Health First Joins Nationwide Effort to Make Prescription Medication Available in Wake of COVID-19
By Space Coast Daily // March 26, 2020
30-Day Refill Limits Waived for Health First Health Plans Members with Pharmacy Benefits
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – When it comes to essential items needed during an emergency of any kind, prescriptions are at the top of the list.
The Governor of Florida recently issued an executive order declaring a public health emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak.
One element of the order allows pharmacists to dispense up to a 30-day emergency refill of prescription drugs as needed.
“While our community is facing the challenges of both the national and state COVID-19 State of Emergency orders, we wanted to make medications available for these unexpected changes in the lives of our members and their families,” said Ron McGrier, Director of Pharmaceutical Services for Health First Health Plans.
Health First Health Plans is doing its part in this nationwide effort to help make sure critical access to medicine is available in times of need.
This is not out of fear that pharmacies will run out of medicine. It’s put into place so people have enough on hand that they won’t run out.
“Health First Health Plans is waiving early refill limits on 30-day prescription maintenance medications for all members with pharmacy benefits,” McGrier said.
“This will help our members gain easier access to the prescriptions they need for chronic conditions. Our local pharmacists now have the ability to override refill-too-soon prompts at your pharmacy for your maintenance medications. These early refills are limited to 30-day supplies and still require the appropriate copays.”
It’s important to keep in mind that these refill-too-soon overrides during the State of Emergency do not apply to opioids and other controlled substances. These controlled medications have safety warnings and quantity limits in place per both state and federal regulations.
“If a member is experiencing any issues with refilling their maintenance medications, or has special circumstances surrounding any other medications (e.g. opioids, pain medications or controlled drugs) they are currently taking, our Health First Health Plans team is happy to answer any questions and provide guidance,” McGrier said.
Health First Health Plans is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Health First Health Plans depends on contract renewal.
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