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Presription drugs for 6 months - how to get?

Newman

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  • Added on: January 3rd, 2011
hello all,
i've read a few of the threads about bringing prescription meds abroad for long periods (6 months+), and am truly grateful for the knowledge i've picked up here.

i am planning a 6-month trip in Europe. I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences (good or bad) in getting their insurance company to agree to a 6-month supply in advance.

For me, my insurer is Aetna, and they only give a month's supply at a time. Via mail order I can get 3 months supply, but no more. I went on a 3-week vacation last summer, and had to get special approval from Aetna so that I could pick up the next month's supply in advance from the local drugstore (or else i would have run out of the meds somewhere in Asia).

So, any suggestions on what to do? I haven't spoken to my doctor yet. Am wondering even if he approves a 6-month supply, will the insurance company agree?

Thanks for any feedback.

Pelke

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2011
I was able to get a three month supply before my trip. I also have Aetna insurance, but have no idea if the provisions of my plan are different from yours. I did have to speak to someone at the company before they filled the prescriptions. Since I was going to be out of the country for several months, the plan allowed me to get up to a 3 month supply in one shot. They would not have done this if I were still at home. You should just check with Aetna to see if they'll do the same for you.

Now, how do you go about getting a 6 month supply? Depending on what medications you take and how long you have been taking them, your doctor may be willing to "double the dosage" for you when they write the 3-month prescription. So, if you normally take say 2mg of some drug, the doctor could write the prescription for the 4mg strength. Then, you just break the pills in half while traveling and voila, you have a 6 month supply. My doctor had no problem doing this for me, but again, you'll have to check with your doctor to see what they are comfortable doing for you.

As a last resort, you should have no trouble filling your prescriptions while you are traveling in Europe. You should be able to find every medication there that you get in the US. You will have to check in with a clinic there, and have a local doctor write the prescription for you (bring a letter with you from your home doctor that list the generic drug name(s) and dosage(s)). Your insurance won't pay while you are traveling, but you can likely file claims for reimbursement when you get back. You may even find that you can fill your prescriptions there without ininsurance than you pay here with insurance.

Pelke

Sophie9

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2011
IMHO you're better off getting your meds overseas than taking them along with you. Nobody has more expensive prescription and medical practices than America. Even if you have to pay for a doctor visit in the EU to get a prescription, the whole shebang will still be cheaper than what it would cost you in America.

Plus a lot of meds that are prescription only in the US are over the counter in many other countries. Take enough along with you to get by for a month and then deal with it from there.

AND there are a lot of great medical treatments and prescriptions available overseas that you can't get in the US at all. You never know, if you went to a Euro doctor you could very well end up with a better treatment than you're getting here.

Get the stuff over there. No worries.

Newman

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  • Added on: January 5th, 2011
Pelke and Sophie,
Thanks to both of you for your detailed and well-thought out replies. It helps put my mind at ease, and provides me food for thought on how to tackle this issue.

MrPlow42

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  • Added on: January 24th, 2011
If you're planning on buying your meds while traveling, it's a good idea to verify ahead of time that the meds you need are available in the countries you're visiting.

Qwovadis

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  • Added on: February 5th, 2011
It very much depends on the type of medication as to what is best.

Always best for me to check with my prescribing MD for best advice on each med.

Some medications require blood monitoring some are controlled/scheduled

and you can get into big problems travelling across borders with large quantities

particularly Dubai seems to be a big problem for this.

Frequently your MD can also intercede/authorize longer times with your insurance company

makes the best sense especially if your medication is expensive.

So best for me to check with your prescribing MD.

Benna

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  • Added on: March 7th, 2011
i think you should both talk to your MD and your insurance company and tell them what you are planning and also read out the contract that you have with your insurance compnay to be on the safe side and know what their terms and conditions are. explain to your doctor your health hazards and concerns and ask him to write a letter to the insurance company and force them to give you the medicine supply for the required time period!!
I love traveling. I am currently working on two websites Dubai Fun Holidays and SwissFunHolidays.com

Tortuga_traveller

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  • Added on: March 7th, 2011
I carry a 6 month supply of a non-narcotic and no one has questioned it yet. I;'ve travelled for years, on and off.

If you're carrying scheduled drugs,well, I guess it depends if you get caught and if you have scrips to show them.

I am not sure whether any given prescription plan can cover drugs bought overseas. Just how does that billing work again? Perhaps if you submit the receipts it might be ok.

I do know that my asthma drug costs me 120 dollars or more in the USA, and 60 dollars or less overseas.

But I have NO insurance, so I buy all I can overseas. Those lucky to have a copay for insurance or free drugs might well want to stock up beforehand, and if you're carrying painkillers, make sure your prescriptions and doctors notes are in order. I've read of several times customs has let them through if one has the proper documentation.



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