Will Medicaid Pay for Prescriptions if I Have Medicare

If you have Medicare and Medicaid, you may be eligible to receive help paying for prescription drug costs. Medicaid is a health insurance program for people with low income and who may have disabilities. If you qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to get prescription drugs through your state Medicaid program. Medicare is a health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, or who have certain disabilities. Medicare Part D is a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you have Medicare Part D, you can get prescription drugs through a Medicare-approved drug plan. Your Medicare costs and coverage may change if you also have Medicaid.

Navigating the intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to prescription coverage. This article aims to provide clarity on whether Medicaid will cover prescription costs for individuals who also have Medicare.

Eligibility for Medicaid and Medicare

To determine if you qualify for Medicaid coverage for prescriptions, it’s essential to understand the eligibility criteria for both Medicaid and Medicare:

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program for low-income individuals, families, and certain disabled individuals. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state, but generally include income and asset limits.
  • Medicare: Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people aged 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Medicare has four parts: Part A (hospital insurance), Part B (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage plans), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

Prescription Coverage Under Medicaid

Medicaid provides comprehensive prescription drug coverage to eligible individuals. Coverage includes:

  • Most prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Generic and brand-name medications
  • Medications for a wide range of medical conditions, including chronic diseases
  • Coverage for prescription drugs used in nursing homes and long-term care facilities

Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage

Medicare Part D is a voluntary prescription drug coverage plan offered by private insurance companies. Individuals can choose to enroll in a Part D plan to supplement their Medicare coverage. Part D plans vary in terms of:

  • Formulary (list of covered drugs)
  • Monthly premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Copayments

Coordination between Medicaid and Medicare

For individuals eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, the two programs work together to provide prescription drug coverage. Here’s how coordination typically occurs:

  1. Primary Payer: Medicaid is the primary payer for prescription drug coverage. This means that Medicaid will pay for most of the cost of your prescriptions.
  2. Secondary Payer: Medicare Part D is the secondary payer. If Medicaid does not cover the full cost of your prescription, Medicare Part D may pay for the remaining cost.
  3. Medicare Savings Programs: Individuals with Medicare Part D and limited income and resources may qualify for Medicare Savings Programs. These programs can help pay for Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Additional Considerations

Here are some additional factors to consider regarding Medicaid and Medicare prescription coverage:

  • State Variations: Medicaid eligibility and benefits vary from state to state. Contact your state Medicaid agency for specific information about coverage and eligibility in your area.
  • Generic Drugs: Medicaid and Medicare Part D plans typically encourage the use of generic drugs over brand-name drugs. Generic drugs are often less expensive and just as effective as brand-name drugs.
  • Prior Authorization: Some medications may require prior authorization before they are covered by Medicaid or Medicare Part D. This means that you may need to get approval from your doctor or health plan before the medication is covered.
Summary of Medicaid and Medicare Prescription Coverage
MedicaidMedicare Part D
EligibilityLow-income individuals, families, and certain disabled individualsIndividuals aged 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with ESRD
CoverageComprehensive prescription drug coverage, including most FDA-approved drugsVoluntary prescription drug coverage, with plans varying in formulary, premiums, deductibles, and copayments
CoordinationPrimary payer for prescription drug coverageSecondary payer for prescription drug coverage
Additional ConsiderationsState variations in eligibility and benefits, generic drug encouragement, and prior authorization requirementsPlan variations in formulary, premiums, deductibles, and copayments, generic drug encouragement, and prior authorization requirements

Does Medicare Pay for Prescriptions If I Also Have Medicaid?

If you have Medicare and Medicaid, you may be wondering if Medicare will pay for your prescription drugs. The answer depends on a number of factors, including your income, assets, and the type of Medicare and Medicaid coverage you have.

Eligibility Criteria for Prescription Coverage

  • Income and Assets: To qualify for Medicare prescription drug coverage, you must meet certain income and asset limits. In 2023, the income limit is $19,140 for individuals and $25,860 for couples. The asset limit is $15,510 for individuals and $31,000 for couples.
  • Medicare Coverage: You must have Medicare Part A and Part B, or you must be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage. If you have Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you must also enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) to get coverage for your medications.

    Medicaid Coverage: You must be enrolled in a Medicaid program that provides prescription drug coverage. In most states, Medicaid provides prescription drug coverage to people who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or who have low incomes and meet certain other criteria.

If you meet all of these criteria, you may be eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage. However, there are some additional things you need to know about how Medicare and Medicaid work together to cover prescription drugs.

  • Medicare Part D and Medicaid: If you have Medicare Part D and Medicaid, your Medicaid program may pay for your Part D premiums, copayments, and deductibles. In some cases, Medicaid may also pay for prescription drugs that are not covered by your Part D plan.
  • Dual-Eligible Beneficiaries: If you are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, you are known as a “dual-eligible beneficiary.” Dual-eligible beneficiaries have a number of options for getting prescription drug coverage, including enrolling in a Medicare Part D plan, getting prescription drug coverage through their Medicaid program, or using a combination of Medicare and Medicaid to cover their prescription drug costs.

The best way to find out if you are eligible for Medicare prescription drug coverage is to contact your local Medicaid office or the Social Security Administration.

Medicare Part D and Medicaid: Coverage and Costs
Medicare Part DMedicaid
Who is eligible?People with Medicare Part A and Part BPeople who are eligible for SSI or who have low incomes and meet certain other criteria
What does it cost?Monthly premiums, copayments, and deductiblesPremiums, copayments, and deductibles may vary
What drugs are covered?A wide range of prescription drugsA wide range of prescription drugs
How do I get coverage?Enroll in a Medicare Part D planContact your local Medicaid office or the Social Security Administration

Medicaid and Medicare Prescription Coverage: An Overview

Understanding how Medicaid and Medicare work together to cover prescription costs can be complex. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the interplay between these two programs:

Medicare Prescription Coverage

  • Part A Hospitalization: Typically doesn’t cover prescription drugs.
  • Part B Outpatient Coverage: May cover certain medications administered by a doctor during an outpatient visit.
  • Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP): Optional coverage for prescription drugs. Available to those enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B).

Medicaid Prescription Coverage

  • State-Administered Program: Coverage varies by state.
  • Eligibility: Generally available to low-income individuals and families.
  • Prescription Coverage: Typically covers a wide range of prescription drugs.

Coordination of Benefits

  • Dual Eligibility: If you’re eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, Medicaid becomes your primary payer for most healthcare services, including prescription drugs.
  • Medicare as Secondary Payer: Medicare will cover any remaining costs after Medicaid has paid its share.

Table: Prescription Coverage Under Different Scenarios

ScenarioPrimary PayerSecondary Payer
Medicare Part A or B OnlyMedicareN/A
Medicare Part D OnlyMedicare Part DN/A
Medicare and MedicaidMedicaidMedicare


The interplay between Medicaid and Medicare in prescription coverage can be complex. Depending on your eligibility and enrollment status, one program may act as the primary payer while the other serves as a secondary payer. Understanding how these programs work together can help you better manage your prescription drug costs.

Medicare and Medicaid Prescription Coverage

Medicare and Medicaid are two government health insurance programs that provide coverage for prescription drugs. Medicare is available to people aged 65 and older, as well as people with certain disabilities. Medicaid is available to low-income individuals and families. If you have both Medicare and Medicaid, you may be eligible for prescription drug coverage through either program.

Maximizing Prescription Coverage Benefits

There are a few things you can do to maximize your prescription coverage benefits:

  • Understand your Medicare and Medicaid coverage. Each program has different rules and regulations regarding prescription drug coverage. Be sure to understand what is covered and what is not under each program.
  • Compare prescription drug plans. Medicare offers a variety of prescription drug plans, each with its own costs, benefits, and restrictions. Compare plans to find one that meets your needs and budget.
  • Use generic drugs. Generic drugs are just as effective as brand-name drugs, but they cost less. Ask your doctor if a generic version of your prescription is available.
  • Get your prescriptions filled at a participating pharmacy. Medicare and Medicaid have a network of participating pharmacies that offer discounted prices on prescription drugs.
  • Use a Medicare Savings Account (MSA). An MSA is a special savings account that can be used to pay for medical expenses, including prescription drugs. Contributions to an MSA are tax-deductible.

Note: If you have Medicare and Medicaid, you may be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program (MSP). MSPs help pay for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments. To learn more about MSPs, visit the Medicare website.

Table: Medicare and Medicaid Prescription Drug Coverage

ProgramWho is eligible?What is covered?How do I apply?
Medicare Part DPeople with MedicarePrescription drugsContact your local Medicare office
MedicaidLow-income individuals and familiesPrescription drugsContact your local Medicaid office
Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)People with Medicare and limited income and resourcesMedicare premiums, deductibles, and copaymentsContact your local Medicare office

Well, there you have it, folks! I hope this little chat shed some light on the tricky relationship between Medicare and Medicaid when it comes to covering prescriptions. Remember, if you ever find yourself lost in this Medicare-Medicaid maze, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Social Security office or give Medicare a call. They’re there to help you navigate these waters. And hey, while you’re at it, feel free to drop by again soon for more insightful reads. Until then, stay healthy, keep those prescriptions filled, and we’ll catch up again real soon. Cheers!