You’re terrified of leaving your home. It seems that everyone over the age of 60 is in danger of contracting Coronavirus right now, and you know you’re safer at home. But how are you supposed to get the thing you need right now? More importantly, how do you go about filling Medicaid prescriptions that you need to preserve your health?
Even in the best of times, it’s critical that seniors take the medications prescribed by their doctors. The latest news reports underline the unsettling fact that those with pre-existing conditions are even more vulnerable to the ravages of COVID-19.
Although we don’t have all the data yet, it’s not difficult to assume that the ramifications for those who aren’t receiving treatment for those conditions are even more dire.
How do you go about filling Medicaid prescriptions for those pre-existing health conditions when it’s not safe to leave your home?
Tips for Filling Medicaid Prescriptions During the Coronavirus Lockdown
Here are few tips for safely filling your prescriptions during these dangerous times:
1. Stock Up
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that seniors prepare themselves for all emergencies by keeping a stock of their medications that will last for 90 days.
2. Check Emergency Guidelines
In order to prevent seniors from going without critical maintenance medications, some states are loosening the restrictions on filling Medicaid prescriptions. Massachusetts, for example, has waived its 30-day supply limit.
Medicaid has expanded services during this emergency, including waiving restrictions on refills. So, call your pharmacy to see if you can get a 90-day supply of your medicine before ordering a refill.
3. Talk to Your Insurer
If you’re on Medicare, talk to the insurance company that handles your prescription coverage. In many cases, such as Aetna and BlueCross/BlueShield, insurers are waiving restrictions on copays and prescription refill limits.
4. Talk to Your Physician
If your insurance plan hasn’t removed restrictions on refills, talk to your doctor about getting a 90-day prescription for your maintenance medication.
5. Don’t Forget Over-the-Counter Medications
Before sheltering in place, make sure you stock up on the OTC medications you take regularly, such as aspirin or antacids. Some of these are critical to your ongoing health, even if they don’t require a prescription
6. Consider Delivery Services
If you’d prefer to stay put, check with your pharmacy to see if they offer delivery. Many national drug store chains take Medicaid and Medicare, and they may also offer delivery services.
For example, CVS is currently waiving delivery fees for medication in order to help protect vulnerable citizens.
7. Order Prescriptions By Mail
Many insurers that provide drug coverage offer prescriptions by mail. If yours offers this service for maintenance medications, this is an excellent time to take advantage of this service.
Take Advantage of Senior Community Benefits
If you live in an assisted living facility or are part of a senior housing community like SaraBella, check to see what benefits are available for assistance. Your health services coordinator may have already set up contingency plans for health checks, testing, or having medications delivered from local stores and pharmacies.
Many grocery and drug stores have established early shopping hours for those over 65 to prevent disease spread to vulnerable seniors. Your facility staff may have also arranged for safe transport to local stores during these special senior shopping hours.
Coronavirus Safety Tips for Shopping
If you’re unable to order online or by mail and must venture to the store or doctor’s office for medical reasons, keep the following Coronavirus safety tips in mind:
- Take advantage of senior hours as described above. Check with your regular retailers before shopping. Many have worked hard overnight to provide a freshly sanitized store where you can shop for what you need without being crowded.
- Keep a distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet whenever out in public.
- Wear a mask and gloves after leaving the house if you use public transportation or a taxi. You can keep these on while shopping for further protection.
- Take the provided sanitizing wipes at the store entrance to clean the shopping cart handle.
- Use care when shopping by refraining from touching the shelves or fixtures unless necessary. Only handle the items you intend to purchase and avoid using the restrooms.
- Take care when checking out by remaining back from the counter. Many stores will provide guidance on where to stand. Use gloves for handling the checkout keypad and don’t touch the counter in from of the register. Some stores are providing hand sanitizer at the register you can use after checking out.
- Upon returning home, avoid touching any surfaces until you can wash.
- Remove your purchases from the shopping bags and discard the bags. You may want to wipe down the outsides of plastic and metal containers before storing your purchases.
- Some people feel more comfortable if they can change their clothing and shoes after shopping. There some uncertainty over how long the virus can live on fabric and leather.
- Before touching anything else in your home, wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
- Disinfect everything in your home you’ve touched since returning, including door handles, light switches, and cabinets. Also disinfect the surfaces of items you took with you, such as your cellphone, purse, or reusable shopping bag.
- Wash your hands again with soap and water.
These tips can help prevent the spread of disease and reduce your risk of catching COVID-19.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
Because seniors are at such a high risk of complications from COVID-19, you should follow all the CDC guidelines for prevention, whether you’re at home or on a necessary trip.
Keep up with your local authorities for the latest pandemic lockdown information in order to stay safe. While this situation is frightening, there are many ways you can protect yourself from infection.
The first step in preventing the spread is to stay home and physically far from others. If you’re on maintenance medication, your first concern should be filling Medicaid prescriptions for 90 days to avoid unnecessary trips to the store.
Make sure that you follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest news on how to protect your health during the pandemic and in the long term.