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 a Medicare drug plan and your state has issued a warning of a possible emergency or disaster:

  • If you're not able to go to your usual network pharmacy to replace your prescription drugs, contact your Medicare drug plan to find another network pharmacy nearby. A 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 network pharmacies.
  • Contact your Medicare drug plan if you had to leave your home without your drugs, or your drugs have been damaged or lost because of the emergency or disaster. They can help you find another network pharmacy.
  • If you can't reasonably get to a network pharmacy, your plan can help you get drugs during an emergency or disaster at an out-of-network pharmacy. You may pay more for drugs you get at an out-of-network pharmacy.

Using in-network pharmacies

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

Using out-of-network pharmacies

  • Contact your Medicare drug 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.
  • To get a refund from your Medicare drug plan, submit a paper claim. Ask your plan where to send your claim.
  • If you paid full cost for the drugs, save your receipts so you can ask your Medicare drug plan if it'll refund you for your costs. You won't get a refund for the out-of-network cost-sharing amount.

Additional (extended-day) supplies

If you think you won't return home for a long time, you may want to get an extended-day supply (a 60- to 90-day supply) of your drugs. Ask your Medicare drug plan whether it offers extended-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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