As a Blue Shield Balance (HMO) member, you have access to a monthly allowance1 of $45 for OTC items, at no additional cost. More than 1,000 OTC items are covered by this plan, as allowed by Medicare. This benefit becomes effective the first day of each month and any unused monthly allowance cannot roll over into the next month.

Items such as aspirin, vitamins, cold and cough preparations, and bandages are covered under this benefit. Some items are not covered under this benefit,  such as cosmetics and food supplements. Some limitations may apply. Refer to the OTC Catalog for more information.

How it works

Once you are enrolled in the plan, you will receive a letter explaining the OTC items benefit, the card used to access the benefit, and an OTC items catalog. Simply activate your card and your monthly OTC items allowance will be reloaded each month. 

How to place an order

This benefit goes into effect on 1/1/22. After that, you'll be able to use your Benefit Card to buy items in-store, online, on the app or by phone.

Here’s how:

  1. Make a purchase in participating stores. Find a store near you.
  2. Place orders online using your catalog anytime. Orders will be shipped to you at no extra charge. Please allow approximately 2-5 business days for delivery.
  3. Place orders by using the mobile app. Information on downloading the mobile app will be provided with the OTC items catalog.
  4. You can also order items by calling toll-free 1-855-572-6341 (TTY 711)
    8 a.m. – 8 p.m., local time 7 days a week, October – March
    8 a.m. – 8 p.m., local time Monday – Friday, April – September.

Please note this page is only applicable for OTC items benefits associated with the Blue Shield Balance (HMO) plan. To see benefits for other plans, please go to