Many medical problems are treated by taking prescription medications. How do you go about getting refills on your medications? Who do you contact? What will your insurance cover? How do you figure it all out? It can be a confusing process trying to figure out how to get your medications, especially if you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan that dictates what medications you can get and where you can get them. Read on to get a few tips on making this process a little less cumbersome.
Who do I contact for refills?
If you have been on your medication for a while and there are no changes in dosing of the medicine or the pharmacy you use, then first contact your pharmacy. They will send a refill request to your physician's office to determine whether or not a refill is authorized. If refills are authorized, the pharmacy will contact you to pick up the medications. If your physician does not authorize new refills, you need to return to your provider's office for an office visit. It is important to request your medications from local pharmacies at least 48 hours in advance to ensure there is enough time for the refill request to be processed by the physician office and the pharmacy.
If there is a change in medication, change in pharmacy, change in dose or other questions about your medication, please visit your physician's office for details on how this medication will be filled or transferred. Also, if there is any question or confusion about the medications, please have a visit with your provider to answer any questions.
If you are using a mail order pharmacy, please contact the physician office no less than 2 weeks before the medication is needed. When switching to a mail order pharmacy, it is nice to have a visit with your provider when initially switching to make sure all of the paperwork is in order.
What if I am told a medication is not covered?
If you are told that a medication is not going to be covered or needs a "prior authorization" in order to be covered, contact your physician's office. Often this means that office notes or other documentation needs to be provided to the company in order to receive your medication. Often, in these instances, you need to visit with your primary care provider about those issues and may need an office visit. Also, if you receive a letter from your insurance stating you need to change medication or that a generic may be available, visit with your doctor. Any changes in medication need to happen during an office visit, not a phone call to the office. If you have any other concerns, contact your primary care provider.
Obtaining your prescription medications can be a difficult and confusing process. If you or your loved ones have questions or concerns about the medications, feel free to contact your primary care provider or your insurance carrier for details. Together, we can make the process a little bit easier.