Planning a trip involves a lot of variables, but don’t forget this one: check the refill dates on your prescriptions. It’s important to make sure you’ll have enough medicine while you’re away from home.

When Prescriptions Can Be Refilled

If you know you’ll run out of medication while you’re on vacation, you might consider getting a refill before you go. But keep this in mind: Each health plan states how much of a prescription needs to be used before it can be refilled. If you try to fill a prescription before the allowed date, the pharmacist will get a “refill too soon” alert and will not be able to fill your prescription using your plan.

To find out when a medication can be refilled, call Member Service using the number on the back of your member ID card. Most of the time, the refill date will be on the prescription packaging.

If you’re a Highmark member who uses Express Scripts mail-order pharmacy, you can also find the refill date on your Highmark member website (URL is on back of your Member ID card). Once you log in, click on the “Prescriptions” tab at the top of the page and then click the “Refills and Status” link. There you’ll see all of your prescriptions listed, and you can click “view details” to find your refill date.

Where members can find their prescription refill dates

If it’s too soon to get a refill before you hit the road or hop on that plane, you still have options.

Traveling Within the United States

If your refill isn’t available until after you’ve left home, remember that your plan’s pharmacy network includes major chains and independent drug stores across the United States.

Take your prescription bottles, packs, or other information with you. From your travel destination, call Member Service at the toll-free number on the back of your member ID card. A representative can help you find a network pharmacy near the area you’re visiting. You also can use your member website’s “Find a Pharmacy” link within the “Prescriptions” tab.

FindAPharmacy_Steps

Once you have the name and address of the network pharmacy, take the prescription bottle to that pharmacy. The pharmacist will contact your home pharmacy to start the refill process.

Tip: Save the new medicine container. This will make it easier to transfer the prescription back to your home pharmacy when you return.

Early Refills When Traveling Abroad

If you will be out of the country when it’s time to refill your prescription, you may be able to get your prescription filled early before you leave.

Call Member Service for help. Be sure to have your member ID card information and your prescription information on hand, and please allow at least five business days to complete the request.

Tip: Even if you don’t think you’ll need a refill while you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to pack copies of your prescription paperwork (see Packing Prescriptions at right). This information will come in handy if your condition flares up or you have a medical emergency away from home.

Events Beyond Your Control

If your prescription is stolen or lost in an event like a fire, you may be able to get an early refill. Call Member Service using the number on your member ID card for help. You’ll need a copy of the report from the fire department, police department, or other agency.

Keep in mind that early refills do not apply to events that can be controlled, such as spilling or losing the medicine.

With a little planning and by knowing your options, you can make sure you have your medications in hand whenever — and wherever — you need them.