Does Medicare Cover VSL
Does Medicare Cover VSL #3?
VSL #3 is a probiotic that may help regulate your digestive tract while keeping it healthy. This probiotic may introduce beneficial bacteria back into your system. The bacteria would normally be present, but illness or even a round of antibiotics may result in a decrease.
This probiotic can also be very helpful for people who have chronic digestive conditions like ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, or an ileal pouch. This product comes specially formulated to help manage your chronic digestive issues by helping your meet any nutritional needs you’re not getting through regular food consumption. Many Medicare recipients wonder if their Medicare benefits will extend to this probiotic.
Medicare coverage for VSL #3
VSL #3 falls under the category of prescription medical food. Medicare Part A and Part B benefits may not include coverage for VSL #3. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Plan D, you may find VSL #3 listed under one of their formularies. However, coverage and costs will vary from plan to plan.
If you are already enrolled in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, check your plan’s formulary. You can also give your insurance provider a call and ask if it specifically covers VSL #3. Since this is only available as a brand name medication, it’ll most likely be listed as a higher tier medication, and this can drive the cost up. There currently isn’t a generic form available.
How VSL #3 can help chronic digestive issues
Chronic digestive issues like IBS can cause a host of symptoms like gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and bowel movement changes like diarrhea or constipation. Changes in your body’s natural bacteria levels can cause IBS. The levels of good and bad bacteria get unbalanced, and this can lead to digestive upset and inflammation.
Digestive conditions are more likely to occur if your diet contains a lot of processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, and sugar without a lot of fiber. Taking antibiotics for a long time can also result in chronic digestive issues like IBS. If you have unexplained weight changes, a regular upset stomach, food intolerances, an autoimmune disease, or skin irritations, this can be a clue that you have IBS.
Adding probiotics like VSL #3 to your diet can help balance your gut’s natural microbiome, and it can help keep it balanced. In turn, this can help reduce inflammation, boost your immunity levels, and relieve any other digestive symptoms you’re having. There are eight different bacterium strains in VSL #3. They include streptococcus thermophilus, three strains of bifidobacteria, and four strains of lactobacilli. The manufacturer takes the live bacteria and freeze-dries them into a fine powder. You can get powder or tablet forms.
VSL #3 costs
Medicare recipients who find themselves without prescription drug coverage may end up paying for this probiotic out of their own pocket. You can buy it over the counter, or you can get a prescription from your doctor. If you want to purchase VSL #3, you may pay around $160 for a box containing 20 water-soluble packets. Depending on where you buy the product and where you live, your price can fluctuate.
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