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What is Part D transition and how does it affect you?

A Part D transition happens when you have a change in the prescription drug list you use. A change can be when you enroll in a new plan or your current plan makes yearly drug list updates that affect you in a negative way. These negative changes can be when we remove items from our drug list or change the step therapy or prior authorization requirements on drugs you currently take.

Part D transition applies to you when...

  • You are a new Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage member who enrolls in a plan with prescription drug coverage
  • You are new to Medicare or recently eligible for Part D prescription drug coverage
  • You reside in a long-term care facility
  • You are a current Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage member and you change from one of our plans to another
  • You are a current Blue Cross of Idaho member who has a negative impact from our yearly drug list changes. Changes can include when we remove medications and/or add prior authorization or step therapy requirements to drugs on our list.

How does Part D transition work? The transition period for current members happens within the first 90-days of any yearly drug list changes. During this time, you can get a 30-day supply of prescriptions that we remove from our drug list, or that have new step therapy or prior authorization requirements. Any current prior authorizations you have remain effective through their expiration date.

After you get your 30-day supply is a good time to talk to your provider about a formulary exception or other drugs that may work for you. We will send you information about the next year’s plan and drug list changes in the fall of each year.

New members have a 90-day transition period after they enroll in our plan. During this time, you can get a 30-day supply of your prescriptions that are not on our drug list, or that have step therapy or prior authorization requirements. After you get your 30-day supply is a good time to talk to your provider about a formulary exception or other drugs that may work for you.

Within the first 90-days of moving to a long-term care facility, you can receive a 31-day supply or up to a 98-day supply of drugs not on our list and refills as needed. After 90-days you may also be able to get a 31-day emergency supply if a drug list exception or a prior authorization request is pending. Even if it’s too soon, you can refill your prescriptions when you move into or out of a long-term care facility.

How much will you pay? What you pay during a transition period depends on the tier level of the drug, if the drug is not on our list you pay the cost of our non-drug list exception tier. Members who qualify for assistance pay an amount predetermined by their level of assistance.

What happens when you need a refill? We mail you a letter within three days after receiving your transition supply of drugs. The letter explains how you can request an exception and encourages you to discuss your medications with your provider. Remember to bring your new drug list when you see your provider. We may also let your provider know about your transition supply of drugs.

Drugs not eligible for Part D transition include…

  • Medicare Part B drugs or drugs excluded from Medicare Part D coverage
  • Drugs that need prior authorization to determine if they are covered under Medicare Part B or Part D
  • Drugs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has safety concerns about. (We will cover these drugs if we have an existing prior authorization in place.)

We may not process some transition drug supplies because the FDA recommended dosage or quantity limit is less than what your provider prescribed. Your pharmacist may reduce what you get to the FDA limit in order to give you time to talk to your provider about another drug or a formulary exception.

What happens when your level of care changes? When you have a change in your level of care, like admission to a long-term care facility, you may need more medication. Requests for more medication may be denied if you ask for a refill too soon. If this happens, your pharmacy can ask us to override the denial in order to refill your prescription.

Can you get coverage for long-term care emergency supplies of non-list drugs? We cover emergency supplies of non-list Part D drugs if you are outside your 90-day transition period and you are living in a long-term care facility. You can get a 31-day supply or the total amount of the medicine prescribed, whichever is less. We suggest you use the time of your emergency supply to ask for an exception.

How can you request a drug list exception? You should first ask your provider to help you with an exception. They can call our pharmacy benefits administrator using the number on the back of your prescription ID card. A decision about your request is made within 72 hours or less. If your provider believes your health is at risk by waiting 72 hours, they can ask for an expedited exception and a decision is made within 24 hours or less. You have the right to an appeal if your exception request is denied. You or your provider can get prior authorization and exception forms on our website at or by calling us at 1-888-494-2583, TTY users can call 1-800-377-1363. We are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week.

2014 Tools, Resources & Other Information

Drug List (Formulary) & Prescription Drug Resources

Membership Information

Member Handbook

Summary of Benefits

Evidence of Coverage

Annual Notice of Change

Other Plan and Benefit Information

Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in Blue Cross of Idaho Medicare Advantage plans through the CMS Medicare Online Enrollment Center located at


Submit feedback about your health plan directly to Medicare, or find Medicare contacts, such as your State of Idaho Ombudsman.


Call from 8 am to 8 pm
7 days a week

Toll-Free: 1-888-492-2583
TTY 1-800-377-1363


3000 E Pine Ave.
Meridian, ID 83642-5996

P.O. Box 8406
Boise ID 83707-2406

If you have special needs, the information on this site may be available in other formats or languages. To find out more call 1-888-494-2583.

Blue Cross of Idaho is a PPO, HMO or HMO POS health plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross of Idaho depends on contract renewal.

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Y0010_MK 14070 Approved 12-26-2013
Last updated 12-27-2013