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by Patricia Barry, AARP Bulletin, January 5, 2009
Q. I just switched to a different Part D plan, but my new card hasn’t arrived yet. How can I fill my prescriptions?
A. It can take time for your new coverage information to be uploaded onto Medicare’s pharmacy computer system—especially if you enrolled late in December, the busiest time of year for Medicare drug plans. But you can fill prescriptions in early January (or as soon as your coverage is supposed to begin) even without your card. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you go to the pharmacy:
-- a copy of your enrollment form.
-- a letter from the plan acknowledging your enrollment request. (Part D plans are required to respond within 10 days of receiving enrollment applications, as explained here.)
-- any other written materials the plan has sent you since you enrolled.
Ask the pharmacist to call the plan to confirm your coverage.
-- a letter from Medicare or Social Security saying you qualify for Extra Help.
-- a copy of your application for Extra Help, if you have one.
-- your Medicaid card, if you’re receiving health benefits from your state.
-- any document showing that you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or have your Medicare premiums paid by your state.
Patricia Barry is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.
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