Medicare: Additional Pharmacy Information

Learn more about what our over-the-counter debit card covers, how to get money back for a drug, our Medication Therapy Management Program, how to get help paying for part D drugs in the Extra Help program (as known as Low Income Subsidy) and much more.

As a member of EmblemHealth VIP Dual (HMO D-SNP), you will get an OTC Medicare card with a monthly benefit up to $125 depending on where you live when you enroll in the plan. As a member of the EmblemHealth VIP Dual Select (HMO D-SNP), you will get an OTC Medicare card with a monthly benefit up to $50 when you enroll in the plan. You can use this card to buy covered items from any OTC pharmacy we contract with. Please review list of covered items below.

Please note that not all OTC items are covered. Your card will only work for covered items.

Order Your Over-the-Counter (OTC) Items at Home—Free Shipping

In addition to using your OTC card at participating retail locations, now you can use it to order your covered OTC items online, by phone, or through mail order. There is no additional cost to you. Get your covered OTC items like cold/flu medicine, incontinence supplies, vitamins, and many more from the comfort of your home. Be sure you activated your card before using it.

Three simple ways to order your OTC items at home: 


Call NationsOTC at 844-432-4327 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to place an order.

Complete an order form and mail it to NationsOTC. You will receive your shipment in the mail within two to five business days from the time of receipt. Call NationsOTC to get an order form.

Visit to select your covered items and complete the checkout process.

Please note:  If the total amount of your order is more than your OTC card balance, NationsOTC will ask you for alternate method of payment. You can use a credit card online or over the phone and a check when using mail order.

How to buy your OTC item(s) at a participating store:

To get your OTC item(s), take your card and your covered OTC item(s) to the checkout at any store or pharmacy in the OTC network. The amount you spend will be taken out of your monthly benefit. Your left-over balance will show at the bottom of your receipt. Any leftover balance will carry over until your next purchase. You must use the entire balance on the card before the end of each month. On the first day of each month your balance will be reset.

Participating stores:

You can use the card to pay for covered OTC items at participating stores, including Duane Reade, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Family Dollar. Other stores are available in the network. If you are an EmblemHealth VIP Dual (HMO D-SNP), or EmblemHealth VIP Dual Select (HMO D-SNP) member, call 877-344-7364 (TTY: 711) for help finding a participating store.

For card balance:

Please call 888-682-2400 and enter your OTC Medicare card number listed on the front of your card and your plan member ID located on the front of your EmblemHealth VIP Dual (HMO D-SNP), or EmblemHealth VIP Dual Select (HMO D-SNP) member ID card. You can also check your balance at

Our plan covers some OTC drugs in these categories:

Covered items

  • Acid controllers, liquids and tablets
  • Adult aspirin, and pain relief
  • Allergy, sinus and combination liquids and tablets
  • Bathtub safety and accessories
  • CoQ10 only (UBIQUINOL)
  • Cough, cold and flu liquids and tablets
  • Denture/dental care (floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, and denture care)
  • Digestive aids (probiotics and prebiotics)
  • Ear drops and eye wash
  • Elevated toilet seats and accessories
  • Foot care (corn/callus/bunion pads and removers, anti-fungal powders/creams/liquids/sprays)
  • Hand held showers
  • Grab bars and handles
  • Grooming and dressing aids
  • Heart health and essential fatty acids (fish oil, flax, Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), etc.)
  • Incontinence supplies
  • Laxatives (stool softeners and fiber acid)
  • Mobility Safety: Stair rails, stair treads, temporary mobility ramps
  • Sitz baths and bidets
  • Vaporizers, humidifiers and accessories
  • Vitamins and minerals

Our plan does not cover OTC drugs in these categories:

Non-Covered Items

  • Herbals and botanicals - (example echinacea- ginseng-ginkgo biloba)
  • Foot care (foot grooming, foot moisturizers, exfoliators & cleansers, odor and wetness treatment insoles/inserts)
  • Weight Management foods (liquids, powders and bars)
  • Meal replacement shakes/nutrition drinks (Ensure, Boost and Glucerna)
  • Oral care (mouthwash and breath remedies)
  • Sport/energy liquids

How to get reimbursed:

If you forget to bring your card with you to the store or pharmacy, you may also ask for a refund using a paper claim form.

After you pay for the OTC item(s), simply mail your completed paper claim form to us with a copy of the receipt(s) for the covered item(s) you bought. We will then refund you for the covered OTC item(s) and take off that amount from your current debit card balance.

If you have any questions, please call Customer Service at  877-344-7364  (TTY: 711), 8 am to 8 pm,  seven days a week. Customer Service has free language translator services available for non-English speakers.

EmblemHealth VIP Dual (HMO D-SNP) and EmblemHealth VIP Dual Select (HMO D-SNP) Over-the-Counter (OTC) Covered Drugs and Items Download (PDF)

Extra Help also called Low Income Subsidy (LIS) is a Medicare Program to help people with limited income and resources pay for Part D drug plan costs. It can help you pay for monthly premium fees (the amount you pay for your insurance every month), deductibles (the amount you pay before your plan starts to pay), and coinsurance (the percentage you pay for health services).

You can get Extra Help if:

  • You have full Medicaid coverage.
  • You get help from your state Medicaid program to pay your part B premiums in a Medicare Savings Program.
  • You get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits


To see if you qualify for Extra Help:

  • Call Medicare: 800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). If you use a TTY, please call 877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, seven days a week;
  • Call Social Security: 800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. If you use a TTY, please call 800-325-0778 or
  • Your State Medicaid Office.


If you get Extra Help, what you pay for the plan and what you pay at the pharmacy will be lower.

HMO LIS Premium Summary (EmblemHealth Medicare HMO & PDP plans)

The MTM Program is a free service for EmblemHealth Medicare plan members with a Part D prescription drug coverage who have certain health conditions and who take a certain number of chronic medications.

Learn More

Reimbursement Forms

Complete this form to seek reimbursement for prescription drug costs you paid above the cost-share amounts outlined under your plan’s prescription drug benefits.

See Section 10 of your Evidence of Coverage for more details.

Reimbursement Form - HMO and PPO
English | Español | 中文

Reimbursement Form a- PDP
English | Español | 中文

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Determination Request Form

(including Medicare PDP City of New York Retirees)

EmblemHealth Medicare HMO
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EmblemHealth Medicare PPO
English | Español | 中文

EmblemHealth Medicare PDP
English | Español | 中文

EmblemHealth Medicare PDP (VIP Rx and VIP Rx Plus)
English | Español | 中文

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Redetermination Request Form

(including Medicare PDP City of New York Retirees)

EmblemHealth Medicare HMO
English | Español | 中文

EmblemHealth Medicare PPO
English | Español | 中文

EmblemHealth Medicare PDP
English | Español | 中文

EmblemHealth’s goal is to make changes that occur each new benefit year as seamless as possible. EmblemHealth’s transition policy meets the immediate needs of our members and allows them time to work with their prescribing doctor to switch to another medication that is on the formulary to treat the member’s condition or ask for an exception.

Who is Eligible for a Temporary Supply?

During the first 90 days of membership, we offer a temporary supply of medications to:

  • New members into its prescription drug plan following the Annual Election Period
  • Newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries from other coverage
  • Existing members impacted by a negative formulary change from the prior year
  • Members switching Medicare Part D plans after the start of the contract year
  • Members residing in long-term care (LTC) facilities
  • In some cases, enrollees who change treatment settings due to a change in level of care


Our transition policy applies to:

Part D medications that are not on EmblemHealth’s formulary and Part D medications that are on EmblemHealth’s formulary but may require:

  • Prior authorization (PA) (Approval in advance to get services or certain drugs that may or may not be on our formulary.),

  • Step therapy (ST) (A utilization tool that requires you to first try another drug to treat your medical condition before we will cover the drug your physician may have initially prescribed.) or

  • Quantity limitations (QL) (Limits may be on the amount of the drug that we cover per prescription or for a defined period of time)

Getting Medication from a Participating Network Pharmacy

For each medication that is not on our formulary or is subject to PA, ST or QL EmblemHealth will cover a temporary 31-day supply of medications (unless the prescription was written for fewer days) when taken to a network pharmacy during the transition period. After a month’s supply, you will need to request an exception for coverage, otherwise EmblemHealth will not pay for these medications, even if the member has been in the plan less than 90 days.

How is a Prescription filled in Long-Term Care Facilities?

For members in long-term care facilities prescription refills will be provided up to a month’s supply (unless the prescription was written for fewer days). We will cover more than one refill of these medications for the first 90 days as a member of our plan.

If a medication is needed that is not on our formulary or if the member’s ability to get medications is limited, but the member is past the first 90 days of membership in our plan, we will cover a 31 day emergency supply of that medication (unless a prescription was written for fewer days) while a formulary exception is requested.

How is a Member Notified about the Transition Supply?

All members (and their doctors) getting a temporary supply of a medication will be sent a letter about the member’s transition fill and the transition process. This letter will be sent within three business days of the temporary fill.

The notice will include:

  • An explanation of the transition supply that the member received;
  • How to work with EmblemHealth and the member’s prescriber to find another medication that is on the formulary to treat the member’s condition;
  • An explanation of the member’s right to ask for a formulary exception; and
  • A description of the formulary exception process.

What is the Copay for Temporary Medication?

The copay for the approved temporary medication will be based on one of our approved formulary tiers. The cost sharing for a non-formulary drug provided during the transition period will be the same as the cost-sharing charged for non-formulary medications that are approved under a coverage exception. Cost sharing for formulary drugs subject to PA, ST or QL that are provided during the transition will be provided at the same cost sharing that would apply once the PA, ST or QL is met.

Copays for members who are eligible for “Extra Help” (A Medicare program to help people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug program costs, such as premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance) during the transition period, will never exceed the copay maximums set by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for low-income members.

EmblemHealth Pharmacy Benefit Services has steps to make sure that prescription drugs are used safely and effectively by our Medicare Part D members. Members can be at risk for drug errors and drug-related problems, since they often get prescriptions from more than one doctor. We make sure drugs are used safely by:

  • Screening for drug interaction: Using prescription-tracking software, we screen each member’s drug profile for possible harmful interactions with other drugs the member may be taking.
  • Making sure drugs are right for members: We screen each member’s drug profile to see if a drug has a warning for certain age groups. We have added drugs to our formulary (list of covered drugs) that are safe for our members and removed drugs that are not as safe. We also educate our doctors about their prescribing patterns and about drugs that may not be right for members.
  • Making sure dosages are safe: To prevent a possible overdose, we look at each member’s drug profile to decide if a drug is filled above FDA dosing guidelines.
  • Avoiding drug duplication: We screen each member’s drug profile to see if the same or similar drug is already in the member’s drug profile.
  • Sending pharmacy reports to doctors: We review each member’s drug profile to see if they are being prescribed more drugs than they need. This report is shared with prescribing doctors. The doctor then decides on the right therapy, if needed.


If you have any questions, please call Customer Service at the phone number below, Monday through Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm.

EmblemHealth Medicare HMO: 877-344-7364

EmblemHealth Medicare PPO: 866-557-7300

EmblemHealth Medicare PDP: 877-444-7241

If you have a TTY please call: 711

EmblemHealth Pharmacy Benefit Services completes quality assurance reviews of the medicines our members take to avoid medication errors, harmful drug reactions and improve medication use. EmblemHealth Pharmacy Benefit Services also oversees the use of prescription drugs and checks each prescription filled based on these criteria:

  • Dosing: We check how much of each drug you take to find out if it is within established dosage ranges, meaning not too high or too low.
  • Gender/Age: We screen a prescribed drug to find out if it is right for a member’s gender and age.
  • Proper Medication Use: We look at the time frame for refills and new fills. We do this to make sure that members take their prescribed drugs as directed and follow established dosing guidelines for controlled and non-controlled substances.
  • Drug-Drug and Drug-Disease Interaction: We look at medication profiles to find any potential interactions between prescribed drugs and a member’s health conditions.
  • Medication Duplication: We screen each member profile to make sure that newly prescribed drugs are not the same as other prescribed drugs the member is taking.
  • FDA–issued Warnings: We review FDA-issued warnings about any harmful reactions to medications, new dosage formulations and how the drug is administered (orally, injectable, topically, etc). We re-evaluate the formulary (list of covered drugs) to make improvements based on our reviews.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Customer Service at the phone number below, Monday through Sunday, 8 am to 8 pm.

EmblemHealth Medicare HMO: 877-344-7364

EmblemHealth Medicare PPO: 866-557-7300

EmblemHealth Medicare PDP: 877-444-7241

If you have a TTY please call 711.

EmblemHealth accepts several forms of evidence to establish your eligibility to receive “extra help” to pay for the cost of your Medicare drug coverage.  That evidence may be provided by the beneficiary or the beneficiary’s pharmacist, advocate, representative, family member or other individual acting on behalf of the beneficiary. View more information on this policy.

If you have any questions please call our Customer Service at 877-344-7364 (TTY: 711), 8 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.

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Last Updated 4/27/2020

Y0026_ 127364 Accepted 10/1/19