With a primary goal of staying healthy on everyone’s mind during the coronavirus pandemic, for many, that includes maintaining a supply of prescription medications in a time when we are encouraged to limit trips to the pharmacy.
Check out the following tips to help make sure you have the supply you need and that you also get your prescriptions in the safest way possible:
Ask your doctor for a 90-day prescription. You can either fill this at your local pharmacy, or your health plan may have a mail-order pharmacy that will offer discounted copays to send a 90-day supply of medication to your home.
Fill your prescriptions online. Check if your local pharmacy has an online order option or see if trusted services like PillPack or Capsule are available in your area.
If you need a new prescription for a medicine you’re already taking, consider telehealth. Given the growing risks and rapid spreading of COVID-19, many doctors are offering telehealth visits to patients.
Many insurance providers are covering telehealth visits, and they are now fully covered for patients on Medicare who may be more vulnerable to the virus. These visits can sometimes be completed over the phone for patients without computer access.
Consider pharmacy home delivery or drive-thru pharmacy pickup. Many pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens, and Kroger, are offering drive-thru pharmacy pickup services, and CVS Health and Walgreens have waived all delivery fees.
Check with your health plan to see if you can fill your prescription early. Typically, this isn’t easy, but during the COVID-19 crisis, many plans (like Aetna, Humana, and Blue Cross Blue Shield) have temporarily waived early-refill limits.
See if your pharmacy will fill your prescription for a greater fill quantity. During the COVID-19 crisis, some pharmacy benefit managers are waiving fill quantities on prescriptions, allowing you to stock up and save an extra trip to the pharmacy.
Consider paying cash. If your health plan won’t cover an early prescription fill or additional fill quantities, you may still be able to get prescriptions for the cash price of the drug, though it can be costly.
If you’re home sick, elderly, or at high-risk for COVID-19, stay home and ask a neighbor to pick up your prescriptions. Going to the pharmacy and being around other shoppers can put you at much greater risk.
If you can’t find someone who can go for you, see if your local pharmacy is offering dedicated shopping hours.
Call ahead if you need to go to the pharmacy and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms. Many pharmacies are happy to make accommodations to help reduce the spread of the virus in the community.
Talk to your local pharmacist if you have any issues; they are there to help you. Many pharmacies now offer 24/7 chat services and phone-support options.
Source: Scripta Insights (www.scriptainsights.com)