FB Pixel
A non-government site powered by Health Insurance Associates, LLC., a health insurance agency.
Speak with a licensed insurance agent Mon-Fri, 9AM-7PM ET
(800) 950-0608
TTY 711
Medicare Insurance Comparison

Not sure which Medicare plan works for you? Use our easy tool to shop, compare, and enroll in plans from popular carriers.


Does Medicare Cover Prescription Delivery?

Prescription Medication Delivery: Does Medicare Cover Prescription Delivery?

Just the Essentials…

  • Many Medicare Part D plans offer prescription delivery services through partnered pharmacies.

  • Many online and local pharmacies offer delivery services, though these may come with an additional fee.

  • Only purchase medications through trusted pharmacies.

Can’t Make It to the Pharmacy?

If you have limited mobility, or are just too busy for the drugstore, you might be wondering: ‘does Medicare cover prescription delivery?’ Well, like so many things with Medicare, the answer is a little complicated.

The Dirt on Part D Delivery

First, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover prescription drugs at all, let alone their delivery. For that, you’ll need Medicare Part D. If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you might already have Part D coverage. Otherwise, you’ll need to enroll during a standard enrollment period.

If you have Part D coverage, there’s a good chance that they offer prescription delivery services through an internal pharmacy. It’s a matter of logistics: filling prescriptions internally means they don’t need to share the profit with other pharmacies, An example of this service is Humana’s CenterWell Pharmacy. Other plans might have a partnership with an online pharmacy. For instance, Aetna’s pharmacy services are provided by CVS Caremark.

However, you don’t necessarily need to use your plan’s preferred prescription delivery service. Many online pharmacies accept Medicare Part D plans, and many local pharmacies offer delivery through courier services. However, delivery may cost an additional fee in these cases.

Your Mileage May Vary

Smiling delivery woman handing a delivery package of prescription medications to a senior woman.

Unfortunately, mail order prescriptions have some limitations, particularly for controlled or volatile substances. 

The most obvious one is time. While logistics have improved greatly over the past few decades, the mail is far from perfect. Even if you get overnight delivery, packages can get lost, damaged, or delivered to the wrong address. Not to mention the fact that even the fastest mail order service takes at least a day to fill an order. Healthline recommends having your doctor write two prescriptions: a 90-Day prescription to send to your mail order pharmacy, and a 30-day prescription to keep on hand for emergency refills. 

These services also work best with shelf-stable medications, like pills and ointments that don’t require refrigeration. While some services will deliver refrigerated medications like insulin, others lack the ability to keep medicines at temperature for long distances. The more sensitive the medication, the less likely it is to be eligible for delivery. This also applies to medications that foam when shaken. Certain controlled substances, such as painkillers, may not be eligible for delivery at all.

A lot of the above issues can be avoided by relying on a courier service, rather than mail delivery. While some Medicare Part D plans, particularly those offered through retirement homes and assisted living facilities, may have partnerships with courier companies, many do not. You’ll need to pay the normal delivery fee, along with a tip.

What if I Don’t Have Medicare Part D?

It may sound biased coming from us, but it really is in your best interest to get some form of prescription drug coverage as soon as possible. Still, if you’re not covered at the moment, all hope isn’t lost.

There are a variety of services, like CostPlus Pharmacy and Amazon’s RxPass, that allow you to get medications delivered without insurance, often at prices comparable to (or less than) an insurance copay. However, these services have some big limitations.

First, they usually only cover generic medications. If your prescription isn’t available in a generic form, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for a potential discount, but even then there’s no guarantee of delivery. The number of eligible drugs is also more limited compared to a normal Medicare Part D formulary.

Online Pharmacy Safety

"Keep Out of Reach of Children" Warning on package of Prescription Pills.

No matter what delivery method you prefer, there are certain safety guidelines you must follow when ordering medication online.

  • Only purchase from pharmacies licensed in your state: Many states forbid pharmacies to ship across state lines unless they’re registered in both states. In addition, it’s dangerous to purchase drugs from an unlicensed retailer, as there is no guarantee that you’re receiving your prescribed medication.
  • Do not purchase from pharmacies that do not require a prescription: These are often scams, or may sell adulterated drugs that could fail to treat your condition, or even cause harm to you.
  • Make sure the pharmacy has a licensed pharmacist available to answer questions.
  • Do not take medication that looks significantly different from what you would normally receive: Many drugs are available in different forms (like pills or tablets), but your provider will usually prescribe it in a single, specific form that is outlined on your prescription. Even accounting for normal variation, there are usually similarities in size and composition between manufacturers. A 40mg capsule of medication will not suddenly change in size between refills. 
  • Do not take medication that has arrived in damaged packaging: This could be a sign of tampering.
  • Do not take medication that is not properly labeled: Your medication should come labeled in your preferred language, with your name, dosage, and a prescription number listed on the label. There should also be a clear expiration date. If the label is in a language you did not request, or is missing any of the above information, do not take it.
  • Do not take expired medications: Expired medications can lose effectiveness, and may even be unsafe.

If you’re looking for a Medicare Part D plan that offers delivery, we can help. Our licensed agents can help you sort through your options and find a plan that fits your needs. Call us today at (800) 950-0608, or enter your zip code into our free comparison tool to begin your search.

Get Help