Meds by Mail is a federal program administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Through the program, eligible beneficiaries can receive non-urgent maintenance medicine at no cost. Information on this page is obtained from the official Meds by Mail brochure at the VA website
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How It Works
With Meds by Mail, you can have prescribed maintenance medication delivered to your address. According to the VA website, your provider can place a new prescription order for you electronically if they do what’s called “e-prescribing.” You can also do it by mail by submitting a completed Meds by Mail order form together with your original prescription. Of course, electronic submission by your provider is faster and more convenient. Thereafter, you can request refills by phone or by mail.
How long are prescriptions good for? According to the VA:
Most prescriptions, including refills, are good for a maximum of one year from the date\written; after that a new prescription must be submitted. Prescriptions for controlled substances are only good for six months from the date written; after that a new prescription must be submitted.¹
So what is so good about Meds by Mail?
- No cost share
- No deductible
- Can be used for maintenance meditation to treat chronic conditions
- Dispenses generic-equivalent FDA-approved medications, or brand-name medications if there is no generic equivalent and the brand name is available
- Delivers medication to your home
Meds by Mail can’t be used for just any kind of prescription. According to information at the VA website, you should use your local pharmacy instead of Meds by Mail for:
- Urgent prescriptions that you will need immediately
- Medications that require refrigeration (since these cannot be mailed to PO boxes or outside of the continental United States)
- Schedule II controlled medications
- Blood glucose meters (the MbM brochure says most other sugar-testing supplies are available through the program though)²
A special note about insulin and other perishable medicine/supplies:
Insulin and other refrigerated medications can only be mailed to a physical address within the continental United States; we cannot mail to post office boxes³
See the Meds by Mail brochure for full explanations with regards to these limitations and other facts about the program.
According to the Meds by Mail brochure, MbM benefits are available to those who are:
- Eligible for CHAMPVA or Spina Bifida program and
- Not covered by any other prescription coverage (such as Medicare Part D)
The VA issues this cautionary reminder to people who may wish to drop Medicare Part D in order to participate in the Meds by Mail program:
Can Medicare Part D be dropped to use Meds by Mail?
Yes. However, do not cancel Medicare Part D until you first contact CHAMPVA for a letter of creditable coverage. This letter shows that CHAMPVA pays, on average, as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage.
You must send the creditable coverage letter to Medicare and have your eligibility updated before you can use Meds by Mail.4
For more information, including instructions on:
- How to place an order for a new prescription
- How to place an order for a refill prescription
- How to find out about eligibility
- How to request a copy of your prescription record
- How to cancel Medicare Part D properly
… and more, please refer to the Meds by Mail brochure and to the official Meds by Mail home page at VA.gov. You may also be interested in the official pharmacy benefits for CHAMPVA (and some other VA programs) page.
1-4 . “CHAMPVA Meds by Mail Brochure.” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Unknown date. Accessed April 10, 2015. http://www.va.gov/PURCHASEDCARE/docs/pubfiles/brochures/MbM_brochure.pdf.
ChampvaBenefits.com is an unofficial, privately owned website that is NOT connected with the VA or the government. Please do not use this site as an alternative to official sources such as the official CHAMPVA site. To find a specific page or resource, see a list of CHAMPVA resource links.
We do not guarantee that the information at our website is 100% correct or accurate, nor that changes in government laws, policies and benefits will be reflected immediately on this websitePlease always check with official sources before doing anything with your CHAMPVA coverage!
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If you need to contact CHAMPVA, check the official VA contact info here! Read about their warnings and communication safety here.