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What You Need to Know About Self-Administered Drugs

Defining Self-Administered Drugs

Self-administered drugs are medications that you take yourself, such as medications that you fill at the pharmacy. Medications you receive from a doctor office or facility, such as chemotherapy, would not be considered self-administered.

Receiving Self-Administered Drugs at the Hospital

Whether you have an inpatient or outpatient hospital visit, many hospitals will not allow you to bring in your own medications. In this situation, the hospital pharmacy will provide you with any maintenance medications you may need. You will most likely be billed for the cost of these medications.

Learn more about Inpatient vs Outpatient hospital visits.

Why Doesn’t the Hospital Bill Your Insurance?

Most in-hospital pharmacies are not contracted to bill Medicare drug plans. Since these hospital pharmacies will not submit the claims to your insurance company, they will bill you instead for the cost of your self-administered drugs. Depending on what medications you have to take, this can be expensive!

What You Can Do About It

  • Ask the hospital if you can bring your own medications with you. Discuss their policies with them to help you avoid unexpected bills.
  • Manually submit the claims for the medications to your insurance company to get reimbursed. We can help you with this! But you should keep in mind that when you are reimbursed, you will not be reimbursed the full amount. You will be reimbursed a portion based on your plan’s “allowed amount.”

Let us Know How We Can Help!

Please reach out to us with any questions about self-administered drugs, especially if you have received a suspicious bill. We are available at 877.222.1942 or

If you are not a RetireMed client yet and have questions about these drugs or about Medicare, please contact us at 937.915.3563 or to get started on your Medicare journey.



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