Does Medicare Cover B12 Shots?

Medicare Benefits Solutions
Dec 10, 2021

People throughout the world take supplements and vitamins to achieve their health goals. Many seniors find that these products work well for providing a range of benefits when you combine them with exercise and a balanced diet.

Vitamin B12 can provide you with support for your brain, increase energy, and help for anemia. Also, some people claim that this vitamin encourages weight control when you combine it with a healthy lifestyle. Most people take this vitamin orally, but getting an injection can help you feel the positive effects faster and for longer times.

TIP: Use our Medicare Plan Finder to find plans that cover vitamins, supplements and other nutritional services. 

Medicare Benefits for Vitamin B12 Shots

Medicare recipients can gain access to the vitamin B12 injections under Part A or Part B in certain instances. If you go to a Medicare-approved doctor and they believe there is a medically necessary reason to give you the injections, Part B could provide coverage for most of the cost. If you were formally admitted to a hospital as an inpatient, on hospice, live in a skilled nursing facility, and your doctor orders these shots as part of your treatment regimen, Part A can help cover part of the cost. 

Additionally, Part D prescription drug coverage includes a range of drugs that get covered under individual plans. However, Part D will exclude certain medical treatments, including supplements, minerals, and vitamins. This means that Part D won’t cover B12 injections or oral supplements for Medicare recipients. Additionally, a lot of over-the-counter medications don’t have coverage through Part D due to regulations. So, this means that any medical therapies that include B12 usually don’t get coverage unless they’re part of your plan’s specific formulary. 

Even though Medicare benefits usually don’t cover B12 injections under the drug plan, you could still be eligible to get these injections and get the cost covered if you use a plan utilization management program. This program usually comes from an entity that lets any Medicare recipients get consideration for various treatments that Part D usually doesn’t cover. Your doctor usually has to submit a plan that proves the injects are medically necessary for your treatment plan and overall health for it to provide coverage. 

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Medicare Advantage Plans

Private insurance companies offer Medicare Advantage plans. These companies contract with Medicare to give you Part A and Part B benefits, and you usually get expanded benefits as well. These extended benefits include prescription drug coverage, including helping to pay for over-the-counter medications and supplements.

However, your coverage will vary from company to company. This is why you want to check with your specific plan to find out whether or not they’ll pay for B12 injections. 

TIP: Discover the 7 top reasons why you might want to switch Medicare Advantage plans.

Consider Dietary Changes

It’s also a good idea to consider dietary changes to help add a boost of whatever vitamins or minerals that you’re deficient in. Your physician will be able to evaluate your needs and give you advice on how to increase your B12 levels naturally.

Some health conditions may require you to have more than dietary changes to improve your levels, but your doctor can get you started on the right path. It’s also a good idea to talk to your doctor about any dietary changes before you start them by yourself, including adding supplements. 

TIP: Learn if you qualify for a monthly grocery allowance with the healthy food card program.

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Vitamin B12 Injection Costs

Depending on your location, you could spend anywhere from $20 to $250 on a single injection. The broad price points are due to the fact that you can choose to self-administer the injections or get them in a clinical setting. There are also different types of B12 injections available, and the prices will fluctuate based on the type you get.

For example, you could pay less for Cyanocobalamin than you would for Methylcobalamin, but this might not be the best shot for your circumstances. Talk to your provider, find out which shot you need, and narrow down your price points before you get it.

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