Fight Back When Drugs Are Denied

If a pharmacist says your Medicare Part D plan won't cover your medicine, take these steps to remedy the situation.

Pills Spilling From Bottle
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ingram Publishing)

You make a routine trip to the pharmacy to fill a prescription. But the pharmacist tells you your Medicare drug plan won't cover the drug. You walk away with no medication -- and no clear explanation about why you were denied coverage.

More and more seniors are finding themselves in this confusing and potentially dangerous situation, patient advocates say. Questions about pharmacy-counter denials -- and what to do next -- are among the most common issues raised by callers to the Medicare Rights Center's national helpline, says Joe Baker, the center's president. "The problem of pharmacy denials and people being confused by Part D prescription-drug coverage is a growing trend," he says.

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Eleanor Laise
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Laise covers retirement issues ranging from income investing and pension plans to long-term care and estate planning. She joined Kiplinger in 2011 from the Wall Street Journal, where as a staff reporter she covered mutual funds, retirement plans and other personal finance topics. Laise was previously a senior writer at SmartMoney magazine. She started her journalism career at Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine and holds a BA in English from Columbia University.