Is Skyrizi Covered by Medicare Part B?

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Russell Noga
by Russell Noga | Updated January 20th, 2024

Individuals with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis often turn to Skyrizi for treatment. If you’re wondering ‘Is Skyrizi covered by Medicare Part B,’ the article provides a direct answer. Medicare Part B’s coverage of Skyrizi depends on the administration setting and accompanying services. Learn about these important coverage details without the fluff in the sections that follow.

Key Takeaways


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Decoding Medicare Part B Coverage for Skyrizi

Decoding Medicare Part B Coverage for Skyrizi
Medicare Part B significantly contributes to the coverage of Skyrizi treatment. This includes not only the medication cost but also the associated doctor’s visits and necessary lab tests. Ensuring optimal treatment outcomes for patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis demands a comprehensive understanding of Medicare Part B’s coverage for Skyrizi.

A deeper understanding of Medicare Part B coverage necessitates an exploration of eligibility criteria, outpatient services coverage, and the process of securing prior authorization. Let’s start by examining who can avail of Skyrizi coverage under Medicare Part B.


Eligibility Criteria for Skyrizi Under Part B

Obtaining coverage for Skyrizi under Medicare Part B requires meeting certain eligibility criteria. For starters, individuals must be diagnosed with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis and be 18 years of age or older. A diagnosis of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis includes the presence of localized redness and scaling, poorly defined scaly or fissured areas, and large plaques that are often pruritic.

However, being diagnosed with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis is only the first step towards securing coverage for Skyrizi under Medicare Part B. Before Skyrizi can be prescribed, other treatments for plaque psoriasis must have been attempted and proven ineffective. Therefore, patients must familiarize themselves with these eligibility criteria to guarantee they can avail Skyrizi coverage under Medicare Part B:

  1. Diagnosis of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis
  2. Previous unsuccessful treatment attempts with other therapies
  3. Documentation of treatment failure or intolerance to other therapies
  4. Compliance with Medicare Part B guidelines and requirements

By meeting these criteria, patients can ensure that they meet eligibility criteria for Skyrizi coverage under Medicare Part B.


Understanding Outpatient Services Coverage

Medicare Part B, one of the government-funded insurance programs, offers Medicare coverage for not only medication expenses but also administration costs and any essential medical tests or procedures associated with the use of Skyrizi. This program, which Medicare covers, includes a restricted range of outpatient prescription drugs under specific conditions.

This coverage extends to home health nurses or aides who administer injections of Skyrizi if the patient’s family or caregivers are unable or unwilling to perform the injection. Hence, gaining knowledge about the scope of outpatient services coverage is pivotal for patients aiming to avail Skyrizi under Medicare Part B.


Navigating Prior Authorization for Skyrizi

The process of securing prior authorization for Skyrizi coverage, while necessary, can be complex. It typically involves completing a Prior Authorization form and potentially engaging with the prescriber to communicate with the insurance plan. This process is crucial for commercially insured patients and those under Medicare.

The timeframe for receiving prior authorization is usually between 5 and 10 business days. However, it’s not always smooth sailing. Prior authorization for Skyrizi can be denied due to procedural errors, such as the absence of authorization codes or incomplete documentation, or inadequate information regarding the medication or treatment. This highlights the necessity of meticulous documentation and prompt submission of paperwork for obtaining prior authorization for Skyrizi coverage.

The Intersection of Medicare Part D and Skyrizi

The Intersection of Medicare Part D and Skyrizi

While Medicare Part B provides essential coverage for Skyrizi, Medicare Part D plays a significant part in ensuring patients’ access to this treatment. Skyrizi is included in the coverage of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans, which cover prescription drugs. A better comprehension of the interplay between Medicare Part D and Skyrizi can assist patients in maneuvering the intricacies of this medication’s insurance coverage.

However, the coverage of Skyrizi under Medicare Part D can vary widely, affecting prescription drug plan options, copayments, and coinsurance, among other factors. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects and see how they intersect with Skyrizi.


Prescription Drug Plan Options for Skyrizi

Skyrizi’s coverage under Medicare Part D is largely determined by the specific prescription drug plan. Generally, Skyrizi is categorized under Tier 5 of Medicare prescription drug plans, which covers injectable drugs like Skyrizi. However, the exact coverage can vary across different plans. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Skyrizi is covered by 99% of Medicare prescription drug plans.
  • Skyrizi may require prior authorization or step therapy.
  • The cost-sharing amount (such as copay or coinsurance) may vary.
  • It is important to review the formulary of your specific plan to determine coverage details.

The placement of Skyrizi on Tier 5 could lead to higher medication costs compared to certain private insurance plans. Hence, it’s paramount for patients to comprehend the range of prescription drug plan options and their effect on Skyrizi’s out-of-pocket expenses.


Copayments and Coinsurance: Managing Out-of-Pocket Costs

As part of the prescription drug plan options under Medicare Part D, patients need to consider the impact of copayments and coinsurance on their out-of-pocket costs for Skyrizi. The average copayment for Skyrizi is influenced by its placement on the tier of the formulary, and Skyrizi’s listing on Tier 5 could result in a higher copayment being required.

In addition to copayments, the coinsurance for Skyrizi is determined by the specific prescription drug plan. While approximately 99% of these plans provide coverage for Skyrizi, the exact coinsurance percentage may vary depending on the details of the plan. Apprehending these factors is instrumental in controlling out-of-pocket expenses for Skyrizi under Medicare Part D.


Seeking Additional Coverage and Assistance Programs

While Medicare Part D offers essential coverage for Skyrizi, patients may need additional coverage or assistance to manage the costs associated with this treatment. Assistance programs such as Skyrizi Complete and myAbbVie Assist offer support with insurance coverage and can provide Skyrizi at no charge to qualified patients.

To apply for these assistance programs, patients can submit an online application or contact the designated program phone number. They will be required to provide documentation such as tax records and proof of residence.

Additionally, supplemental insurance, such as Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap), can assist in covering specific healthcare expenses linked to Skyrizi that are not included in the original Medicare plan.



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Financial Support and Savings Strategies for Skyrizi Patients

Financial Support and Savings Strategies for Skyrizi Patients

Managing the costs associated with Skyrizi treatment can be challenging. However, various financial support and savings strategies can offer significant relief. From patient assistance programs to savings card programs, patients have several avenues to explore to manage their Skyrizi treatment costs.

In addition to these programs, other considerations can play a role in managing the costs of Skyrizi treatment. These include Veterans Affairs programs, Medicaid considerations, and leveraging commercial insurance coverage. We will scrutinize these strategies with more granularity.


Patient Assistance Programs for Cost Relief

Patient assistance programs offer significant cost relief for Skyrizi patients. Companies like AbbVie provide such programs for Skyrizi through their Skyrizi Complete program. These programs are designed to offer financial assistance to patients who meet specific eligibility criteria, which often include certain income thresholds that are dependent on household size.

Patients can apply for these programs by submitting an online application or contacting the designated program number. They will need to provide necessary documentation, including tax records and proof of residence. Utilizing these patient assistance programs can substantially lessen out-of-pocket expenses for Skyrizi patients.


Veterans Affairs Programs and Medicaid Considerations

Veterans Affairs programs offer another avenue of assistance for patients using Skyrizi risankizumab rzaa. These programs can provide Skyrizi coverage when it is prescribed and monitored by a VA/VA Community Care rheumatologist, dermatologist, or locally. Detailed information about such assistance can be obtained from the VA website.

In addition to these programs, Medicaid offers coverage for the cost of Skyrizi, ensuring that eligible patients have access to this medication. However, coverage policies can vary among state Medicaid programs, so it’s crucial for patients to reach out to their state Medicaid program for specific policy and coverage details.

Leveraging Commercial Insurance Coverage

Commercial insurance coverage can also play a significant role in managing Skyrizi treatment costs. The process for commercial insurance coverage for Skyrizi treatment varies depending on the specific plan. Patients need to consider factors such as prescription drug coverage access and the type of insurance when evaluating their coverage options.

Specific aspects of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance in commercial insurance plans for Skyrizi can also impact out-of-pocket costs. There could be restrictions and limits on Skyrizi coverage in commercial health insurance policies, including:

  • Deductibles
  • Copayments
  • Coinsurance
  • Monthly maximums

Consequently, patients must diligently analyze their policy terms and comprehend any prerequisites for coverage.

Skyrizi Administration: What Patients Need to Know

Skyrizi Administration What Patients Need to Know

Comprehending the administration of Skyrizi, an injectable drug, is a fundamental aspect of treatment management. Healthcare professionals play a vital role in preparing and delivering Skyrizi through subcutaneous injection, and they provide training to patients on the proper self-administration of Skyrizi using prefilled syringes.

In addition to healthcare professional administration, Skyrizi can be self-administered by patients who have received adequate training. Let’s delve deeper into:

  • The role of healthcare professionals
  • The comparison between self-administered drugs and doctor-administered treatments
  • What patients need to know about their Skyrizi treatment plan.


The Role of Healthcare Professionals in Skyrizi Treatment

Healthcare professionals are instrumental in the Skyrizi treatment process. They conduct screenings to check for infections and tuberculosis (TB) before initiating any treatment with Skyrizi. Moreover, they administer Skyrizi subcutaneously by pressing the button to inject and maintaining steady pressure on the injection site for 15 seconds using aseptic technique.

The dosage of Skyrizi is determined by healthcare professionals based on the specific condition being treated. For plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, they administer 150 mg subcutaneously at Week 0, Week 4, and every 12 weeks thereafter. Being aware of healthcare professionals’ role in Skyrizi treatment can enable patients to make educated decisions about their therapy.


Self-Administered Drugs vs. Doctor Administered Treatments

While healthcare professionals play a crucial role in administering Skyrizi, patients also have the option to self-inject Skyrizi following adequate training. Self-administration of Skyrizi offers the convenience of administering the medication at home, but it’s important for patients to receive proper training from healthcare professionals to ensure accurate injection technique.

Receiving Skyrizi treatments from a doctor can alleviate symptoms of plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and Crohn’s disease. However, patients may encounter potential downsides such as upper respiratory infections, headaches, and an increased susceptibility to infections or potential reactivation of tuberculosis. Hence, recognizing the disparities between self-administered drugs and doctor-administered treatments can assist Skyrizi patients in selecting the most appropriate option for their circumstances.


Injection Sites and Frequency: Understanding Your Treatment Plan

A clear understanding of Skyrizi injection sites and frequency is critical to ensuring the effectiveness of the treatment. Skyrizi is administered as a 150 mg subcutaneous injection at the initial visit (Week 0), repeated at Week 4, and subsequently every 12 weeks. Adhering to this dosing schedule is essential for ensuring the treatment’s efficacy.

When it comes to administering Skyrizi injections, the front of the thighs or the abdomen are the recommended sites. Nevertheless, administering Skyrizi at incorrect sites might lead to complications, emphasizing the need to comprehend your treatment plan and adhere to your healthcare professional’s instructions.

Navigating Insurance Plans: Finding the Right Fit for Skyrizi Coverage

Navigating Insurance Plans Finding the Right Fit for Skyrizi Coverage

Choosing the right insurance plan for Skyrizi coverage can be a complex task. Skyrizi is included in Medicare Advantage plans, which are part of the Medicare program that covers prescription drugs. Understanding the specifics of these plans can help patients find the right fit for Skyrizi coverage.

However, maneuvering the complexities of insurance plans requires profound knowledge of various factors, encompassing Medicare Advantage plans, prescription reimbursement policies, and additional coverage requirements. Let’s examine these factors in more detail to provide a comprehensive guide for finding the right fit for Skyrizi coverage.


Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans offer a crucial source of coverage for Skyrizi. However, the coverage can vary considerably across different plans. While Skyrizi is typically included in these plans, it is often categorized under Tier 5 in the formulary, potentially resulting in higher costs.

When evaluating Medicare Advantage plans for Skyrizi treatment, patients should consider a range of factors, including:

  • Plan premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Drug cost sharing details
  • Potential coverage gaps
  • Out-of-pocket limits

Moreover, understanding the cost variations for Skyrizi within various Medicare Advantage plans can assist patients in selecting the most suitable plan for their needs.


Analyzing Prescription Reimbursement Policies

Prescription reimbursement policies play a significant role in determining the cost of Skyrizi. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Medicare Part B provides reimbursement for the expenses of prescription medications administered in medical facilities and hospital outpatient settings.
  • The impact of these policies on Skyrizi coverage can be significant for patients receiving prescription reimbursement.
  • Rebates for Skyrizi may only be accessible to patients with commercial prescription coverage or those who are self-insured.

The reimbursement rates for drugs like Skyrizi are determined by CMS, which sets the reimbursement rate at 106 percent of the volume-weighted Average Sales Prices (ASPs) submitted by manufacturers of the same drug. Thus, understanding the various types of prescription reimbursement methods and how they are determined is key to managing Skyrizi treatment costs.


Assessing Additional Coverage Needs

While Medicare plays a crucial role in Skyrizi coverage, patients may require additional coverage to manage the costs associated with this treatment. By familiarizing themselves with typical insurance plans, patients can ascertain potential coverage for Skyrizi treatment and investigate programs offering Skyrizi at no cost to patients until they obtain insurance coverage approval.

Coverage requirements and benefit designs differ among payers and can change over time. Hence, it’s imperative for Skyrizi patients to directly engage with payers for the most recent reimbursement information. Additionally, supplemental insurance, such as Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap), can assist in covering specific healthcare expenses linked to Skyrizi that are not included in the original Medicare plan.


Navigating the complexities of insurance coverage for Skyrizi can be a daunting task. However, with a clear understanding of Medicare Part B and Part D coverage, prescription reimbursement policies, and the role of supplemental insurance and assistance programs, patients can find the right fit for their Skyrizi treatment needs. Regardless of your current insurance coverage, remember that understanding your options, asking the right questions, and staying proactive in managing your healthcare costs are key to ensuring optimal treatment outcomes with Skyrizi.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get SKYRIZI on Medicare?

Yes, Skyrizi is covered by Medicare, but you will need to purchase it through a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Additionally, your doctor may need to show that the drug is medically necessary for you before your plan will cover it. If you need help paying for your Skyrizi prescription, you may be eligible for a government program called Extra Help.


Are biologics covered by Medicare Part B?

Yes, some biologics are covered by Medicare Part B, and they may be subject to a lower coinsurance if their prices have increased higher than the rate of inflation. Additionally, Medicare pays for some separately payable drugs and biologics at a rate of ASP plus 6%.


How much does one shot of SKYRIZI cost?

One shot of SKYRIZI can cost around $10,331 to $19,734, depending on the pharmacy or provider.


What is Skyrizi used to treat?

Skyrizi is used to treat moderate to severe plaque psoriasis in adult patients aged 18 years or older. It is a prescription medication designed for this purpose.


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