October 5, 2017
HHS activates aid for uninsured Puerto Rico residents needing medicine
As part of the Trump Administration’s government-wide response to Hurricane Maria, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) activated its Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) for Puerto Rico to give residents access to the critical prescription medications they need. The program pays for prescription medications for people without health insurance who are affected by disasters.
“During my time in Puerto Rico this week, I witnessed the extent of the devastation to the island first-hand,” said HHS’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, M.D. “We are dedicated to helping these Americans living in Puerto Rico meet their medical needs during this disaster, and I encourage uninsured residents to take advantage of this vital assistance.”
At no cost to uninsured patients, those needing certain drugs during an emergency can obtain a 30-day supply at any of the EPAP participating pharmacies. A list of the eligible drugs is available at http://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/epap/Pages/formulary.aspx. Patients can renew their prescriptions every 30 days while the EPAP is active.
They can also use the program to replace maintenance prescription drugs, specific medical supplies, vaccines or medical equipment lost as a direct result of the declared emergency or as a secondary result of loss or damage caused while in transit from the emergency site to the designated shelter facility.
EPAP provides an efficient mechanism for enrolled pharmacies to process claims for prescription medication, specific medical supplies, vaccines and some forms of durable medical equipment for eligible individuals in a federally identified disaster area. More than 750 pharmacies in Puerto Rico participate in EPAP.
Uninsured Puerto Rico residents affected by Hurricane Maria can call Express Scripts, 855-793-7470, to learn if their medication or specific durable medical equipment is covered by EPAP and to find a participating pharmacy.
President Donald Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017, due to Hurricane Maria.
ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. HHS is the principal federal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
Information on health, safety and HHS actions are available at www.phe.gov/emergency. Public Service Announcements with post-storm health tips are available at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/psa/index.html. Residents in the continental United States are encouraged to provide these tips to family members and friends in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Updates and health information also are available at: