With the continued spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), many people are rightly concerned about access to their medication.
Because coronavirus is expected to affect drug supplies in some form (many medicinal components come from China) and it has been recommended that many people stay at home as much as possible, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid running out of prescription medicine.
Coronavirus Prep: How to Get Your Medication Refilled
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) is recommending that you build an emergency supply of prescription medication.
Health insurers typically won’t fill a 30- or 90-day supply until you’re at least three-quarters of the way toward your normal refill period, but due to coronavirus many companies have relaxed the rules.
Major health insurers like Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield are offering 90-day maintenance medication prescriptions and waiving early medication refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for the insured. You’ll want to see your health insurance provider for specifics.
Like so many Americans, money expert Clark Howard says he takes maintenance medication himself. Here’s his advice if you have any concern at all about your prescriptions:
“If you’re anxious about having access to the meds you need … check with the [insurance] plan you’re on and see if you can go ahead and do an early fill or a bigger fill.”
If your insurer is one that isn’t waiving their early refill limit, here’s what you can do: Consult with your doctor to see if you can get a 90-day prescription supply without using your insurance.
Of course, the price point may be prohibitive depending on the medication — but not always. Also please be aware that there may be limit restrictions based on two other factors:
- Which state you reside in
- Whether the drug is a federally controlled substance
The CDC also advises that you make a list of all your prescription medications, including dosage amounts and generic equivalents.
Another option you will want to consider is mail-order services to get your meds.
More Health Resources
For more health information related to prescriptions and more, see the resources below:
- CDC coronavirus resource page
- State Medicaid office
- Emergency Prescription Assistance Program
Concerned about how COVID-19 might affect your wallet? Check out our coronavirus finance guide.