Does Medicare Cover Rifampin?

In this article...
  • Rifampin is an important antibiotic for the treatment of tuberculosis. Find out whether Medicare covers rifampin and the potential costs of this drug.

Often prescribed along with other medications, rifampin is an antibiotic that helps treat tuberculosis (TB). Rifampin may also be prescribed to people who have meningitis bacteria in their bodies in an effort to prevent the spread of the infection to others. 

Medicare provides coverage for rifampin as long as the drug is medically necessary to treat your condition. According to, 100% of Medicare drug plans provide some level of coverage for rifampin. Typically, rifampin will have a $0-$5 copay after the annual prescription drug deductible is met. Beneficiaries who receive Extra Help for prescription drugs may not have an out-of-pocket cost for rifampin at all. 

Basic Drug Information About Rifampin 

Rifampin comes in capsule form to be taken by mouth. It is recommended to take each dose with a full glass of water at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating food. This drug is most commonly prescribed to treat tuberculosis. If you're prescribed this drug to prevent the spread of meningitis, the course of treatment is short — typically 2 to 4 days. Always follow your doctor's instructions and do not take the drug more or less than prescribed. 

Like all drugs, rifampin may cause side effects. It's important to discuss any side effects you experience with your prescriber, as some may be serious. 

Is TB Treatment Covered by Medicare? 

Drugs to treat TB are covered under Medicare Part D when dispensed by a pharmacy. If antibiotics are given as part of TB treatment in a hospital setting, the drugs may be covered under Medicare Part A, also known as hospital insurance. Other services to treat TB, such as tests and physician's fees, are covered by Medicare based on where services are provided. Outside of a hospital setting, these services are usually covered under Medicare Part B outpatient insurance. 

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