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Does Medicare Cover Armour Thyroid?

Wondering does Medicare cover the bill for your Armour Thyroid medication? You’re not alone. A lot of folks need this drug to keep their thyroid in check. 

does Medicare cover armour thyroid? Pharmacist explaining armour thyroid to patient
Pharmacist and patient discussing Medicare coverage for Armour Thyroid

The quick answer is: no, Medicare usually doesn’t cover Armour Thyroid. But don’t lose hope! There are special cases where you might get some help with the cost. 

Keep reading to find out:

  • Why Original Medicare often gives Armour Thyroid the cold shoulder
  • How Medicare’s other parts, like Part C and Part D, could help lighten your financial load
  • Other options for saving money on Armour Thyroid when Medicare just isn’t cutting it

Does Medicare Cover Armour Thyroid?

The short answer is no. In most cases, Original Medicare will not cover the cost of Armour Thyroid. 

That said, there may be some situations where you can get these costs covered. Below we’ll take a closer look at this to see when you might be able to get Medicare to pay for your Armour Thyroid. 

Original Medicare

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) does not provide coverage for Armour Thyroid. This is because Original Medicare mainly covers medically necessary services, equipment, and treatments rather than prescription drugs. 

Prescription drug coverage may be provided by either Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part D.  

Part C Coverage for Armour Thyroid

man sitting in a chair reading about Medicare coverage for Armour Thyroid
Man reading about Medicare coverage of Armour Thyroid

Some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C) provide coverage for Armour Thyroid. Medicare Advantage plans have to cover the same things that Original Medicare covers but will offer additional benefits as well. 

Medicare Part C plans that include prescription drug plans can provide coverage for medications, such as Armour Thyroid, that your healthcare provider prescribes.

Does Medicare Part D Cover Armour Thyroid?

Most Medicare Part D plans do not provide coverage for Armour Thyroid. Part D is a prescription drug plan, and just like Part C, Part D plans are provided by private insurance companies.

However, there are some Part D plans that will provide coverage for Armour Thyroid.

If a Medicare Part C or Part D plan provides coverage for Armour Thyroid, it will be considered either as Tier 3 or 4 medication. Most of the time, Tier 3 and 4 medications are preferred branded medications. 

Tier 3 medications are more expensive than Tier 1 and 2 medications. Tier 4 medications are more expensive than Tier 1, 2, and 3 medications.

Medicare Part D also provides coverage for other prescription medications for thyroid conditions. Though for others, such as NP Thyroid, Part C and D generally will not cover the prescription.

Alternative Coverage Options for Armour Thyroid

If you are taking Armour Thyroid for conditions like hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease, or thyroid cancer and Medicare doesn’t cover it, here’s what you need to know in simple terms:

  1. Coupons and Discounts: Even if Medicare doesn’t pay for Armour Thyroid, you can sometimes use coupons or discounts from the manufacturer or pharmacy to make it cheaper​.
  2. Formulary Exception: If Medicare Part D doesn’t cover Armour Thyroid, you can ask your plan for a “Formulary Exception.” This is like a special request to see if they can cover it for you.
  3. Alternative Medications: Sometimes, doctors might suggest a different medication that does similar things as Armour Thyroid. One common alternative is Levothyroxine, which is usually covered by Medicare and might be cheaper​.

In short, even if Medicare doesn’t cover Armour Thyroid, you have options like looking for discounts, asking for a special exception, or considering other medications. Always talk to your doctor about what’s best for you!

How Much Does Armour Thyroid Cost?

If you’re planning to pay for Armour Thyroid out-of-pocket, you can expect to spend around $100 for a 30-tablet supply. 

Keep in mind that the actual price may vary depending on the pharmacy you choose.

What is Armour Thyroid?

Armour Thyroid is a medication sourced from dried pig thyroid glands. It contains two essential thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, which are important for regulating functions like metabolism and heart rate.

How Does Armour Thyroid Differ from Other Thyroid Medications?

Unlike many other thyroid medications like Synthroid and Levothyroxine, which only contain the hormone T4, Armour Thyroid includes both T3 and T4 hormones. 

While the body typically converts T4 into T3, this process doesn’t always work efficiently for everyone. Because Armour Thyroid contains both crucial hormones, it could offer quicker relief from symptoms for certain individuals.

Typical Uses and Benefits of Armour Thyroid

Armour Thyroid is often prescribed to treat hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. It’s also used for managing goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland. The medication is known for its potential for quick symptom relief and its natural formulation.

Armour Thyroid vs. NP Thyroid

Armour Thyroid and NP Thyroid are both medications used for treating hypothyroidism, which is when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone. Each medication is made from dried pig thyroid glands but they have different formulations.

Armour Thyroid contains a specific ratio of two thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, designed to mimic the human thyroid. NP Thyroid also includes T3 and T4, but in a different ratio, with a higher amount of T3.

Both medications are generally effective for treating hypothyroidism. Some evidence suggests that NP Thyroid might be more effective for individuals with severe forms of the condition. 

They share similar side effects, such as heart palpitations, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, weight loss, and hair loss. The cost of these medications can vary based on dosage and pharmacy, but Armour Thyroid is typically more expensive than NP Thyroid.

Patient preferences vary; some find Armour Thyroid more effective, while others prefer the lower cost of NP Thyroid. Consulting your doctor is the best way to determine which medication is most appropriate for you.

Tips for Discussing Thyroid Medication with Your Doctor

Doctor discussing Armour Thyroid with patient
Doctor and patient discussing Armour Thyroid

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Thyroid Medication

Get ready to explain your symptoms and how they’re affecting you. List all the medicines you’re currently taking, even non-prescription ones and supplements. Ask your doctor about the various thyroid medications and their possible side effects. 

Clearly state what you hope to achieve with the treatment, like feeling better or boosting fertility. Make sure to ask questions and speak up for yourself during the appointment.

Questions to Consider for Armour Thyroid

  • Is Armour Thyroid suitable for me?
  • What side effects could Armour Thyroid have?
  • How often will I need blood tests?
  • What should I do if I experience side effects?
  • Can Armour Thyroid be taken with other medicines?
  • Should I switch from my current thyroid medication to Armour Thyroid? What are the pros and cons?

About Side Effects and Monitoring

Armour Thyroid is made from animal thyroid glands and may be suitable for those who haven’t had success with other thyroid medications. However, it can have side effects like anxiety, heart issues, and trouble sleeping. 

Your doctor will probably want to do regular blood tests to make sure you’re on the right dose, as Armour Thyroid can affect other hormone levels in your blood.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Switching to Armour Thyroid

Switching to Armour Thyroid has its advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, some people find it more effective or experience fewer side effects than with other thyroid medicines.

However, Armour Thyroid can be pricier, require more blood tests, and also have its own set of side effects like anxiety and heart issues. Discuss these factors with your doctor to make an informed decision.

Switching to Armour Thyroid from another thyroid medication has both advantages and disadvantages.


  • Armour Thyroid is natural, which some people prefer.
  • It may work better for some individuals compared to other medications.
  • It may have fewer side effects than other options.


  • Armour Thyroid can cost more than other medications.
  • It may need more regular blood tests.
  • Some possible side effects include anxiety, heart palpitations, and trouble sleeping.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism means your thyroid gland isn’t working as well as it should and isn’t making enough hormones. This can make you feel tired, cause your hands to tingle, make you gain weight, make it hard to go to the bathroom, make you feel down, and make you feel really cold.

Summing It Up

To sum it all up, figuring out if Medicare will pay for your Armour Thyroid can be a bit tricky. While Original Medicare usually won’t cover it, you might find some help with Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicare Part D plans. But remember, not all plans are the same, so you’ll have to do a little homework.

If you’re hitting a wall with Medicare, don’t worry! There are still ways to save some cash. Look out for discounts, ask about a “Formulary Exception,” or chat with your doctor about other meds that might be easier on your wallet.

Lastly, keep in mind that Armour Thyroid is a special medication made from pig thyroid glands, containing both T3 and T4 hormones. It can be a game-changer for some folks, especially if other meds haven’t worked out. But like anything else, it’s got its pros and cons, and it’s super important to talk everything over with your doctor.

So, there you have it! With a bit of research and some good talks with your healthcare provider, you’ll be on your way to managing your thyroid health in the best way possible, with or without Medicare’s help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t some doctors prescribe Armour Thyroid?

Armour Thyroid is used to treat low levels of thyroid hormone, but it isn’t the standard choice for treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved it due to insufficient evidence regarding its safety and effectiveness. Some medical professionals express concern about potential variations in quality between batches.

How much does Armour Thyroid cost at Walmart? 

Armour Thyroid is a medication used for thyroid issues. It comes from pig thyroid glands and helps regulate your body’s functions. Walmart sells it for around $100. This medicine can treat conditions like hypothyroidism and goiter, where your thyroid gland isn’t working as it should.

Does Armour Thyroid have a generic version?

There’s some confusion about whether Armour Thyroid has a generic version. The truth is, there’s no generic form of Armour Thyroid. As for the cost, it can vary, but it’s usually more expensive than generic thyroid medications.

How come Armour Thyroid isn’t recommended for those over 65?

Health authorities say that dried thyroid medicines are risky for people over 65. Because of this, Medicare doesn’t pay for these drugs. The concern is that they can cause unusual and risky heartbeats in older folks who might already have heart issues.

Are there any good alternatives to Armour Thyroid?

Health authorities say that dried thyroid medicines are risky for people over 65. Because of this, Medicare doesn’t pay for these drugs. The concern is that they can cause unusual and risky heartbeats in older folks who might already have heart issues.

Note: Medicare coverage changes all the time. And your specific coverage may vary from plan to plan for Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Always be sure to double check with your health care provider and/or Medicare insurance provider about what your plan covers and what it does not.

Additional Info on Medicare Coverage

Also, you can check out other articles in this series including does Medicare cover MinuteClinic visits and Medicare coverage for ice machines.

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