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Chapter 5 - Using the plan’s coverage for your Part D prescription


Chapter 5 - Using the plan’s coverage for your Part D prescription



question mark

    Did you know there are programs to help people pay for their drugs?

    There are programs to help people with limited resources pay for their drugs. These include "Extra Help" and State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs. For more information, see Chapter 2, Section 7.


    Are you currently getting help to pay for your drugs?

    If you are in a program that helps pay for your drugs, some information in this Evidence of Coverage about the costs for Part D prescription drugs may not apply to you. We sent you a separate insert, called the "Evidence of Coverage Rider for People Who Get Extra Help Paying for Prescription Drugs" (also known as the "Low Income Subsidy Rider" or the "LIS Rider"), which tells you about your drug coverage. If you don’t have this insert, please call Member Services and ask for the "LIS Rider." (Phone numbers for Member Services are printed on the back cover of this booklet.)


Section 1.1 - This chapter describes your coverage for Part D drugs

This chapter explains rules for using your coverage for Part D drugs. The next chapter tells what you pay for Part D drugs (Chapter 6, What you pay for your Part D prescription drugs).

In addition to your coverage for Part D drugs, KelseyCare Advantage Rx+Choice also covers some drugs under the plan’s medical benefits. Through its coverage of Medicare Part A benefits, our plan generally covers drugs you are given during covered stays in the hospital or in a skilled nursing facility. Through its coverage of Medicare Part B benefits, our plan covers drugs including certain chemotherapy drugs, certain drug injections you are given during an office visit, and drugs you are given at a dialysis facility. Chapter 4 (Medical Benefits Chart, what is covered and what you pay) tells about the benefits and costs for drugs during a covered hospital or skilled nursing facility stay, as well as your benefits and costs for Part B drugs.

Your drugs may be covered by Original Medicare if you are in Medicare hospice. Our plan only covers Medicare Parts A, B, and D services and drugs that are unrelated to your terminal prognosis and related conditions and therefore not covered under the Medicare hospice benefit. For more information, please see Section 9.4 (What if you’re in Medicare-certified hospice). For information on hospice coverage, see the hospice section of Chapter 4 (Medical Benefits Chart, what is covered and what you pay).

The following sections discuss coverage of your drugs under the plan’s Part D benefit rules. Section 9, Part D drug coverage in special situations includes more information on your Part D coverage and Original Medicare.


Section 1.2 - Basic rules for the plan’s Part D drug coverage

The plan will generally cover your drugs as long as you follow these basic rules:

  • You must have a provider (a doctor, dentist or other prescriber) write your prescription.
  • Your prescriber must either accept Medicare or file documentation with CMS showing that he or she is qualified to write prescriptions, or your Part D claim will be denied. You should ask your prescribers the next time you call or visit if they meet this condition. If not, please be aware it takes time for your prescriber to submit the necessary paperwork to be processed.
  • You generally must use a network pharmacy to fill your prescription. (See Section 2, Fill your prescriptions at a network pharmacy.)
  • Your drug must be on the plan’s List of Covered Drugs (Formulary) (we call it the "Drug List" for short). (See Section 3, Your drugs need to be on the plan’s "Drug List.")
  • Your drug must be used for a medically accepted indication. A "medically accepted indication" is a use of the drug that is either approved by the Food and Drug Administration or supported by certain reference books. (See Section 3 for more information about a medically accepted indication.)

Section 2.1 - To have your prescription covered, use a network pharmacy

In most cases, your prescriptions are covered only if they are filled at the plan’s network pharmacies. (See Section 2.4 for information about when we would cover prescriptions filled at out-of-network pharmacies.)

A network pharmacy is a pharmacy that has a contract with the plan to provide your covered prescription drugs. The term "covered drugs" means all of the Part D prescription drugs that are covered on the plan’s Drug List.

Our network includes pharmacies that offer standard cost-sharing and pharmacies that offer preferred cost-sharing. You may go to either type of network pharmacy to receive your covered prescription drugs. Your cost-sharing may be less at pharmacies with preferred cost-sharing.


Section 2.2 - Finding network pharmacies

How do you find a network pharmacy in your area?

To find a network pharmacy, you can look in your Pharmacy Directory, visit our website (www.kelseycareadvantage.com), or call Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).

You may go to any of our network pharmacies. However, your costs may be even less for your covered drugs if you use a network pharmacy that offers preferred cost-sharing rather than a network pharmacy that offers standard cost-sharing. The Pharmacy Directory will tell you which of the network pharmacies offer preferred cost-sharing. You can find out more about how your out-of-pocket costs could be different for different drugs by contacting us. If you switch from one network pharmacy to another, and you need a refill of a drug you have been taking, you can ask either to have a new prescription written by a provider or to have your prescription transferred to your new network pharmacy.

What if the pharmacy you have been using leaves the network?

If the pharmacy you have been using leaves the plan’s network, you will have to find a new pharmacy that is in the network. Or if the pharmacy you have been using stays within the network but is no longer offering preferred cost-sharing, you may want to switch to a different pharmacy. To find another network pharmacy in your area, you can get help from Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet) or use the Pharmacy Directory. You can also find information on our website at www.kelseycareadvantage.com.

What if you need a specialized pharmacy?

Sometimes prescriptions must be filled at a specialized pharmacy. Specialized pharmacies include:

  • Pharmacies that supply drugs for home infusion therapy.
  • Pharmacies that supply drugs for residents of a long-term care (LTC) facility. Usually, a LTC facility (such as a nursing home) has its own pharmacy. If you are in an LTC facility, we must ensure that you are able to routinely receive your Part D benefits through our network of LTC pharmacies, which is typically the pharmacy that the LTC facility uses. If you have any difficulty accessing your Part D benefits in an LTC facility, please contact Member Services.
  • Pharmacies that serve the Indian Health Service / Tribal / Urban Indian Health Program (not available in Puerto Rico). Except in emergencies, only Native Americans or Alaska Natives have access to these pharmacies in our network.
  • Pharmacies that dispense drugs that are restricted by the FDA to certain locations or that require special handling, provider coordination, or education on their use. (Note: This scenario should happen rarely.)

To locate a specialized pharmacy, look in your Pharmacy Directory or call Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).


Section 2.3 - How can you get a long-term supply of drugs?

When you get a long-term supply of drugs, your cost-sharing may be lower. The plan offers a way to get a long-term supply (also called an "extended supply") of "maintenance" drugs on our plan’s Drug List. (Maintenance drugs are drugs that you take on a regular basis, for a chronic or long-term medical condition.)

  1. Some retail pharmacies in our network allow you to get a long-term supply of maintenance drugs. Some of these retail pharmacies (which offer preferred cost-sharing) may agree to accept a lower cost-sharing amount for a long-term supply of maintenance drugs. Other retail pharmacies may not agree to accept the lower cost-sharing amounts for a long-term supply of maintenance drugs. In this case you will be responsible for the difference in price. Your Pharmacy Directory tells you which pharmacies in our network can give you a long-term supply of maintenance drugs. You can also call Member Services for more information (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).

Section 2.4 - When can you use a pharmacy that is not in the plan’s network?

Your prescription may be covered in certain situations

Generally, we cover drugs filled at an out-of-network pharmacy only when you are not able to use a network pharmacy. To help you, we have network pharmacies outside of our service area where you can get your prescriptions filled as a member of our plan. If you cannot use a network pharmacy, here are the circumstances when we would cover prescriptions filled at an out-of-network pharmacy:

  • Non-routine situations when a network pharmacy is not available.
  • If you are traveling within the United States and territories and you become ill, run out or lose your drugs.
  • Prescriptions that are written as part of a medical emergency or urgent care visit.

In these situations, please check first with Member Services to see if there is a network pharmacy nearby. (Phone numbers for Member Services are printed on the back cover of this booklet.) You may be required to pay the difference between what you pay for the drug at the out-of-network pharmacy and the cost that we would cover at an in-network pharmacy.

How do you ask for reimbursement from the plan?

If you must use an out-of-network pharmacy, you will generally have to pay the full cost (rather than your normal share of the cost) at the time you fill your prescription. You can ask us to reimburse you for our share of the cost. (Chapter 7, Section 2.1 explains how to ask the plan to pay you back.)


Section 3.1 - The "Drug List" tells which Part D drugs are covered

The plan has a "List of Covered Drugs (Formulary)." In this Evidence of Coverage, we call it the "Drug List" for short.

The drugs on this list are selected by the plan with the help of a team of doctors and pharmacists. The list must meet requirements set by Medicare. Medicare has approved the plan’s Drug List.

The drugs on the Drug List are only those covered under Medicare Part D (earlier in this chapter, Section 1.1 explains about Part D drugs).

We will generally cover a drug on the plan’s Drug List as long as you follow the other coverage rules explained in this chapter and the use of the drug is a medically accepted indication. A "medically accepted indication" is a use of the drug that is either:

  • approved by the Food and Drug Administration. (That is, the Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug for the diagnosis or condition for which it is being prescribed.)
  • -- or -- supported by certain reference books. (These reference books are the American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information; the DRUGDEX Information System; and the USPDI or its successor; and, for cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Clinical Pharmacology or their successors.)

The Drug List includes both brand name and generic drugs

A generic drug is a prescription drug that has the same active ingredients as the brand name drug. Generally, it works just as well as the brand name drug and usually costs less. There are generic drug substitutes available for many brand name drugs.

What is not on the Drug List?

The plan does not cover all prescription drugs.

  • In some cases, the law does not allow any Medicare plan to cover certain types of drugs (for more information about this, see Section 7.1 in this chapter).
  • In other cases, we have decided not to include a particular drug on the Drug List.

Section 3.2 - There are five "cost-sharing tiers" for drugs on the Drug List

Every drug on the plan’s Drug List is in one of five cost-sharing tiers. In general, the higher the cost-sharing tier, the higher your cost for the drug:

Cost-sharing Tier Drugs Included in Tier
Tier 1 (lowest) Preferred Generic
Tier 2 Generic
Tier 3 Preferred Brand
Tier 4 Non-Preferred Brand
Tier 5 (highest) Specialty

To find out which cost-sharing tier your drug is in, look it up in the plan’s Drug List.

The amount you pay for drugs in each cost-sharing tier is shown in Chapter 6 (What you pay for your Part D prescription drugs).


Section 3.3 - How can you find out if a specific drug is on the Drug List?

You have three ways to find out:

  1. Check the most recent Drug List we provided electronically. (Please note: The Drug List we provide includes information for the covered drugs that are most commonly used by our members. However, we cover additional drugs that are not included in the provided Drug List. If one of your drugs is not listed in the Drug List, you should visit our website or contact Member Services to find out if we cover it.)

  2. Visit the plan’s website (www.kelseycareadvantage.com). The Drug List on the website is always the most current.

  3. Call Member Services to find out if a particular drug is on the plan’s Drug List or to ask for a copy of the list. (Phone numbers for Member Services are printed on the back cover of this booklet.)

Section 4.1 - Why do some drugs have restrictions?

For certain prescription drugs, special rules restrict how and when the plan covers them. A team of doctors and pharmacists developed these rules to help our members use drugs in the most effective ways. These special rules also help control overall drug costs, which keeps your drug coverage more affordable.

In general, our rules encourage you to get a drug that works for your medical condition and is safe and effective. Whenever a safe, lower-cost drug will work just as well medically as a higher-cost drug, the plan’s rules are designed to encourage you and your provider to use that lower-cost option. We also need to comply with Medicare’s rules and regulations for drug coverage and cost-sharing.

If there is a restriction for your drug, it usually means that you or your provider will have to take extra steps in order for us to cover the drug. If you want us to waive the restriction for you, you will need to use the coverage decision process and ask us to make an exception. We may or may not agree to waive the restriction for you. (See Chapter 9, Section 6.2 for information about asking for exceptions.)

Please note that sometimes a drug may appear more than once in our drug list. This is because different restrictions or cost-sharing may apply based on factors such as the strength, amount, or form of the drug prescribed by your health care provider (for instance, 10 mg versus 100 mg; one per day versus two per day; tablet versus liquid).


Section 4.2 - What kinds of restrictions?

Our plan uses different types of restrictions to help our members use drugs in the most effective ways. The sections below tell you more about the types of restrictions we use for certain drugs.

Restricting brand name drugs when a generic version is available

Generally, a "generic" drug works the same as a brand name drug and usually costs less. In most cases, when a generic version of a brand name drug is available, our network pharmacies will provide you the generic version. We usually will not cover the brand name drug when a generic version is available. However, if your provider has told us the medical reason that neither the generic drug nor other covered drugs that treat the same condition will work for you, then we will cover the brand name drug. (Your share of the cost may be greater for the brand name drug than for the generic drug.)

Getting plan approval in advance

For certain drugs, you or your provider need to get approval from the plan before we will agree to cover the drug for you. This is called "prior authorization." Sometimes the requirement for getting approval in advance helps guide appropriate use of certain drugs. If you do not get this approval, your drug might not be covered by the plan. Trying a different drug first

This requirement encourages you to try less costly but just as effective drugs before the plan covers another drug. For example, if Drug A and Drug B treat the same medical condition, the plan may require you to try Drug A first. If Drug A does not work for you, the plan will then cover Drug B. This requirement to try a different drug first is called "step therapy."

Quantity limits

For certain drugs, we limit the amount of the drug that you can have by limiting how much of a drug you can get each time you fill your prescription. For example, if it is normally considered safe to take only one pill per day for a certain drug, we may limit coverage for your prescription to no more than one pill per day.


Section 4.3 - Do any of these restrictions apply to your drugs?

The plan’s Drug List includes information about the restrictions described above. To find out if any of these restrictions apply to a drug you take or want to take, check the Drug List. For the most up-to-date information, call Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet) or check our website (www.kelseycareadvantage.com).

If there is a restriction for your drug, it usually means that you or your provider will have to take extra steps in order for us to cover the drug. If there is a restriction on the drug you want to take, you should contact Member Services to learn what you or your provider would need to do to get coverage for the drug. If you want us to waive the restriction for you, you will need to use the coverage decision process and ask us to make an exception. We may or may not agree to waive the restriction for you. (See Chapter 9, Section 6.2 for information about asking for exceptions.)


Section 5.1 - There are things you can do if your drug is not covered in the way you’d like it to be covered

We hope that your drug coverage will work well for you. But it’s possible that there could be a prescription drug you are currently taking, or one that you and your provider think you should be taking that is not on our formulary or is on our formulary with restrictions. For example:

  • The drug might not be covered at all. Or maybe a generic version of the drug is covered but the brand name version you want to take is not covered.
  • The drug is covered, but there are extra rules or restrictions on coverage for that drug. As explained in Section 4, some of the drugs covered by the plan have extra rules to restrict their use. For example, you might be required to try a different drug first, to see if it will work, before the drug you want to take will be covered for you. Or there might be limits on what amount of the drug (number of pills, etc.) is covered during a particular time period. In some cases, you may want us to waive the restriction for you.
  • The drug is covered, but it is in a cost-sharing tier that makes your cost-sharing more expensive than you think it should be. The plan puts each covered drug into one of five different cost-sharing tiers. How much you pay for your prescription depends in part on which cost-sharing tier your drug is in.

There are things you can do if your drug is not covered in the way that you’d like it to be covered. Your options depend on what type of problem you have:

  • If your drug is not on the Drug List or if your drug is restricted, go to Section 5.2 to learn what you can do.
  • If your drug is in a cost-sharing tier that makes your cost more expensive than you think it should be, go to Section 5.3 to learn what you can do.

Section 5.2 - What can you do if your drug is not on the Drug List or if the drug is restricted in some way?

If your drug is not on the Drug List or is restricted, here are things you can do:

  • You may be able to get a temporary supply of the drug (only members in certain situations can get a temporary supply). This will give you and your provider time to change to another drug or to file a request to have the drug covered.
  • You can change to another drug.
  • You can request an exception and ask the plan to cover the drug or remove restrictions from the drug.

You may be able to get a temporary supply

Under certain circumstances, the plan can offer a temporary supply of a drug to you when your drug is not on the Drug List or when it is restricted in some way. Doing this gives you time to talk with your provider about the change in coverage and figure out what to do.

To be eligible for a temporary supply, you must meet the two requirements below:

  1. The change to your drug coverage must be one of the following types of changes:
  • The drug you have been taking is no longer on the plan’s Drug List.
  • or – the drug you have been taking is now restricted in some way (Section 4 in this chapter tells about restrictions).
  1. You must be in one of the situations described below:
  • For those members who are new or who were in the plan last year:
    We will cover a temporary supply of your drug during the first 90 days of your membership in the plan if you were new and during the first 90 days of the calendar year if you were in the plan last year. This temporary supply will be for a maximum of a 30-day supply. If your prescription is written for fewer days, we will allow multiple fills to provide up to a maximum of a 30-day supply of medication. The prescription must be filled at a network pharmacy. (Please note that the long-term care pharmacy may provide the drug in smaller amounts at a time to prevent waste.)
  • For those members who have been in the plan for more than 90 days and reside in a long-term care (LTC) facility and need a supply right away:
    We will cover one 31-day supply of a particular drug, or less if your prescription is written for fewer days. This is in addition to the above temporary supply situation.
  • When you transfer from one treatment setting to another, such as moving from an inpatient hospital setting to home, it is called a level-of-care change.
    These types of changes often do not leave you enough time to determine if a new prescription contains a drug that is not on the plan Drug List. In these unexpected situations, we will cover a temporary 30-day transition supply or a 31-day transition supply if you reside in a long-term care facility (unless you have a prescription written for fewer days).

To ask for a temporary supply, call Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).

During the time when you are getting a temporary supply of a drug, you should talk with your provider to decide what to do when your temporary supply runs out. You can either switch to a different drug covered by the plan or ask the plan to make an exception for you and cover your current drug. The sections below tell you more about these options.

You can change to another drug

Start by talking with your provider. Perhaps there is a different drug covered by the plan that might work just as well for you. You can call Member Services to ask for a list of covered drugs that treat the same medical condition. This list can help your provider find a covered drug that might work for you. (Phone numbers for Member Services are printed on the back cover of this booklet.)

You can ask for an exception

You and your provider can ask the plan to make an exception for you and cover the drug in the way you would like it to be covered. If your provider says that you have medical reasons that justify asking us for an exception, your provider can help you request an exception to the rule. For example, you can ask the plan to cover a drug even though it is not on the plan’s Drug List. Or you can ask the plan to make an exception and cover the drug without restrictions.

If you and your provider want to ask for an exception, Chapter 9, Section 6.4 tells what to do. It explains the procedures and deadlines that have been set by Medicare to make sure your request is handled promptly and fairly.


Section 5.3 - What can you do if your drug is in a cost-sharing tier you think is too high?

If your drug is in a cost-sharing tier you think is too high, here are things you can do:

You can change to another drug

If your drug is in a cost-sharing tier you think is too high, start by talking with your provider. Perhaps there is a different drug in a lower cost-sharing tier that might work just as well for you. You can call Member Services to ask for a list of covered drugs that treat the same medical condition. This list can help your provider find a covered drug that might work for you. (Phone numbers for Member Services are printed on the back cover of this booklet.)

You can ask for an exception

You and your provider can ask the plan to make an exception in the cost-sharing tier for the drug so that you pay less for it. If your provider says that you have medical reasons that justify asking us for an exception, your provider can help you request an exception to the rule.

If you and your provider want to ask for an exception, Chapter 9, Section 6.4 tells what to do. It explains the procedures and deadlines that have been set by Medicare to make sure your request is handled promptly and fairly.

Drugs in our Tier 5 (Specialty) are not eligible for this type of exception. We do not lower the cost-sharing amount for drugs in this tier.


Section 6.1 - The Drug List can change during the year

Most of the changes in drug coverage happen at the beginning of each year (January 1). However, during the year, the plan might make changes to the Drug List. For example, the plan might:

  • Add or remove drugs from the Drug List. New drugs become available, including new generic drugs. Perhaps the government has given approval to a new use for an existing drug. Sometimes, a drug gets recalled and we decide not to cover it. Or we might remove a drug from the list because it has been found to be ineffective.
  • Move a drug to a higher or lower cost-sharing tier.
  • Add or remove a restriction on coverage for a drug (for more information about restrictions to coverage, see Section 4 in this chapter).
  • Replace a brand name drug with a generic drug.

We must follow Medicare requirements before we change the plan’s Drug List.


Section 6.2 - What happens if coverage changes for a drug you are taking?

Information on changes to drug coverage

When changes to the Drug List occur during the year, we post information on our website about those changes. We will update our online Drug List on a regularly scheduled basis to include any changes that have occurred after the last update. Below we point out the times that you would get direct notice if changes are made to a drug that you are then taking. You can also call Member Services for more information (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).

Do changes to your drug coverage affect you right away?

Changes that can affect you this year: In the below cases, you will be affected by the coverage changes during the current year:

  • A generic drug replaces a brand name drug on the Drug List (or we change the cost-sharing tier or add new restrictions to the brand name drug)

    • If a brand name drug you are taking is replaced by a generic drug, the plan must give you at least 30 days’ notice or give you a 30-day refill of your brand name drug at a network pharmacy.

    • During this 30-day period, you should be working with your provider to switch to the generic or to a different drug that we cover.

    • Or you or your prescriber can ask the plan to make an exception and continue to cover the brand name drug for you. For information on how to ask for an exception, see Chapter 9 (What to do if you have a problem or complaint (coverage decisions, appeals, complaints)).
  • Unsafe drugs and other drugs on the Drug List that are withdrawn from the market

    • Once in a while, a drug may be suddenly withdrawn because it has been found to be unsafe or removed from the market for another reason. If this happens, we will immediately remove the drug from the Drug List. If you are taking that drug, we will let you know of this change right away.

    • Your prescriber will also know about this change, and can work with you to find another drug for your condition.
  • Other changes to drugs on the Drug List

    • We may make other changes once the year has started that affect drugs you are taking. For instance, we might make changes based on FDA boxed warnings or new clinical guidelines recognized by Medicare. We must give you at least 30 days’ notice or give you a 30-day refill of the drug you are taking at a network pharmacy.

    • During this 30-day period, you should be working with your prescriber to switch to a different drug that we cover.

    • Or you or your prescriber can ask us to make an exception and continue to cover the drug for you. For information on how to ask for an exception, see Chapter 9 (What to do if you have a problem or complaint (coverage decisions, appeals, complaints)).

Changes to drugs on the Drug List that will not affect people currently taking the drug: For changes to the Drug List that are not described above, if you are currently taking the drug, the following types of changes will not affect you until January 1 of the next year if you stay in the plan:

  • If we move your drug into a higher cost-sharing tier.
  • If we put a new restriction on your use of the drug.
  • If we remove your drug from the Drug List.

If any of these changes happen for a drug you are taking (but not because of a market withdrawal, a generic drug replacing a brand name drug, or other change noted in the sections above), then the change won’t affect your use or what you pay as your share of the cost until January 1 of the next year. Until that date, you probably won’t see any increase in your payments or any added restriction to your use of the drug. You will not get direct notice this year about changes that do not affect you. However, on January 1 of the next year, the changes will affect you, and it is important to check the new year’s Drug List for any changes to drugs.


Section 7.1 - Types of drugs we do not cover

This section tells you what kinds of prescription drugs are "excluded." This means Medicare does not pay for these drugs.

If you get drugs that are excluded, you must pay for them yourself. We won’t pay for the drugs that are listed in this section. The only exception: If the requested drug is found upon appeal to be a drug that is not excluded under Part D and we should have paid for or covered it because of your specific situation. (For information about appealing a decision we have made to not cover a drug, go to Chapter 9, Section 6.5 in this booklet.)

Here are three general rules about drugs that Medicare drug plans will not cover under Part D:

  • Our plan’s Part D drug coverage cannot cover a drug that would be covered under Medicare Part A or Part B.
  • Our plan cannot cover a drug purchased outside the United States and its territories.
  • Our plan usually cannot cover off-label use. "Off-label use" is any use of the drug other than those indicated on a drug’s label as approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

    • Generally, coverage for "off-label use" is allowed only when the use is supported by certain reference books. These reference books are the American Hospital Formulary Service Drug Information, the DRUGDEX Information System, for cancer, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and Clinical Pharmacology, or their successors. If the use is not supported by any of these reference books, then our plan cannot cover its "off-label use."

Also, by law, these categories of drugs are not covered by Medicare drug plans:

  • Non-prescription drugs (also called over-the-counter drugs)
  • Drugs when used to promote fertility
  • Drugs when used for the relief of cough or cold symptoms
  • Drugs when used for cosmetic purposes or to promote hair growth
  • Prescription vitamins and mineral products, except prenatal vitamins and fluoride preparations
  • Drugs when used for the treatment of sexual or erectile dysfunction
  • Drugs when used for treatment of anorexia, weight loss, or weight gain
  • Outpatient drugs for which the manufacturer seeks to require that associated tests or monitoring services be purchased exclusively from the manufacturer as a condition of sale

If you receive "Extra Help" paying for your drugs, your state Medicaid program may cover some prescription drugs not normally covered in a Medicare drug plan. Please contact your state Medicaid program to determine what drug coverage may be available to you. (You can find phone numbers and contact information for Medicaid in Chapter 2, Section 6.)


Section 8.1 - Show your membership card

To fill your prescription, show your plan membership card at the network pharmacy you choose. When you show your plan membership card, the network pharmacy will automatically bill the plan for our share of your covered prescription drug cost. You will need to pay the pharmacy your share of the cost when you pick up your prescription.


Section 8.2 - What if you don’t have your membership card with you?

If you don’t have your plan membership card with you when you fill your prescription, ask the pharmacy to call the plan to get the necessary information.

If the pharmacy is not able to get the necessary information, you may have to pay the full cost of the prescription when you pick it up. (You can then ask us to reimburse you for our share. See Chapter 7, Section 2.1 for information about how to ask the plan for reimbursement.)


Section 9.1 - What if you’re in a hospital or a skilled nursing facility for a stay that is covered by the plan?

If you are admitted to a hospital or to a skilled nursing facility for a stay covered by the plan, we will generally cover the cost of your prescription drugs during your stay. Once you leave the hospital or skilled nursing facility, the plan will cover your drugs as long as the drugs meet all of our rules for coverage. See the previous parts of this section that tell about the rules for getting drug coverage. Chapter 6 (What you pay for your Part D prescription drugs) gives more information about drug coverage and what you pay.

Please note: When you enter, live in, or leave a skilled nursing facility, you are entitled to a Special Enrollment Period. During this time period, you can switch plans or change your coverage. (Chapter 10, Ending your membership in the plan, tells when you can leave our plan and join a different Medicare plan.)


Section 9.2 - What if you’re a resident in a long-term care (LTC) facility?

Usually, a long-term care (LTC) facility (such as a nursing home) has its own pharmacy, or a pharmacy that supplies drugs for all of its residents. If you are a resident of a long-term care facility, you may get your prescription drugs through the facility’s pharmacy as long as it is part of our network.

Check your Pharmacy Directory to find out if your long-term care facility’s pharmacy is part of our network. If it isn’t, or if you need more information, please contact Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).

What if you’re a resident in a long-term care (LTC) facility and become a new member of the plan?

If you need a drug that is not on our Drug List or is restricted in some way, the plan will cover a temporary supply of your drug during the first 90 days of your membership. The total supply will be for a maximum of a 91-day supply, or less if your prescription is written for fewer days. (Please note that the long-term care (LTC) pharmacy may provide the drug in smaller amounts at a time to prevent waste.) If you have been a member of the plan for more than 90 days and need a drug that is not on our Drug List or if the plan has any restriction on the drug’s coverage, we will cover one 31-day supply, or less if your prescription is written for fewer days.

During the time when you are getting a temporary supply of a drug, you should talk with your provider to decide what to do when your temporary supply runs out. Perhaps there is a different drug covered by the plan that might work just as well for you. Or you and your provider can ask the plan to make an exception for you and cover the drug in the way you would like it to be covered. If you and your provider want to ask for an exception, Chapter 9, Section 6.4 tells what to do.


Section 9.3 - What if you’re also getting drug coverage from an employer or retiree group plan?

Do you currently have other prescription drug coverage through your (or your spouse’s) employer or retiree group? If so, please contact that group’s benefits administrator. He or she can help you determine how your current prescription drug coverage will work with our plan.

In general, if you are currently employed, the prescription drug coverage you get from us will be secondary to your employer or retiree group coverage. That means your group coverage would pay first.

Special note about ‘creditable coverage’:

Each year your employer or retiree group should send you a notice that tells if your prescription drug coverage for the next calendar year is "creditable" and the choices you have for drug coverage.

If the coverage from the group plan is "creditable," it means that the plan has drug coverage that is expected to pay, on average, at least as much as Medicare’s standard prescription drug coverage.

Keep these notices about creditable coverage, because you may need them later. If you enroll in a Medicare plan that includes Part D drug coverage, you may need these notices to show that you have maintained creditable coverage. If you didn’t get a notice about creditable coverage from your employer or retiree group plan, you can get a copy from your employer or retiree plan’s benefits administrator or the employer or union.


Section 9.4 - What if you’re in Medicare-certified hospice?

Drugs are never covered by both hospice and our plan at the same time. If you are enrolled in Medicare hospice and require an anti-nausea, laxative, pain medication or antianxiety drug that is not covered by your hospice because it is unrelated to your terminal illness and related conditions, our plan must receive notification from either the prescriber or your hospice provider that the drug is unrelated before our plan can cover the drug. To prevent delays in receiving any unrelated drugs that should be covered by our plan, you can ask your hospice provider or prescriber to make sure we have the notification that the drug is unrelated before you ask a pharmacy to fill your prescription.

In the event you either revoke your hospice election or are discharged from hospice our plan should cover all your drugs. To prevent any delays at a pharmacy when your Medicare hospice benefit ends, you should bring documentation to the pharmacy to verify your revocation or discharge. See the previous parts of this section that tell about the rules for getting drug coverage under Part D. Chapter 6 (What you pay for your Part D prescription drugs) gives more information about drug coverage and what you pay.


Section 10.1 - Programs to help members use drugs safely

We conduct drug use reviews for our members to help make sure that they are getting safe and appropriate care. These reviews are especially important for members who have more than one provider who prescribes their drugs.

We do a review each time you fill a prescription. We also review our records on a regular basis. During these reviews, we look for potential problems such as:

  • Possible medication errors
  • Drugs that may not be necessary because you are taking another drug to treat the same medical condition
  • Drugs that may not be safe or appropriate because of your age or gender
  • Certain combinations of drugs that could harm you if taken at the same time
  • Prescriptions written for drugs that have ingredients you are allergic to
  • Possible errors in the amount (dosage) of a drug you are taking

If we see a possible problem in your use of medications, we will work with your provider to correct the problem.


Section 10.2 - Drug Management Program (DMP) to help members safely use their opioid medications

We have a program that can help make sure our members safely use their prescription opioid medications, or other medications that are frequently abused. This program is called a Drug Management Program (DMP). If you use opioid medications that you get from several doctors or pharmacies, we may talk to your doctors to make sure your use is appropriate and medically necessary. Working with your doctors, if we decide you are at risk for misusing or abusing your opioid medications, we may limit how you can get those medications. The limitations may be:

  • Requiring you to get all your prescriptions for opioid medications from one pharmacy
  • Requiring you to get all your prescriptions for opioid medications from one doctor
  • Limiting the amount of opioid medications we will cover for you

If we decide that one or more of these limitations should apply to you, we will send you a letter in advance. The letter will have information explaining the terms of the limitations with think should apply to you. You will also have an opportunity to tell us which doctors or pharmacies you prefer to use. If you think we made a mistake or you disagree with our determination that you are at-risk for prescription drug abuse or the limitation, you and your prescriber have the right to ask us for an appeal. See Chapter 9 for information about how to ask for an appeal.

The DMP may not apply to you if you have certain medical conditions, such as cancer, or you are receiving hospice care or live in a long-term care facility.


Section 10.3 - Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program to help members manage their medications

We have a program that can help our members with complex health needs. For example, some members have several medical conditions, take different drugs at the same time, and have high drug costs.

This program is voluntary and free to members. A team of pharmacists and doctors developed the program for us. This program can help make sure that our members get the most benefit from the drugs they take. Our program is called a Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program. Some members who take medications for different medical conditions may be able to get services through an MTM program. A pharmacist or other health professional will give you a comprehensive review of all your medications. You can talk about how best to take your medications, your costs, and any problems or questions you have about your prescription and over-the-counter medications. You’ll get a written summary of this discussion. The summary has a medication action plan that recommends what you can do to make the best use of your medications, with space for you to take notes or write down any follow-up questions. You’ll also get a personal medication list that will include all the medications you’re taking and why you take them.

It’s a good idea to have your medication review before your yearly "Wellness" visit, so you can talk to your doctor about your action plan and medication list. Bring your action plan and medication list with you to your visit or anytime you talk with your doctors, pharmacists, and other health care providers. Also, keep your medication list with you (for example, with your ID) in case you go to the hospital or emergency room.

If we have a program that fits your needs, we will automatically enroll you in the program and send you information. If you decide not to participate, please notify us and we will withdraw you from the program. If you have any questions about these programs, please contact Member Services (phone numbers are printed on the back cover of this booklet).