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2017 and 2018 Part D Transition Policy

Medicare Part D Transition Policy for New and Current Enrollees of our Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

We want to make sure that all new and current enrollees have a smooth and safe transition to the new contract year and their Medicare Part D prescription benefit. Current members and new members, upon enrollment, receive benefit information including:

  • A list of medications on the formulary
  • Plan requirements and coverage limits
  • The process for requesting a prior authorization or formulary exception
  • How to use our online directory to locate network pharmacies, and how to request a printed directory

This information provides details on formulary medication and coverage requirements.

Health Partners Medicare will ensure that cost sharing for a temporary supply of drugs provided under our transition process will never exceed the statutory maximum copayment amounts for low-income subsidy (LIS) eligible enrollees.

For non-LIS enrollees, we will charge the same cost sharing for non-formulary Part D drugs provided during the transition that would apply for non-formulary drugs approved through a formulary exception in accordance with § 423.578(b) and the same cost sharing for formulary drugs subject to utilization management edits provided during the transition that would apply once the utilization management criteria are met.

Prior authorization or a formulary exception may be needed for medications that:

  • Have other available options that are similarly effective, safe and are less expensive
  • Have limited uses or dosing based upon scientific studies or FDA approval
  • May be prescribed for conditions that are not a covered Part D benefit
  • Are not on our formulary
  • Require special handling or monitoring of labs
  • Are prescribed with quantity limits that exceed FDA dosing parameters

If you are currently taking a medication that requires a formulary exception or prior authorization, we realize that you may need time to work with your provider to consider formulary alternatives or request authorization for coverage. Working with your health care provider is your best way of getting the most value from your Medicare Part D prescription benefit. You’ll avoid expensive prescription costs by considering available formulary options that have been proven to be equally effective and safe.

During your first 90 days of eligibility:

  • For new members, you can receive a temporary supply (up to 30-day supply) for the non-formulary prescribed Part D medications during the first 90 days of eligibility (unless the prescription is written by the prescriber for less than 30 days). After your first 30-day supply, we will not pay for these drugs even if you have been a member of our plan for less than 90 days.
  • For enrollees in long-term care facilities, you can fill a temporary supply (up to a 31-day supply) for the non-formulary prescribed Part D medication during the first 90 days of eligibility (unless the prescription is written by the prescriber for less than 31 days). Also, additional refills during your 90-day transition may be provided so you can work with your health care provider to find formulary medication options or request a coverage exception.
  • If you are an enrollee in a long-term care facility and you are past the first 90 days of eligibility with our plan and you need a drug that is not on our formulary or if your ability to get your drugs is limited, we will cover a 31-day emergency supply of that drug (unless your prescription is for fewer days) while you pursue a formulary exception.
  • If you receive coverage for a temporary medication fill, we will notify you if a formulary exception determination or prior authorization is needed for continued coverage of your medication.

If you are a current member, you may receive up to a temporary 30-day supply of a drug that is not on the formulary or has new prior authorization restrictions in the new contract year within the first 90 days of renewal. After your first 30-day supply, we will not cover these drugs unless approved through the non-formulary exception process or through prior authorization.

If you receive coverage for a temporary medication fill, we will notify you if a formulary exception determination or prior authorization is needed for continued coverage of your medication.

If you are a current member and have a change in treatment setting due to a change in the level of care you require, you can ask us to make a formulary exception.

Examples of level of care changes might include:

  • Discharge from a hospital to home
  • Ending your skilled nursing facility Medicare Part A stay (where payments include all pharmacy charges) and you now need to use your Part D plan
  • Changing from hospice status and reverting back to standard Medicare Part A and B coverage
  • Ending a long-term care stay and returning to the community
  • Discharges from chronic psychiatric hospitals with highly individualized drug regimens

For these unplanned transitions, you can ask us to make a formulary exception or appeal for continued coverage of your drug. In addition we will review requests for continuation of therapy on a case-by-case basis for members that have had a change in their level of care and are stabilized on drug regimens that if altered are known to have risks.

Additional information about the drugs we cover, prior authorization and the formulary exceptions and appeal processes, is available on our website or by calling Member Relations at 1-866-901-8000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. TTY users should call 711.

If you have general questions about Medicare prescription drug coverage, please call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day/seven days a week. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Or visit www.medicare.gov.

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