Does Medicare Cover Botox?

Botox injections get a lot of attention for reducing frown lines, crow’s feet, and wrinkles, but there is more to know about this medication and how it can be used to treat medical conditions. Botox uses various forms of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity or block certain nerves.

Aside from its cosmetic use, Botox injections have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Sever neck spasms (cervical dystonia)
  • Excessive underarm sweating
  • Overactive bladder
  • Crossed eyes

While there are risks and side effects to consider, many doctors prescribe Botox injections to treat these medical conditions, but you may be concerned about the out-of-pocket expenses.

How Medicare Can Help

Although Medicare will not cover the cost of Botox for cosmetic use, it may help pay for Botox injections that are deemed necessary by a physician to treat a medical condition. According to the American Migraine Foundation, “because Botox is FDA approved for chronic migraine, it’s covered by most plans, including Medicare and Medicaid.” It may be prescribed only after other treatments have been tried and have been unsuccessful. Botox injections used to treat chronic migraines can cost hundreds of dollars, so discuss your concerns with your physician before you receive treatment.

If you have Original Medicare and have enrolled in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or have a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD), check with your plan directly to make sure Botox is on your plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs. Costs and coverage may vary.