Health insurance pays for some prescription drugs. It can help in lowering the overall medication cost. But how about your vitamins and supplements? Certain health insurance covers dietary supplements. However, it is rare to find such a plan.
What Health Insurance Covers Dietary Supplements?
Some of us require vitamins and supplements. Several healthcare professionals now are recommending taking certain vitamins and supplements to improve overall health.
Medicare does not cover vitamins and supplements. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.
Health Insurance Covers Dietary Supplements: What Type?
If you have Medicare Part B, you might use this plan to pay for your prescribed vitamins and supplements. But only in some cases:
For instance, if you have dyslipidemia, your doctor may prescribe niacin. This condition causes elevated lipids in the blood. It is often the result of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
Pregnant women may use their health insurance to cover prenatal vitamins.
Furthermore, vitamin D analogs may be covered by your health plan if they are prescribed by your physician. Vitamin D analogs are typically given to prevent or treat conditions, like bone disease or reduced calcium levels.
If you need to boost your electrolytes, you may be given sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Then, if you are taking some drugs to treat your muscle mass loss because of HIV/AIDS, your doctor may recommend some supplements and they may be covered by your health policy.
Generally, your health insurance covers dietary supplements and vitamins if they are prescribed by your doctor. Typically, if they are recommended, they are thought to treat or improve your condition.
Health Insurance Covers Dietary Supplement if Part of Nutrition Therapy?
If you are undergoing nutrition therapy because of kidney disease or diabetes, your health insurance may cover some of the prescribed dietary supplements.
Your health plan may cover nutritional counseling, lifestyle assessment, and follow-up visits.
Your health plan will cover your nutrition therapy cost if your doctor or nurse practitioner orders it and accepts your health plan. If you have Medicare Part B, you will pay nothing for the therapy services.
Health Insurance Prescription Drug Plan Covers Vitamins and Supplements?
Some prescription drug plans under Medicare may cover some vitamins and supplements. But you must check the details of your health plan first.
Keep in mind that each prescription drug plan has its formulation or list of covered drugs. In general, Part D does not include vitamin supplements.
However, if you purchased a prescription drug plan with an enhanced alternative plan, it may include coverage for dietary supplements. Then again, it is ideal that you check this information with your carrier.
Why Most Health Insurance Does Not Cover Dietary Supplements?
Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are in pill, capsule, or liquid forms. They do not necessarily cure your condition. Rather, they only supplement or used in addition to your diet. They are not to be treated as a replacement for food.
Unfortunately, manufactures of dietary supplements cannot say legally that their products can cure or prevent disease. However, they are only allowed to state that these products can improve health and well-being.
Furthermore, the US FDA does not regulate these supplements the way they control prescription medicines. In that case, some of the supplements are available without research on how safe it is to use them or how well it works.
For that reason, health insurance companies do not cover them. However, if they are special dietary supplements that are proven to treat illnesses, then they are treated as healthcare expenses.
The current policy regarding dietary supplements can be unfair. It failed to look into the potential of supplements in improving health, which might lower health care costs.
That’s why there is a need for lawmakers to look into this matter and recognize the importance of dietary supplements in warding off diseases.
As mentioned, the current law would only cover dietary supplements if they are considered medically necessary to manage the autoimmune disorder, diabetes, and other life-threatening condition.
Health Insurance Covers Dietary Supplements if They are Safe?
Unfortunately, not all supplements are safe to use. Some makers of these products would market them to be safe because they are just supplements. They will not harm your body.
But your liver still metabolizes supplements. In that case, they may still cause health risks.
Taking too much of them can still harm your liver and entire body, even if they are said to be natural. Furthermore, some supplements can cause unwanted effects during and after surgery.
And even if they are beneficial, your physician may not recommend them because they are not proven to be effective.
If you wish your health insurance to pay for your dietary supplements, you should talk to your doctor. But you must avoid those supplements that claim to cure your disease.
Always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, then they probably are. Be careful when purchasing products that claim to be totally safe and no unwanted side effects.
And if the manufacturers claim that they are natural, so they are safe, walk away. Just because the product is natural does not mean that it is safe.
And if you really want to use dietary supplements, make sure that you purchase them from a reliable source. Also, you may wish to talk to a naturopath to know about how to boost your health through proper nutrition and without taking dietary supplements.
Currently, only a few health insurance companies offer health insurance that covers dietary supplements. Your health insurance covers dietary supplements if they are deemed necessary for your medical condition.
The dietary supplements that we sell here at Vim Chi are not covered by any health plans. But they are effective and safe to use. However, we still recommend talking to your doctor before taking them.