Today’s society makes it easier and easier to avoid leaving the house. You can now purchase many household items, gifts and even groceries from the privacy of your own home and have them delivered right to your front door! So why not do the same with prescription drugs?
Many seniors have opted to have their regular medications delivered through a mail away pharmacy. Not only is there the convenience of having your medications delivered to your home, but for seniors suffering from a disability, a debilitating health condition or transportation issues, not leaving your house is always a better option.
Another added benefit of Medicare and mail order prescriptions is that more often than not, a 90 day supply ends up being cheaper than purchasing your medication on a monthly basis. Here’s more information for Medicare beneficiaries considering a mail-away pharmacy for their prescription medications.
Medicare and Mail Order Prescriptions
Straight Medicare benefits do not cover prescription drug coverage. For Medicare beneficiaries to establish medication coverage they must do 1 of 2 things. They can either purchase a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part C Plan.
Regardless of which way you go choose to go for your medication coverage, private insurance companies offer both of these plans. Each individual insurance company will have its own set of guidelines when it comes to prescription drug coverage and mail-away pharmacies.
Medicare PDP plans may have the following policy limitations:
- Prior authorization: You and/or your prescriber must contact the drug plan before you can fill certain prescriptions. Your prescriber may need to show that the drug is medically necessary for the plan to cover it.
- Quantity limits: Limits on how much medication you can get at a time.
- Step therapy: You must try one or more similar, lower cost drugs before the plan will cover the prescribed drug.
You will want to verify with your individual PDP or Medicare Advantage Plan to see their policies rules and coverage guidelines prior to signing up for mail-order prescriptions.
Additional Information Regarding Mail-Away Pharmacies
Prior to filling your mail-away prescriptions, your PDP will do a routine safety check for things such as duplicate drug therapies, combing medications which could result in an unsafe outcome and checking for unsafe amounts of opioid pain medications.
Additionally, a new Medicare guideline has the beneficiaries with a PDP requesting their 90 day supply of medication. In the past, it was customary to have medications on automatic refills.
This new policy has helped to cut back on medication waste as well as unnecessary costs for the insurance carrier. You can still fill your monthly prescriptions at your local pharmacy on automatic refill without this limitation.
To Get More Help Regarding Mail-Order Prescriptions
For more information regarding the different Medicare prescription drug plans, you can use this Part D plan finder tool.
If you have Original Medicare Part A & Part B and need help paying out of pocket costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copays, you might want to look into a Medicare Supplement plan. A Medicare Supplement plan will work with your Part D prescription drug plan. To compare rates online for Medicare Supplement plans, click here.
Key Fun Facts on Mail-Away Pharmacies
There are pros and cons to obtaining prescription medications from a mail-order pharmacy. Some of the pros to consider include the following:<
- Convenience: You can get a 90-day supply of each of your medications delivered to your home. Often, you get a 30-day supply at your walk-in pharmacy.
- You may save money: Your health plan may have lower copayments for prescription medications that you obtain through mail-order, rather than through a regular retail pharmacy.
- You can easily order refills: If your prescription is current, most mail-order pharmacies allow you to order refills online, by mail, or by phone. Plus, you can do it at any time of the day or night.
- Special customer services: Some mail-order pharmacies provide special services, including the ability to:
- Register for online refill reminders so you’ll know when it’s time to reorder your medications. You can receive an email reminder or an automated telephone reminder.
- Speak directly with a pharmacist to answer your medication questions.
- Check the status of your order online or by phone.
- View your prescription history.
- Access consumer education information about your medication and your health condition