Your Medicare Part D plan may anticipate times were you will be traveling out-of-network for a period of time that is longer than your prescription and can provide you with a "vacation override" allowing the pharmacy to give you an early refill (or pre-fill) for a prescription before the trip so that you will have enough medication as you travel. (You may also hear people refer to a "vacation supply".)Important:
Your Medicare plan may only grant your vacation override for a 30 or 31-day refill of maintenance drugs just once in a calendar year.Not all medications may be filled in advance using a Vacation Override - without additional approvals
Some medications that are prone to overuse may be controlled (such as pain medication) and your plan may not be able to provide a vacation override with an earlier refill without additional information or approvals.How to ask for a Vacation Override
Please contact your Medicare plan's Member Services department and ask for assistance - and be sure to call well in advance of your travel date. Again, some prescription drugs require additional approvals (since the medications are controlled on a state or federal level) and may delay the process.
In addition, your Medicare plan may require proof of your upcoming international travel and require you to submit travel documentation such as airline tickets, lodging reservations "as evidence to substantiate your travel activities (for a travel refill request of over a month supply)." Some plans may require you to submit a "Prescription Advance Purchase Request Form" that includes your prescribing doctor's contact information.Obtaining a prescription for an extended maintenance drug supply
If you need prescriptions for a longer period than available through a vacation
override, you should consider asking your prescribing doctor for a
90-day prescription for your medications and you can use your plan’s
90-day mail order option – assuming a 90-day prescription satisfies any usage management restrictions
(such as prior authorization (PA) or quantity limit (QL) restrictions).Can you purchase medications abroad and ask your Medicare Part D plan for reimbursement?You can always ask, but ...
If you are traveling and need medications you can always purchase the medications yourself, save the receipts and ask your Medicare Part D plan for reimbursement when you return - although your plan may likely deny the reimbursement request.
Check your Medicare Part D plan's Evidence of Coverage (EOC) document for more about using a non-network pharmacy and you may find text such as " [The Medicare plan] cannot pay for any stolen medications or prescriptions
that are filled by pharmacies outside the United States and territories,
even for a medical emergency, for example on a cruise ship." (see your EOC Chapter 3, Section 2.5) Purchasing International Travel Insurance
As noted, another solution to long-term international drug coverage would be to purchase separate
foreign travel insurance that
includes prescription coverage. For more information, you can contact a specialized insurance company such as Petersen International Underwriters (https://www.piu.org/health-insurance
) or International Medical Group (https://www.imglobal.com
Remember to travel with any prescription (or
healthcare) documentation so that you can have prescriptions filled when
you are outside of the United States.