How Mail-Order Pharmacies Can Help Seniors On Medicare

co-founder of elite insurance partners & medicarefaq, a medicare learning resource center for all medicare beneficiaries.


In the current decade, mail order pharmacies continue to gain in popularity, especially among Medicare beneficiaries. many seniors may feel like they are spending their golden years of retirement in line at their local pharmacy. Mail order pharmacies can be a time saver for those who prefer to avoid the hassle.

Instead of having to take time out of your day to pick up your prescriptions, they can be delivered to your doorstep. plus, this comfort is more affordable than you think. As a Medicare beneficiary, you can use this service if your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage prescription drug plan has a contract with a mail-order prescription drug provider.

use a mail order pharmacy with medicare

Traditional and mail order pharmacies operate the same way, aside from the face-to-face aspect. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many high-risk people with Medicare chose to fill their prescriptions through the mail. year over year, use of mail-order pharmacies increased about 20% in the first seven months of 2020.

Medicare beneficiaries who want this convenience should make sure their prescription drug coverage includes access to a mail-order pharmacy before enrolling. After confirming that this feature is available through your plan, the easiest way to get started is to have your doctor fax your prescriptions to your mail order pharmacy.

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The mail order drug company you access through your plan is responsible for filling your mail order prescriptions. if your prescription is valid, you can receive as many refills by mail as your doctor deems medically necessary. Just like when you use a traditional pharmacy, your doctor will need to send a new valid prescription to your mail order pharmacy.

However, before using this benefit, you should prepare for possible complications during the first month of receiving mail-order prescriptions. To ensure you receive your medications on time, it is recommended that you enroll in benefits at least 30 days before you need to (re)fill your prescription to account for initial processing delays. then when you’re ready for additional refills, the best time to place refill orders is up to two weeks before you need them.

Mail Order Pharmacies vs. Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies are not the same as mail order pharmacies. Although they serve a purpose, mail order pharmacies and online pharmacies share few similarities. its most significant resemblance is the ability to deliver the prescriptions you order to your doorstep.

Insurance companies provide mail-order pharmacy services directly to beneficiaries. When you fill your prescriptions, this mail order pharmacy has easy access to your insurance information. Mail order pharmacies can also keep track of refill dates and provide you with a 90-day supply of your medications.

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On the contrary, online pharmacies function more similarly to traditional pharmacies or pharmacies. therefore, they must verify your coverage and will not always accept your prescription drug plan.

many medicare part d prescription drug plans only provide coverage when beneficiaries use the plan’s mail-order service. consequently, you will not receive coverage at an online pharmacy through that plan, illustrating the importance of understanding coverage before choosing it.

a popular feature of medicare part d

Covid-19 further fueled the growing popularity of mail-order pharmacies among the Medicare-eligible crowd. even before the global pandemic, dozens of seniors had good reason to use this benefit.

Using a mail order pharmacy through your medicare part d plan can mean savings out of pocket. Copays for prescriptions filled through a mail order pharmacy will often be the same or lower than through your preferred pharmacy. In this time of rising gas prices, you can save even more money and time by using this feature.

customer service and ease of use are two more reasons seniors gravitate toward medicare part d prescription drug plans that feature a mail-order pharmacy. You can find solutions online when you have a problem with your prescription, want to check your refills, or have more general questions. Many mail order pharmacies also have a phone line where recipients can speak with a pharmacist.

Can you benefit from this plan feature?

If you’re looking for a medicare part d prescription drug plan and hope to reduce trips to the pharmacy, a policy with a mail order pharmacy component might be right for you.

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When shopping for a medicare prescription drug plan, consider drug prices. Check each plan’s formulary to see if you can save on your medications and dosages with the mail-order option.

Beneficiaries who currently have Medicare prescription drug coverage but are considering a switch should compare the potential mail-order pharmacy costs with their current out-of-pocket costs. Not all mail order pharmacies are equally beneficial for your specific needs.

also, not all medicare prescription drug plans offer a mail order pharmacy. so if you’re dependent on the service, it’s vital to make sure your next policy offers mail-order coverage before you make the switch. To find answers to your personal questions about mail order pharmacies, contact an insurance company or licensed agent.

The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. you should consult a licensed professional for advice on your specific situation.

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