If you have health insurance, you may be wondering how you're able to use your travel insurance at the pharmacy. While your regular domestic U.S. health insurance policy enables you to buy medications with just a copay by showing your domestic health insurance card or prescription benefits card to a pharmacist, that isn't the case with a travel insurance policy. Travel insurance companies can't support direct billing to pharmacies, so don't be surprised if you're asked to pay upfront for medication at the pharmacy.
How Do I Get Medication at a Pharmacy? What is The Process?
You can go to any pharmacy of your choice. In the U.S., you must have a proper prescription for any medication you want to get. There is no separate copayment and you must pay in full and then file the claim to receive a reimbursement.
As long as you follow the claims process and have the proper receipts, the cost of your medications will be reimbursed as per the insurance policy terms.
Buying Medicine at a Pharmacy
- Make an upfront payment.
- Ask for the receipts.
- You can claim this money from the insurance company, as per the policy coverage.
- Since pharmacies don't store information in their systems for short-term insurance such as Visitor Insurance, you need to make an upfront payment at the pharmacy which you can claim from the insurance company later.
Frequently Asked Questions About Travel Insurance at Pharmacies:
I want to buy some medication during my trip. Which pharmacy can I go to? Are there specified pharmacies under my insurance network?
How do I know if the particular medicine I want to buy is covered by my policy?
If the prescription is related to any new medical conditions, it should be covered as per the policy. Any routine, ongoing medications related to preexisting conditions and preventative medications are not covered by visitors insurance. Read the exclusions in your policy to learn about what isn't covered.
How do I get a prescription refill of medications that are not prescribed by a U.S.-based doctor?
You must visit a doctor in the U.S. to get the medication prescription. Unlike most other countries, pharmacies will not give you medications without a proper written prescription from a U.S.-based, licensed medical doctor/service provider.
Also, your U.S.-based travel insurance company will only reimburse you for the covered benefits, including the medications, that you have purchased with a proper prescription of a U.S.-based licensed medical doctor/service provider.
Is over-the-counter medicine covered by travel medical insurance?
What is the copayment for medication at the pharmacy?
There is no separate copayment for pharmacy. You pay for the medicine in full and the insurance company will process it as per the policy terms when the claim is submitted by you.
Is there a separate deductible applicable for pharmacy benefits?
No, there is not, unless it's specifically written in your policy. Pharmacy claims are treated the same as medical services you have received, and any deductible is applied to the entire amount of services and medication.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pharmacy and Pre-Existing Conditions:
My mother has high blood pressure and takes medicine on a regular basis. Can I buy her prescription medication from a pharmacy? Will it be covered?
My father is on insulin. Can I buy insulin from the pharmacy? Is it covered by my insurance?
Any existing conditions and related treatment is not covered by visitors medical insurance. You may buy it with a doctor's prescription, but it is unlikely to be covered by your insurance.