The CDC and the President as well as your local authorities are updating routinely during the COVID-19 crisis. Many medications ARE available in 90 day supply. Narcotic medications are distributed via ID only.
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Reply to Llamalover47

It isn't just controlled or addictive medications that insurance limits. My husband takes several blood pressure medications that only have 30 day supplies at a time. The insurance companies dictate this and it further stifles one's ability to vacation or move or just not run to the pharmacy all the time. I hope they reconsider these restrictions at this time.
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Reply to Katie22
KaleyBug Mar 13, 2020
I am curious what insurance. We are allowed 90 day supplies for all refills. But we did not take Medicare D instead we have a secondary insurance.
See 2 more replies
Your insurance company may waive the restriction on refilling medications during this crisis. Work with your pharmacy and your insurance company to see if ins co will override the restriction for your request. If the pharmacy is assured by the ins co that they will be paid, they will fill your prescription.
It would not surprise me if there was a blanket waiver of this restriction during the COVID19 crisis, at least for non-controlled medications.
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Reply to RedVanAnnie

Guidelines from CMS

Guidance to Medicare Advantage & Prescription Drug Plans Outlines Flexibilities
CMS issued new guidance to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans offering the plans the option to employ certain flexibilities to increase access to treatment and services related to COVID-19, and explaining plan obligations when a state has formally declared an emergency. 

Plan obligations in a state emergency include:
Covering services rendered at non-contracted facilities; 
Waiving gatekeeper referrals; and
Providing the same cost-sharing to enrollees for services rendered at a non-contracted facility as charged at a contracted facility. 
CMS also provides a list of permissive actions the plans can take, including:
Waiving or reducing cost sharing for any service aimed at treating or preventing COVID-19, including lab testing and telehealth; 
Waiving pre-authorization for COVID-19 related testing and services; and
Expanding availability of telehealth services. 

With regard to prescription drug access, plans are required to reimburse enrollees who have to utilize out-of-network pharmacies to obtain their drugs. 
Plans are also permitted to:
Relax their “refill-too-soon” policies and allow affected enrollees to obtain the maximum extended day supply available under their plan;
Relax any restrictions with regard to their home or mail delivery options; and
Waive pre-authorization requirements for drugs used to treat or prevent COVID-19. 
Continuing CMS Guidance on Response to COVID-19 
CMS maintains a webpage containing much of its guidance related to COVID-19. The page is updated as guidance is released or modified.
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Reply to cjwilson
GraceNBCC Mar 13, 2020
This is great information but I can't help but notice how many items include
And other soft wording that still gives companies permission to deny or choose. Say Yes to cheap RXs or if you only have a few, say No if you are on many medications...which is usually the most vulnerable population.

I now understand why do many states have declared a State of Emergency, which is good. But the wishy-washy language for private insurance companies including Medicare Advantage is where the problem is! That and how long it took for these guidelines to come out.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but these are brand new guidelines. They should be in place every FLU season, at least severe ones. Hurricanes season, Fire Season in at risk zones, etc.

Allowing these exceptions once or twice a year would allow people to prepare before an emergency. After a tornado hit, or earthquakes, is too late & Drug Stores won't have the supplies.
From AARP:
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

My doctor told my husband and I to buy prescription meds from Canada. I was surprised but some meds are life supporting 😞
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Reply to Jamison

Get another prescription or have your doctor call it to a different drugstore. As long as you pay cash, you should be ok. The restrictions on non-controlled substances comes from your insurance carrier. Another solution - Dr can double your medication which you then cut in half (can't do this with capsules). Insurance will pay for the new script. Be sure to get a 90 day supply.
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Reply to katiekat2009

My husbands doctor gave him a list of OTC items to pick up should he have any sign of a cold.
Zicam Nasal Swab and
Cold Eeze OR Sambucal and
Vit C, 3,000 mg per day
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to 97yroldmom

Here in Canada, we are being told to ensure we have fever and pain medications for everyone in the house for up to 14 days.

For Rx, pharmacies can deliver, so you do not have to go out to pick them up if a family member comes down with the virus.
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Reply to Tothill

Rebecca, I know I was confused when I also heard that seniors should stock up on meds. I know I cannot renew a prescription until a certain time frame had passes, otherwise the doctor or pharmacy may think I was abusing the meds, or selling it on the street corner :P
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Reply to freqflyer
EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack Mar 13, 2020
That's how it is and many meds can't be delivered, either. Its frustrating to hear this glib advice when in practice it only works for select medications.
Good question, I called Moms mail order company and had them refill anything they could. Then I called her eye Dr and asked for refills to be sent to her company. For hubs and I just called for refills on anything they could also. Its the best I can do... Im not so worried about the virus as the panic shorting the meds,, so here I am buying into it out of caution.
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Reply to pamzimmrrt

There are meds that are monitored by the DEA. These can only be ordered every 30 days to the day. Mailorder allows every 90 days. My state makes it mandatory to get a new prescription in 6 months.
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Reply to JoAnn29
busymom Mar 13, 2020
Wow! I never heard the new prescription every 6 months. Currently both my husband and I see our primary physician one time a year (yearly checkup) and are able to get a year’s worth of prescriptions. Both my husband and I have a monthly script that we get for free from Publix pharmacy. We do have Blue Cross Blue Shield medical insurance and they may pay something on my husband’s. Mine just happens to be one of the “free” medications offered by Publix. I haven’t checked to see if we’re allowed to refill ours more often than monthly. For us, being without the medications wouldn’t be life-threatening.

I do hope those who are in great need of prescriptions will be able to get them.

In the meantime, I’m washing my hands often, keeping my immune system as strong as possible, and trying to get good sleep at night. I plan to be wise about meeting with large groups (or even small groups), and would definitely not want to risk exposing others if I had any illness or symptoms!
Perhaps they were referring to non-prescription drugs. Also, the base ingredients for almost all US pharmaceuticals come from China. So, not sure if there would even be enough in stock to purchase. My office mate just told me that Target was almost completely out of Tylenol (besides toilet paper).
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Reply to Geaton777

You raise a valid point.   Unless paying on your own, which we did since my father's meds were nominal, our pharmacy staff indicated that they couldn't dispense more than meds for the prescribed time (i.e., 1 month, 3 months, etc.).

It's easy to dispense mandates from a national viewpoint, but to me it reflects that some people really don't understand how the average person, especially someone with financial assistance for medicines, is constrained in ordering more than the doctor prescribes.

I think that's the point of change:  doctors need to script for longer than they normally do, unless it's a controlled substance.  

I did notice that CVS is now delivering meds for free, so that's one way to address the problem. 

Good points, and a good question. I'm anxious to see what suggestions others have.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to GardenArtist

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