Getting prescriptions in disaster or emergency

See how Medicare is responding to COVID-19.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, if it’s difficult for you to get to a retail pharmacy or if you’re not allowed to go to a retail pharmacy, like during a quarantine situation, Medicare drug plans may allow you to get mail or home delivery from retail pharmacies that choose to offer these delivery services.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicare drug plans must relax their “refill-too-soon” policy. Plans must let you get up to a 90-day supply in one fill unless quantities are more limited for safety reasons.

If you have Medicare drug coverage, live in an area that's be declared an emergency or disaster, and:

  • You can't go to your usual in-network pharmacy to replace your prescription drugs: contact your Medicare drug plan to find another in-network pharmacy nearby. An in-network pharmacy is a pharmacy that agrees to provide members of certain Medicare plans with services and supplies at a discounted price. In some Medicare plans, your prescriptions are only covered if you get them filled at in-network pharmacies.
  • You had to evacuate without your prescription drugs, or your prescription drugs were damaged or lost because of the emergency or disaster: contact your Medicare plan.
  • You can't reasonably get to an in-network pharmacy: your plan can help you get prescription drugs during an emergency or disaster at an out-of-network pharmacy.

Using in-network pharmacies

  • You'll be able to move most prescriptions from one in-network pharmacy to another, and back to your regular pharmacy when the emergency or disaster ends. If you need help finding the closest in-network pharmacy, contact your Medicare plan.
  • You'll need to tell the new pharmacy the name of your regular pharmacy and the drugs you need refilled.

Using out-of-network pharmacies

  • Contact your plan for information about their out-of-network rules.
  • When you buy your drugs at an out-of-network pharmacy, you'll probably have to pay full cost for the drugs at the time you fill your prescriptions.
  • If you paid full cost for the drugs, save your receipts so you can ask your plan if it'll refund you for your costs (note: you won't get a refund for the out-of-network cost-sharing amount). Ask your plan how to submit your claim.

Additional (extended-day) supplies

If you think you won't return home for a long time, you may want to get a 60- to 90-day supply of your prescription drugs. Ask your plan if it offers 60- to 90-day supplies and which pharmacies you can use to get them.

For more information on getting prescription drugs during an emergency or disaster, contact your Medicare drug plan.

How can I find contact information for my Medicare drug plan?

Generally, you can find your plan's contact information on your plan membership card. Or, you can search for your plan's contact information.

You can also call us at 1-800-MEDICARE.

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