It is important that people who were not able to enroll in Medicare due to California fires or flooding do so at once.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (PRWEB) May 23, 2018
Polk has also summarized and simplified the procedures for getting medical care and medication during disasters and emergencies. “This is a checklist for Medicare recipients to print out and keep handy so that the information is easily available if it is ever needed,” said Polk.
Polk said the information is available to the public on the Medicare website, “But, people don’t always have access to a computer during a disaster. Keep copies of this checklist wherever it will be handy, in purses or wallets, in vehicle glove boxes and give copies to relatives so you’ll have the information when you need it.”
In addition to the checklist, Polk also advises that people contact their individual plans to find out the best way to keep premium payments current during a disaster. Also, replace lost Medicare and insurance cards as soon as possible.
The checklist includes: Contact information for obtaining equitable relief before the deadline; How to get medical care, including dialysis and cancer treatments; How to get prescriptions filled; How to get emergency replacements for medical equipment and What to do if you miss the enrollment period.
Equitable relief contact information
Medicare also offers equitable relief to people who were not able to meet Part A or Part B enrollment deadlines due to national or state emergencies. The current equitable relief period is ending May 31, 2018.
To request equitable relief, Polk urges Medicare recipients to call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) or to visit the Social Security Administration website to find a local Social Security office.
How to get medical care
Recipients can see a doctor and continue to receive dialysis and cancer treatments during an emergency. The following information provides telephone numbers and websites to contact with questions and for assistance.
For original Medicare contact the following services:
Call Medicare at (800) 633-4227 for information about seeing a doctor or for contact information for the local ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) Network,
Visit the ESRD Network website and click the interactive map to locate network providers.
Call the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at (800)-422-6237 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri for help locating local cancer care providers. TTY: (800) 332-8615.
People on original Medicare can always see any doctor who accepts Medicare. Some rules may change in emergency or disaster areas depending on the situations, such as receiving covered services from a military provider.
The local ESRD Network (End Stage Renal Disease) can help with getting treatments and supplies, drugs, transport to treatments and emergency financial assistance.
For Medicare Advantage or other Medicare insurance plans
Plans may make temporary changes to rules when health plan services get disrupted during an emergency or disaster. Check your plan's website or contact your plan to find out what to do during an emergency. Generally, the plan allows for care from any Medicare provider even if that provider is outside the plan’s network. Prior authorization rules are usually waived during an emergency or disaster.
It is wise to keep the relevant telephone numbers in a safe place so they are available in case there is no way to look them up.
To receive dialysis treatments check with the plan to discover any temporary changes due to a disaster. Visit the ESRD Network website and click the interactive map to locate network providers.
For cancer treatments check with your plan for changes during emergencies or disasters.
Medicare can also provide plan contact information, call (800)-633-4227).
How to get prescriptions filled
Record the contact information for your drug plan and keep it in a safe place. In the event of a disaster the plan can help you locate any pharmacy that can fill prescriptions, locate in-network pharmacies that can fill the prescriptions and get 60 to 90-day supplies of prescriptions.
If you have to pay more for prescriptions than normal, you can make a claim with the Medicare drug plan for a refund.
How to get emergency replacements for medical equipment
To replace durable medical equipment (DME) that has been lost or damaged in a disaster, such as a wheelchair or walker, or supplies like diabetic supplies, contact:
Medicare at (800) 633-4227 if you have Original Medicare.
The Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan.
What to do if you miss the enrollment period
Medicare sets up special enrollment periods for people in areas hit by disasters. Call Medicare at (800) 633-4227 for the new enrollment period. The enrollment period applies to all plans.
Susan Polk Insurance Agency, Inc.
1443 Marsh St.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
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