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Medicine vacation waiver

I recently went to my pharmacy to get my Meds for an upcoming trip. I thought I would have to pay out of pocket, since I was getting them early for one of them. When the pharmacist asked why I needed them early and I told her I was going on vacation she told me they can call in a vacation waiver. Particulars are: once every 365 days, has to be out of state, and all Meds have to be asked for at once. A phone call later and I was on my way with them for free! She said all insurances do it. Hope this helps someone else. (I have Obama Medicaid and the scrip would have cost over $900).

Posted by
2353 posts

Yes it is very handy - we have done that for years. Some meds/states/insurance companies can be a little touchy but for most it is great.

Posted by
21319 posts

Details vary a bit by insurance company, and in my experience the drug store may ask for a week or so of advance notice to get the necessary authorization. The first person you talk to may not be aware of the procedure, so you may have to be persistent. And the drug store may have a bit of trouble reaching the right person at the insurance company. So don't leave this till the last minute. I make my first inquiry about 2 weeks before departure and follow the instructions provided by the drug store (which may be to come back in three or four days).

The drug store can't give you medication that extends beyond the refills remaining on your current prescription, so you may need to start by having your doctor's office provide a new prescription. That may add a day or more to the time required.

I managed to get supplies of three prescription meds for a 4-1/2 month trip last summer. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance. Somewhere along the way someone said something about a 90-day limit, but either he was wrong or a way was found to get around that. It may have helped that all of my meds are very inexpensive generics.

Posted by
11455 posts

BC/BS allows you to get a 90 day supply, as long as your script allows it, without any special permission. More than 90 days and you have to put in a request .

I do this all the time even when I'm not traveling.

Posted by
3493 posts

Yes, this works for the pharmacies I deal with.

The local one actually let me know they would do this for me when I mentioned I would run out of a particular prescription half way through an upcoming trip a few years ago. Took all of 5 minutes for them to call my insurance and get authorization.

I also get several drugs from the online pharmacy that belongs to my insurance co. They do the 90 day at a time fills. They were not so willing to send my my next prescriptions early. When I explained I would be out of the country for a full 90 days, they sent me my next refills early.

And as mentioned in another comment, the pharmacies can only advance you your prescriptions to the amount you have left. Meaning if you don't have any refills left, they can't do this until they get a new prescription.

Posted by
11613 posts

Time to accomplish this can vary.

Another handy tip is the manufacturer's copayment coupon for non-generic drugs, can reduce cost by up to 80%.

Posted by
6950 posts

Our problem is that the wife takes a couple of controlled pain medicines. Our state is getting so tight that we have to go the the next state over to see a proper pain management clinic.
Controlled medicines now require a doctor's visit EVERY MONTH, and all prescriptions have to be done by computer in a specific standardized format--and signed by the doctor. The pain clinic counts the pills and sometimes post date the "fill date" for when she'll run out of meds.
Last month, we were out of state and had to chase around 90 miles to 3 different towns before we found a CVS pharmacy location with her meds in stock. And then they had to phone verify the prescription with the clinic.
Some of us are limited to one month international trips, and they must correspond with visits to the doctor.