COVID-19 has caused some delay in deliveries by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), due to increased online purchasing. For people who rely on prescription drugs delivered by mail, any interruption in medication management could have adverse effects.
Zachary Contreras, PharmD, director of pharmacy benefits for Sharp Health Plan, answers some common questions about mail-order medications in the time of COVID-19.
Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect my ability to get prescriptions filled?
Check with your mail-order pharmacy to ensure consistent delivery of your maintenance medications. If you have pharmacy benefits through Sharp Health Plan, there are no currently reported drug shortages that would affect your ability to fill prescriptions.
I get my medications in the mail and my last refill was delayed. What’s the reason for the delay?
Medication remains a priority for the USPS, including transportation, processing and delivery. With ongoing COVID-19 impacts, packages mailed by the USPS may require more time to be delivered. It’s a good idea to consider signing up for automatic refills to ensure your prescriptions are processed as quickly as possible. If you have pharmacy benefits through Sharp Health Plan, please call CVS Caremark at 1-800-82-SHARP (1-855-298-4252) to learn more about automatic refills.
What can I do to ensure I receive my medications on time?
To help give you peace of mind and make sure your refills are processed in a timely manner, ask your mail-order pharmacy if they offer automatic refill and renewal services. If you have pharmacy benefits through Sharp Health Plan, you can sign up online. The earliest you may request a refill is when you’ve used up 70% of your current prescription. For a 90-day supply, this means you can get a refill 64 days after you last filled the prescription.
I’ve run out of my medication, and the refill I ordered through my mail service hasn’t arrived yet. What should I do?
In most cases, you can order a one-time mail order delay prescription at your local retail pharmacy.
Are there other options besides mail order?
Some health plans offer the benefit of obtaining a 90-day supply of maintenance medications at your retail pharmacy. The copay for a 90-day supply is usually three times the retail copay for a 30-day supply. Please check your member handbook (also called Evidence of Coverage) to see if you qualify for a 90-day supply at retail pharmacies.
For the news media: To talk with a Sharp Health Plan expert about how to ensure timely delivery of prescription medications for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.