Understanding Medicare Coverage for Linzess

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Linzess, also known by its generic name Linaclotide, is a prescription medication primarily used to treat adults with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC). It works by increasing fluid secretion in the intestines, thus promoting bowel movements and relieving symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, and infrequent bowel movements.

Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare is a federal health insurance program that offers different parts, each covering specific services. When it comes to prescription medications like Linzess, coverage is provided under Medicare Part D. This part of Medicare offers standalone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or is included within Medicare Advantage plans.

To obtain coverage for Linzess under Part D, it is essential to enroll in a standalone PDP or a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage. These plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. It’s crucial to review the formulary, which is a list of covered drugs, to determine if Linzess is included and at what level of coverage.

Formulary Tiers and Cost Sharing

Prescription drug plans typically categorize medications into different tiers, which determine the cost-sharing structure for each drug. Tier placement is based on factors such as the drug’s effectiveness, safety, and cost. The lower the tier, the lower the out-of-pocket costs for the beneficiary.

Linzess may be placed on different tiers depending on the specific plan. Usually, brand-name medications like Linzess are placed on higher tiers, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs. However, it’s important to note that the actual placement and associated costs can vary between plans. Therefore, it is advisable to compare different Part D plans to find one that offers favorable coverage for Linzess.

Prior Authorization and Quantity Limits

Some Part D plans may require prior authorization or have quantity limits for medications like Linzess. Prior authorization means that the plan needs additional information from the prescribing physician to ensure the medication is medically necessary. Quantity limits restrict the amount of a drug that can be dispensed within a specific time frame. These utilization management tools are put in place to ensure appropriate and cost-effective use of medications.

If a plan requires prior authorization or imposes quantity limits on Linzess, it is important for the prescribing physician to follow the plan’s procedures to obtain approval or make necessary adjustments.

Extra Help for Low-Income Individuals

Low-income individuals who qualify for Medicare’s Extra Help program may receive additional assistance with their prescription drug costs. This program helps eligible beneficiaries pay for premiums, deductibles, and copayments related to their Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you believe you may qualify for Extra Help, it is recommended to contact the Social Security Administration or your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office to learn more and apply.


  • Linzess is a prescription medication used to treat irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) and chronic idiopathic constipation (CIC).
  • Medicare Part D provides coverage for Linzess through standalone prescription drug plans (PDPs) or Medicare Advantage plans with drug coverage.
  • Formulary tiers determine the cost-sharing structure, and Linzess may have different coverage levels depending on the plan.
  • Some plans may require prior authorization or impose quantity limits on Linzess.
  • Low-income individuals may be eligible for Medicare’s Extra Help program, which provides additional assistance with prescription drug costs.

Useful Links:

  1. Medicare.gov – Understanding Medicare Part D Coverage
  2. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
  3. Social Security Administration – Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs

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