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I live in an area that was declared an "emergency area" by the Federal government - Rx Drugs

I live in an area that was declared an "emergency area" by the Federal government and need to replace my lost prescription drugs. What should I do?

If you belong to a Medicare prescription drug plan, you have special rights to get your prescription drugs replaced if the following apply to you:You live in an area that the President has declared a major disaster (see http://www.fema.gov/news/disasters.fema) or the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has declared a public health emergency (see http://www.dhhs.gov/)

  • You have either been displaced from your home without your prescription drugs, or your prescription drugs have been damaged or lost as a result of the disaster.
  • In general, you won't be required to go to your usual pharmacy for a replacement supply if you can't get to your prescription drugs, or if they are lost or damaged. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that runs the Medicare Program, expects plans to lift the rules that would normally keep you from refilling your prescriptions earlier than needed.

Using in-network pharmacies

  • Most prescriptions can be transferred from one network pharmacy to another and transferred back to your pharmacy when the emergency ends. This includes transferring prescriptions across state lines when necessary. If you need help finding the closest network pharmacy, please call your prescription drug plan.
  • The new pharmacy will need to know the name of your regular pharmacy and the name of the drugs you need refilled.
  • If you have lost your Medicare prescription drug card and don't know your plan's telephone number, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE, and they will provide you with your plan's contact information.

Using out-of-network pharmaciesMost plans' networks are large enough that you should be able to find a network pharmacy nearby. However, if you cannot reasonably get to a network pharmacy, the plan's out-of-network rules should allow you to get replacement prescription drugs at an out-of-network pharmacy.

  • When you buy your drugs at an out-of-network pharmacy, you will probably have to pay the full cost of the drugs when you fill your prescription.
  • Save your receipts so that you can ask your prescription drug plan to pay you back for its share of the cost. You can submit a paper claim to your plan to get the money back after you buy your prescriptions.
  • Call your plan to find out where to send your paper claim or for any other information about the plan's out-of-network rules.

If you think you might not be able to return home for a long period of time, you may wish to consider getting an extended day supply of your prescription drugs. Call your plan to ask whether they offer extended day supplies (i.e., a 60 to 90 day supply) and what pharmacies you can use to get them.If you have questions or want more information about getting your prescription drugs during the emergency, contact your plan or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

Disasters & Emergencies