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Gov. Wolf: Medicaid recipients get early refills for prescriptions

Medicaid Managed Care Organizations are being directed to be flexible with issuing prior authorizations for longer durations when medically necessary.
Credit: WPMT FOX43
Governor Wolf

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Governor Tom Wolf announced on Tuesday that the Department of Human Services (DHS) has directed the state’s Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) to let Medicaid recipients obtain early refills of all prescriptions at their pharmacy point-of-sale, according to a release. 

"By asking Medicaid providers and pharmacists to allow for earlier prescription refills and longer prescription supplies, we are all doing our part to practice social distancing to keep everyone safe and well," Gov. Wolf says in a release.

The MCOs are also being directed to be flexible with issuing prior authorizations for longer durations when medically necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During these stay-at-home orders, we strongly encourage Medicaid recipients to use this option to reduce the need for unnecessary trips out of the home that may jeopardize their or someone else’s health,” DHS Sec. Teresa Miller says in a release. “We appreciate our Medicaid providers and pharmacists’ participation in this initiative to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Gov. Wolf says Pennsylvanians must follow the stay-at-home orders by reducing trips and interactions with others to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Pharmacies are essential-to-life services and will continue to operate during COVID-19 mitigation efforts, so Medicaid recipients are able to fill these prescriptions now if they haven't.

If the prescription is current and there are refills remaining on the prescription, the pharmacist would be able to issue early refills. If the prescription is out of refills, contact your health care provider for a new prescription.

This directive extends to both recipients covered by HealthChoices managed care organizations and fee-for-service Medicaid. Consumers may obtain early refills for opioids for pain management, but the prior authorization requirement based on day supply for short-acting opioids remains in effect.

Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders to include Cameron, Crawford, Forest, Franklin, Lawrence, Lebanon and Somerset counties.

This brings the state total to 33 counties under a stay-at-home order, which takes effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday and will continue until April 30, according to officials. 

Visit the PA Department of Health’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage for the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19.

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