Common Questions: The Answers to Common Medicare Part D Questions

Every year there are questions asked of Medicare part d beneficiaries that aren’t easily answered. Some of the questions have a clear answer and others need a bit more explanation. While these questions aren’t always easy to ask, many of them have been asked several times before and there are actual answers.

When a Medicare part D beneficiary has questions about particular medications or plan benefits, the best resource for them is their insurance provider. Those that choose to talk to their provider may often feel embarrassed or overwhelmed when talking to them but it’s not something that should be avoided. The only way to enjoy all the benefits of a Medicare part D prescription drug plan is to know what the benefits are. When a person knows what they are entitled to and what they are paying for, they are better able to make decisions regarding their care.

Common Questions

Can I have my medications refilled to take on vacation?

Yes, medications can be refilled to be taken on an extended vacation. Those that are going to be on vacation and want to take their medications with them for that trip have that option. Once a year, most Medicare part D insurance providers allows a vacation override to be used. A vacation override is an exemption that will allow the insurance to be billed twice within a certain period of time for the requested medications.

The override can be used for multiple medications if necessary but that exemption can only be used once a year. Those that are having their medications filled with this override should ensure their medications will be safe during their travels because if they should lose their medications, they won’t be able to have them refilled with their Medicare part D prescription drug insurance.

My medications were stolen. Can I have them refilled?

Unfortunately, medications that are stolen can’t be refilled. Because millions of people fight addiction to prescription medications, most Medicare part D prescription drug plans don’t allow allowances for stolen medications. There is no way to ensure there was an actual theft or if there is any abuse happening.

If medications are stolen, any Medicare beneficiary should contact the prescribing doctor and/or their prescribing doctor immediately for a new prescription to be written or other options to be discussed. It would also be wise to contact the filling pharmacy to inform them the prescription has been stolen.

Why am I getting generic medications instead of name brand?

There are different reasons this can happen to a beneficiary. When a prescription is written, it has to be dispensed according to the doctor’s instructions. Many times, doctors will sign in the space that say substitutions are allowed or they will now indicate on the prescription that only name brand medications should be given to the patient. When this happens, the pharmacist or pharmacy technicians are under the impression that generic substitution is allowed.

Most Medicare part D insurance providers are on a mission to save their Medicare beneficiaries as much money as they can. Most insurance companies offer their generic medications at a cheaper price than name brand medications.

In order to get name brand medications to be dispensed at the pharmacy, a Medicare beneficiary would need to tell the pharmacist they want name brand only upon drop off. When a pharmacist has those instructions, they are able to contact the doctor if necessary or fill it as requested. Also, a doctor would also have to sign or indicate on the actual prescription, electronic or written, that the medications have to be dispensed as written.

There are many other questions that Medicare part D beneficiaries have. Rather than ignore those questions, beneficiaries should contact their Medicare part D insurance provider. If after speaking to them and no conclusion is reached, members can always contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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