medicine over the counter with Medicaid is a simple process. First, check if your Medicaid plan covers over-the-counter medicine. If your Medicaid plan does cover over-the-counter medicine, you will need to get a prescription from your doctor. You can then take the prescription to a pharmacy and purchase the medicine. You will need to pay a small copay for the medicine, but the Medicaid plan will cover the rest of the cost. Keep all your receipts in a safe place. You may need them if you want to get reimbursed for the cost of the medicine.

Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid

Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families. Eligibility for Medicaid varies from state to state, but in general, you must meet certain income and resource limits to qualify. To find out if you are eligible for Medicaid in your state, you can contact your state Medicaid office or visit the Medicaid website.

In addition to income and resource limits, there are other eligibility requirements for Medicaid. For example, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident. You must also be a resident of the state in which you are applying for Medicaid. In some states, you may also need to meet certain work requirements.

Income Limits for Medicaid

  • The income limits for Medicaid vary from state to state.
  • In general, you must have an income below a certain level to qualify for Medicaid.
  • The income limits are based on the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).
  • The FPL is a measure of poverty that is used to determine eligibility for government programs.
  • For example, in 2023, the FPL for a family of four is $29,425.
  • To qualify for Medicaid, your income must be below a certain percentage of the FPL.
  • The percentage varies from state to state, but it is typically around 138%.

Resource Limits for Medicaid

  • In addition to income limits, there are also resource limits for Medicaid.
  • Resources are things like cash, bank accounts, and stocks.
  • The resource limits vary from state to state.
  • In general, you cannot have more than a certain amount of resources to qualify for Medicaid.

Other Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid

  • In addition to income and resource limits, there are other eligibility requirements for Medicaid.
  • For example, you must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident.
  • You must also be a resident of the state in which you are applying for Medicaid.
  • In some states, you may also need to meet certain work requirements.
Eligibility Requirement
U.S. citizen or legal resident
Resident of the state in which you are applying for Medicaid
Meet certain income and resource limits
Meet certain work requirements (in some states)

Over-the-Counter Medication Covered by Medicaid

Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides coverage for low-income individuals and families. In general, Medicaid does not cover over-the-counter (OTC) medications. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Medicaid may cover OTC medications if they are:

  • Specifically listed as a covered benefit in the state’s Medicaid plan.
  • Prescribed by a doctor.
  • Necessary to treat a condition that is covered by Medicaid.

To find out if a specific OTC medication is covered by Medicaid in your state, you can contact your state Medicaid office or check the state’s Medicaid website.

Medicaid Coverage for OTC Medications

The following table lists some of the OTC medications that may be covered by Medicaid in some states:

AcetaminophenPain relief
IbuprofenPain relief, fever reduction
AspirinPain relief, fever reduction, blood thinning
FamotidineAcid reducer
OmeprazoleAcid reducer
Hydrocortisone creamSkin irritation

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Other OTC medications may be covered by Medicaid in some states.

How to Get Over-the-Counter Medication With Medicaid

If you are eligible for Medicaid and you need an OTC medication that is covered by your state’s Medicaid plan, you can get it in a few different ways:

  • At the pharmacy: You can go to a participating pharmacy and pay for the medication with your Medicaid card. The pharmacy will then bill Medicaid for the cost of the medication.
  • By mail order: You can order OTC medications through a mail-order pharmacy. You will need to provide your Medicaid card information when you place your order.
  • Through a managed care plan: If you are enrolled in a managed care plan, you may be able to get OTC medications through your plan’s pharmacy. You will need to contact your plan for more information.

Note: You may have to pay a copayment for OTC medications that are covered by Medicaid. The amount of the copayment will vary depending on your state’s Medicaid plan and the type of medication you are getting.

Additional Information

For more information about Medicaid coverage for OTC medications, you can contact your state Medicaid office or check the state’s Medicaid website.

You can also find more information on the Medicaid website:

Process for Obtaining Over-the-Counter Medicine with Medicaid

The process for obtaining over-the-counter (OTC) medicine with Medicaid may vary depending on the specific requirements and regulations in your state. However, here is a general outline of steps to follow:

1. Check Your Medicaid Benefits:

To start, confirm whether your Medicaid plan covers OTC medications. This can vary among different Medicaid programs and states.

2. Determine Eligible OTC Items:

Review the list of OTC items that are covered under your Medicaid plan. This information may be found in your plan’s handbook or by contacting your state Medicaid office.

3. Find Participating Pharmacies:

Locate pharmacies in your area that accept Medicaid. You can usually find this information on the Medicaid website or by calling your local Medicaid office.

4. Provide Proof of Eligibility:

When visiting the pharmacy, bring your Medicaid card and other required identification documents to prove your eligibility for Medicaid benefits.

5. Select Eligible OTC Medications:

Choose the OTC medications that are covered under your Medicaid plan and that you need. Be sure to check the dosages and quantities that are covered.

6. Obtain a Prescription (if Required):

In some cases, you may need a prescription from a doctor or other healthcare provider for certain OTC medications. Check with your state Medicaid office or pharmacy for specific requirements.

7. Pay Copayment or Deductible (if Applicable):

Depending on your Medicaid plan, you may have to pay a copayment or deductible for your OTC medications. The amount may vary depending on the medication and your plan’s coverage.

8. Receive Your OTC Medications:

Once you have completed the necessary steps, the pharmacy will dispense the approved OTC medications to you, and you can take them home.

Remember to keep all receipts and documentation related to your OTC purchases, as you may need them for reimbursement or future reference.

Tips for Saving Money on OTC Medications with Medicaid

  • Use Generic Brands: Whenever possible, choose generic brands of OTC medications, which are usually less expensive than brand-name products.
  • Compare Prices: Before purchasing OTC medications, compare prices at different pharmacies to find the best deals.
  • Ask About Discounts: Some pharmacies may offer discounts or promotions for Medicaid recipients. Inquire about these options when making your purchase.
  • Use Online Pharmacies: Some online pharmacies may offer lower prices on OTC medications. However, make sure the pharmacy is reputable and follows all necessary regulations.
  • Consider Using a Medicaid OTC Card: Some states issue OTC cards to Medicaid recipients. These cards can be used to purchase OTC medications at participating pharmacies.
OTC Items Typically Covered by Medicaid:
Pain RelieversIbuprofen, Acetaminophen, Aspirin
Cold and Flu RemediesCough suppressants, Decongestants, Antihistamines
Allergy MedicationsAntihistamines, Decongestants, Nasal sprays
Digestive AidsAntacids, Anti-diarrheals, Laxatives
First Aid SuppliesBandages, Antiseptics, Pain relievers

Please note: This information is intended as a general guide. Specific requirements and coverage may vary depending on your state and Medicaid program. It is always best to contact your state Medicaid office or managed care organization for specific information and guidance.

Possible Challenges and Solutions

Although Medicaid covers OTC medications, several challenges can prevent individuals from accessing them easily. Below are some of these challenges and potential solutions to address them:

1. Limited Coverage:

Medicaid coverage for OTC medications can vary across states and regions. In some states, the OTC coverage is limited to specific conditions or categories of medications, while in others, it is more comprehensive.


  • Expanding Medicaid coverage to include a wider range of OTC medications for various conditions can ensure consistent access to necessary medications across different regions.
  • Establishing uniform coverage guidelines at the federal level can help ensure that all Medicaid beneficiaries have access to a standard set of OTC medications, regardless of their location.

2. Lack of Awareness:

Many Medicaid beneficiaries may not be aware that OTC medications are covered under their insurance plan. Lack of information about the coverage and eligibility criteria can hinder individuals from utilizing this benefit.


  • Conducting targeted outreach and education campaigns can help inform Medicaid beneficiaries about the availability of OTC coverage. Educational materials should be easily accessible and available in multiple languages to reach diverse populations.
  • Incorporating information about OTC coverage into standard Medicaid enrollment and renewal procedures can help raise awareness among beneficiaries and encourage them to utilize this benefit.

3. Difficulty Accessing OTC Medications:

Some Medicaid beneficiaries may have difficulty accessing OTC medications due to transportation issues, limited mobility, or lack of nearby pharmacies that accept Medicaid. This can be particularly challenging for individuals in rural or underserved areas.Solution:

  • Establishing partnerships between Medicaid agencies and community organizations can facilitate the distribution of OTC medications through local clinics, health centers, or community pharmacies. This can increase access points and make OTC medications more readily available to beneficiaries.
  • Exploring alternative delivery methods, such as home delivery or mail-order services, can provide convenient access to OTC medications for beneficiaries who face transportation or mobility challenges.

4. Insufficient Reimbursement Rates:

Pharmacies and other healthcare providers may face challenges in dispensing OTC medications to Medicaid beneficiaries due to low reimbursement rates. This can lead to limited availability of OTC medications at pharmacies that accept Medicaid.


  • Conducting regular reviews and adjustments of reimbursement rates for OTC medications can ensure that providers are adequately compensated for dispensing these medications to Medicaid beneficiaries.
  • Providing incentives or financial assistance to pharmacies that dispense OTC medications to Medicaid beneficiaries can help encourage greater participation and improve access to these medications.

5. Administrative Barriers:

Some OTC medications may require prior authorization or specific documentation before they can be covered under Medicaid. This can lead to delays in obtaining the necessary medications, particularly when beneficiaries need them urgently.


  • Streamlining the prior authorization process and reducing administrative burdens for providers can expedite access to OTC medications. Electronic prior authorization systems can simplify the process and reduce waiting times.
  • Providing clear guidelines and instructions to providers regarding the documentation required for OTC coverage can help prevent delays and ensure that beneficiaries receive the medications they need in a timely manner.
Medicaid OTC Coverage Summary
CaliforniaComprehensive coverage for a wide range of OTC medicationsPrior authorization required for certain medications
TexasLimited coverage for OTC medications, primarily for specific conditionsDocumentation required for coverage of certain medications
New YorkCoverage for OTC medications for chronic conditionsPrior authorization required for high-cost medications
FloridaCoverage for OTC medications for acute conditionsLimited to a specific list of approved medications

Thanks for taking the time to read this article on how to get over-the-counter (OTC) medicine with Medicaid. I know it can be tough to navigate the complexities of insurance and healthcare, but I hope this information has been helpful. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Medicaid provider or pharmacist. And be sure to check back in the future for more tips and insights on how to make the most of your Medicaid benefits. Thanks again for reading, and I wish you the best of health!