Pain management is necessary in a wide range of medical situations, including after an injury, after certain surgeries, or during the course of treating symptoms of an illness. There are many approaches to pain management that utilize the body’s own healing power to alleviate pain, but in some cases, prescription pain medications like hydrocodone are necessary to help diminish pain and allow for a better quality of life.

Medicare Coverage for Hydrocodone
If you have prescription drug coverage under Medicare Part D, hydrocodone is likely covered by your plan. Each plan does, however, have a formulary that lists all covered drugs, so you will want to consult with this list to ensure that your hydrocodone prescription is covered. If it is not covered, you may be able to file for an exemption through your physician.

Hydrocodone may also be used in a hospital setting during recovery after a procedure or to monitor the drug’s effectiveness. When this happens, provision of the medication may be covered by Medicare Part A. This would also apply if hydrocodone were provided to Medicare recipients in a skilled nursing facility. If the drug is administered on an outpatient basis in a clinical setting like a doctor’s office, then Medicare Part B may apply.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you already have all of the coverage provided by Original Medicare benefits, but you may be entitled to additional benefits as they pertain to pain management and overall wellness. To learn more about these benefits, consult your plan’s benefit guidelines or speak directly to your plan manager. It should be noted that some pharmaceutical companies offer assistance in paying for prescription drugs, but in many cases, pain medications are not included in these programs.

The Potential Risks of Pain Medications
Unfortunately, hydrocodone and many other prescription pain medications are not without their risks. For some individuals, these medications can become highly addictive, while others experience serious side effects. An overdose of pain medication can potentially lead to a depressed nervous system, lung failure, heart failure and a host of other life-threatening conditions.

It is vital that you discuss your medications with your primary care physician and learn all about the potential for addiction and side effects before beginning any type of pain medication treatment. No matter who you are, you can find yourself struggling with addiction without ever noticing the signs of habit forming in the first place. Talk to your doctor and make sure you follow the dosage recommendations. It would also be a good idea for Medicare recipients to discuss the safe handling and storage of medications that have a high potential for abuse if living with individuals who are more prone to seek out prescription pain medications for recreational use.

Related articles:

How Does a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Work?(Opens in a new browser tab)

Does Medicare Cover Prescription Painkillers? (Opens in a new browser tab)