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Will Medicare Pay for Pharmacy Home Delivery?

The use of pharmacy home delivery services continues to rise and is of special interest to beneficiaries of Medicare. Pharmacy home delivery can be an easy and convenient way to receive your medications. Save time and potentially money by having your prescription drug medications delivered directly to your home. This article will explore how you can sign up for this benefit through Medicare.

What parts of Medicare cover pharmacy home delivery?

Are you enrolled in Medicare and have considered using a pharmacy home delivery service? While Original Medicare does not cover prescription drugs or pharmacy home delivery services, there are options available to you under other Medicare plans. Prescription drugs are covered by Medicare Part D and options for pharmacy home delivery are offered through those plans.

You’ll need to enroll in Medicare Part D separately from Original Medicare to obtain coverage. The best time to sign up for a Medicare Part D plan is when you first enroll in Original Medicare to avoid potential late penalties. You can also consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C). These plans are typically “all-inclusive” health plans offered by private insurance companies and provide the same coverage as Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans include Medicare Part D as well.

How do I get my prescription drugs delivered to my home?

You should first review your plan to be sure that pharmacy home delivery is a service offered by your insurance plan. If your insurance plan offers this service, you should be able to enroll in the service online through the plan website or by calling your insurance company.

Plans that offer pharmacy home delivery services typically partner with a mail-order pharmacy to deliver medications. Once you are set up, your prescriptions can typically be provided to the pharmacy electronically, via fax, or over the phone. Some of your medications may also be transferred from your retail pharmacy to your new pharmacy. Once you begin using the home delivery service, you can order refills by phone or request through the pharmacy’s website.

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What are the benefits of pharmacy home delivery?

Having your medications delivered to your home offers many benefits especially if you take medications chronic conditions such as high blood pressure. Some of the advantages include:

  • Access and convenience. With home delivery, you can receive your medications at your front door. This may be especially important if you have limited mobility or issues obtaining transportation to the pharmacy.
  • Save time. When your provider gives you a new prescription, it can sometimes take several hours to fill your prescriptions at your local pharmacy. By saving time with home delivery, you may have more time to complete other important activities.
  • Safety. During severe weather events such as heavy flooding or snow, it may be unsafe to drive or travel. By utilizing pharmacy home delivery services, you may be able to avoid traveling during unsafe weather conditions.
  • Saves money. Your Medicare Part D plan may offer discounts on your copay or other cost-saving incentives if you receive your medications via home delivery. Additionally, many plans don’t charge delivery fees for standard deliveries within the United States.
  • Medication adherence. Many pharmacies will allow you to sign up to receive automatic refills. Utilizing this feature will help you receive your medications on time before you run out.

There are some drawbacks of pharmacy home delivery that you should take into consideration. Some things that you should consider include:

  • Delays in delivery. Your medications may be delivered by a variety of carriers such as UPS, FedEx, and USPS. During peak seasons, your medications may arrive later than usual. Be sure to request your refills a couple of weeks in advance to prevent delays. Courier selection varies by pharmacy.
  • Special storage requirements. Suppose you’re taking a medication that needs to be stored in the refrigerator or has other special requirements for delivery. In that case, someone may be required to sign for the package upon delivery. Examples can include insulin and some specialty medications.
  • Urgent prescriptions. There may be times when you need to get a medication filled urgently, such as an antibiotic. In this situation, you may want to use your local pharmacy to pick up the prescription the same day instead of utilizing home delivery. Alternatively, you can ask about expedited delivery options if you cannot go to your local pharmacy.

Having your medications delivered to your home can be advantageous and may be an excellent option for medicines that you take every day. Before signing up for pharmacy home delivery services, there are also limitations to consider. Review the Medicare Part D coverage options in your area and check which plans offer pharmacy home delivery. Consider your current medication needs when reviewing plans to ensure you select the right plan for you.

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