Medicare officials have acknowledged whatthousands of community pharmacists know onlytoo well—the new Part D prescription drug benefitcontinues to be plagued with widespread eligibilityverification problems that have left manyseniors without necessary medicine.
In a new advisory to consumers facing difficultiesgetting medications at their pharmacies, theCenters for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)is suggesting that patients pay for prescriptionsout of pocket—but only as a "last resort." Thesepatients should save their receipts and work withtheir health plans to get reimbursed for thesecosts, the advisory said. Most of the verificationproblems have affected people who enrolled inPart D but need a prescription filled before theiridentification card is sent to them.
"After your prescription drug plan hasprocessed your enrollment application, youshould get an acknowledgment letter or confirmationletter from the plan you joined," CMStold Medicare recipients. "Take your acknowledgmentor confirmation letter with you to thepharmacy until you get a membership card."
Those who have not received an official confirmationshould present the pharmacy with "a welcomeletter from the plan, an enrollment confirmationnumber, or a copy of an enrollment applicationsigned by a plan representative," theagency said.
"If you need to get a prescription before youget your letter or membership card, let yourpharmacist know your plan name, and bring oneof the items above to get your prescriptions—itjust may take some extra time," CMS said.