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In light of Hurricane Matthew’s disruptions to beneficiary services, equipment and supplies, we are reissuing these reminders.

When a Medicare beneficiary lives in an area that has been declared an emergency or disaster by the President, a Governor, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the usual Medicare rules for coverage and related concerns may be changed in order to assist those in need.  Below you will find specific information, if you have further questions, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Getting Care from Doctors or Other Providers: You may be able to get Medicare coverage for health care at an airport from a military provider, or you may be able to see an out-of-network provider if you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, or you may not have to meet prior-authorization rules. 

Obtaining Prescription Drugs: If you can’t get to your usual pharmacy, you had to leave your home without your medications, or your medications have been lost or damaged, your Medicare drug plan can find another network pharmacy nearby.  You can move your medications back to your regular pharmacy when the disaster or emergency ends. On the following link, you can insert a city or town and it will list the pharmacies that are open and their location and phone number.  They also show on a map at http://www.rxopen.org/.  Additional information from CMS is available at https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovContra/Downloads/ProviderAccess.pdf  

Paying Your Premium: If you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), you’re still responsible for paying your premium on time, even when there is an emergency or disaster.  If you don’t pay, your plans may dis-enroll you.  If you are dis-enrolled, you may be able to ask Medicare to reconsider the decision and get your coverage back.

Getting Dialysis Treatments: If you have Original Medicare, call your ESRD Network (or call 1-800-MEDICARE to get their contact information).  If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan directly.

Getting Chemotherapy or Other Cancer Treatments: If you have Original Medicare, call the National Cancer Institute (NCI) (1-800-4CANCER) to help you find other cancer care providers.  If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan.

Replacing a Lost Medicare Card or Medicare Plan Membership Card or Temporarily Change your Address: If you have Original Medicare, contact Social Security or call 1-800-772-1213.  If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan directly.

Replacing Lost or Damaged Durable Medical Equipment or Supplies: If you have Original Medicare, Medicare will usually cover the cost to repair or replace your equipment or supplies.  Generally, Medicare will cover the cost of rentals for items during the time your equipment is being repaired.  Call 1-800-MEDICARE to find out about how to replace your equipment or supplies.  If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, contact your plan directly.

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