What Is a Pill Dispenser?
A pill dispenser, also called a medication dispenser or automatic medication dispenser, is a type of device that helps people manage their daily regimens of medications. Particularly for those who have cognitive impairments and complex dosages of medications, a pill dispenser can help prevent errors.
Pill Dispenser Costs
The cost of a pill dispenser can vary greatly, ranging from a low monthly cost to a high one-time purchase price.
For example, the MedaCube pill dispenser costs $1,500. Alternatively, the Hero Medication Dispenser costs a one-time fee of $99, followed by monthly payments of $45.
Medicare Coverage of Pill Dispensers
In the majority of cases, Medicare will not cover the cost of medication dispensers, either for the devices themselves or their subscription costs. Since medication dispensers are used in the home, they are not covered by Medicare Part A (hospital insurance), and since pill dispensers are not considered durable medical equipment (DME), they will not be covered by Medicare Part B (medical insurance).
There are, however, two exceptions to this rule.
Remote Therapeutic Monitoring (RTM) Coverage
RTM refers to the use of medical devices that monitor a person’s health using non-physiological data. RTM can be used to monitor medication adherence, response to physical therapy, or respiratory activity, among others.
While medication dispensers do not necessarily qualify for RTM coverage, some might. Hero, for example, has partnered with Assure Health, an RTM provider that helps patients with chronic conditions. Because of this, Assure Health patients can have their Hero medication dispenser covered by Medicare.
Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans, a private alternative to Original Medicare, may also offer coverage for medication dispensers; however, this coverage will vary by both the insurer and the specific plan.
While Medicare will not always cover medication dispensers, they may be covered if your device falls under a RTM program. Additionally, some Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage.