Find answers to the most commonly asked Medicare questions

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Members
  • Shoppers
  • Billing
  • Pharmacy
Questions about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About COVID-19

What is COVID-19?

The respiratory virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late 2019. 

This virus likely emerged from an animal source and is now spreading from person to person. While some viruses, like the flu and measles, are highly contagious, others are less so. World health leaders and scientists are trying to identify how COVID-19 is spreading and how to contain it.

Are there any vaccines available to prevent COVID-19?

Not yet. Several vaccines are being tested, but they’re still in the very early stages of development. After that, they’ll need to go through clinical trials to be sure they are both safe and effective before they’d be ready for the public.

How can I protect myself?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a vaccine, though it could be more than a year until one becomes available. While scientists work to develop a vaccine, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses.

What are the everyday preventive actions I should be doing?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you're sick.
  • Cover your entire mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands. If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Does the CDC recommend the use of face masks or face coverings to prevent COVID-19?

Yes, the CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face mask or face covering to cover their nose and mouth in community settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation is in light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads and evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country. Wearing a cloth face mask or face covering in public is a health and safety precaution that you should take in addition to physical distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. Cloth face coverings may prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others, which is especially important if someone is infected but does not have symptoms. It’s important to wear a cloth face covering every time that you must enter a public setting (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for health care workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance. For more information, please see the latest face covering guidance from the County of San Diego.

What is Sharp doing to protect patients, visitors and staff during this time?

Sharp HealthCare’s top priority is the safety and well-being of patients, visitors and staff. Please visit for the latest information, such as the following:

  • Hospital visitation guidelines
  • How Sharp is screening and testing patients
  • How to get care
  • Infection prevention measures
  • Sharp classes and events
We encourage you to check Sharp’s COVID-19 page often for updates.

Where can I get more information?

To learn more about COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the San Diego County Health & Human Services Agency. If you have additional questions, please call 211 San Diego.

We also encourage you to visit for the latest information from Sharp.

Access to care

Can I still go to MinuteClinic?

Yes. Please note that during the COVID-19 outbreak, MinuteClinic® is no longer accepting walk-in appointments. You will need to make an appointment through the MinuteClinic website or CVS Pharmacy app.

When will Sharp HealthCare resume elective procedures?

Sharp will begin elective procedures as soon as we can responsibly do so. Providers will schedule procedures as appropriate based on patient need, resource availability and other applicable factors. For more information, please contact your primary care physician.

Benefits and coverage

Will my benefits cover isolation and quarantine for the diagnosis of COVID-19?

Sharp Health Plan covers medically necessary isolation and quarantine in the hospital. We do not cover home isolation or quarantine.


Can I get early refills?

Yes. You can get early refills of most maintenance medications (prescriptions commonly used to treat conditions that are considered chronic or long-term). We are temporarily relaxing early refill limits on maintenance medications. You can get an early refill of up to a 90-day supply of most maintenance medications. Simply tell your pharmacist to use the SCC-13 code when they process your order. Standard copayments and deductibles (if applicable) will apply.

Note: This does not apply to refills of controlled substances, such as certain pain medications. A new prescription from your prescriber is required to provide an emergency supply of a controlled substance.

Can I get my medication delivered to me?

Yes. There are two ways to get your medications delivered to you:

  1. Get home delivery

    Many pharmacies are offering free home delivery right now. Please check with your pharmacy for more details on what they may be offering.

  2. Sign up for mail order

    Visit to sign up and get your maintenance medications delivered to you. Standard shipping is always free. Standard copayments and deductibles (if applicable) will apply.

What should I do if I’m taking a specialty medication?

If you’re taking a specialty medication, please contact the specialty pharmacy that you get your medication from to discuss any alternative delivery arrangements you may need during this time.

What is Sharp Health Plan doing to prevent potential shortages of key drugs?

Sharp Health Plan is closely monitoring current drug supplies. At this time, we do not see any disruptions to the supply chain that would affect your ability to fill your prescriptions. We are taking steps to ensure that patients with COVID-19 are able to get treatment, while members with conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, HIV and lupus maintain access to medication. As always, we encourage you to fill your prescriptions in a timely manner.

Will there be restrictions or limitations to my over-the-counter (OTC) benefit?

Yes. Members who are enrolled in our Sharp Direct Advantage Gold and Platinum Card individual plans (which include OTC benefits) will experience some temporary limitations. To ensure availability of products for all members, revised order limits have been established for the following products:

  • Limit 2 per quarter (every three months)
    • Hand sanitizer
  • Limit 1 per quarter (every three months)
    • Digital thermometers
    • Disposable nitrile gloves
    • Alcohol and disinfectant wipes
    • First aid kits
    • Unscented wipes

Please visit the OTC benefit page for more information  and online catalog.

Testing and treatment

Is testing for COVID-19 covered by my insurance?

Yes. Sharp Health Plan covers COVID-19 testing when recommended by your health care provider as medically necessary. Please talk to your Sharp Health Plan doctor if you think you may need to be tested.

Will I have to pay for COVID-19 testing?

No. If your provider thinks that it is medically necessary for you to be tested for COVID-19, then you will not be charged for those services. The standard copayment will apply for any associated ER, urgent care, or doctor’s office visit.

Are COVID-19 home test kits covered by my insurance?

The FDA has issued emergency approval for a COVID-19 home test kit from LabCorp®. At this time, they are currently limited to health care workers and first responders. We are following CDC guidelines, which recommend that you contact your provider first if you think you need to be screened or tested for COVID-19. It’s important to note that not everyone needs to be tested. Your provider will decide what’s appropriate for you based on your symptoms.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

If you are concerned about possible exposure to COVID-19, or are experiencing symptoms such as a cough, fever or shortness of breath, call your doctor first. Your doctor will assess your situation and recommend where you should be seen. In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you stay home and treat mild symptoms. Not all patients need to be tested. Testing is provided based on a risk assessment recommended by the CDC.

Will Sharp Health Plan cover the cost of COVID-19 treatment?

Yes. Sharp Health Plan is waiving Sharp Direct Advantage members’ out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services related to the treatment of COVID-19. This policy applies to all Sharp Direct Advantage members who are diagnosed with COVID-19, and is effective from April 1 through June 30, 2020. Simply, this means that members will not be billed for services to treat COVID-19.

Understanding my coverage and benefits

What is a network?

A network is a group of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical service providers associated with your unique health plan.

What is a plan medical group (PMG)?

A plan medical group (PMG) is a designated group of physicians and hospitals associated with your network. You have access to hospitals, specialty care and urgent care centers affiliated with your PMG. It is important to keep in mind that referrals or authorizations do not transfer between PMGs, and you only have access to one PMG at a time.

With the Sharp Direct Advantage Network, you’ll find a family of providers close to where you live and spend time. Our network includes Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group (SRS), Sharp Community Medical Group (SCMG) and our regional partner, Greater Tri Cities Medical Group. To find out which doctors are affiliated with your PMG, refer to the Sharp Direct Advantage Network provider directory at or call Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY 711).

Accessing care

How do I get started with Silver&Fit during COVID-19?

Getting started with Silver&Fit is easy. While many fitness centers are now closed during the current COVID-19 crisis, Silver&Fit has enhanced its at-home fitness options to help you stay active while sheltering in place. Here’s how you can get started:

  1. Visit online to register for an account.
  2. Enroll in the Home Fitness Program online. You can also enroll over the phone by calling Silver&Fit’s toll-free Customer Services hotline at 1-877-427-4788 (TTY/TDD: 1-877-710-2746).
  3. Silver&Fit will send your first home fitness kit to you within 10 days.

Please visit Silver&Fit to learn more.

My gym with Silver&Fit closed due to the COVID-19 crisis. What are my options to stay active?

To help you stay active during the current crisis, Silver&Fit is offering members who normally go to the gym the choice of receiving either a Fitbit® Inspire™ or a Garmin® VivoFit® 4 at no cost. This offer is available through June 30, 2020, and applies to Sharp Direct Advantage members who used a Silver&Fit gym in 2019 and through February 2020. In addition, Silver&Fit has a broad range of at-home fitness options:

  • Silver&Fit Home Fitness Kits
  • Silver&Fit ASHConnect™ Mobile App
  • Silver&Fit Connected!™ Tool
  • Silver&Fit Signature Series Classes® Exercise Videos – new!

These options are being offered at no charge to participating members. We encourage you to go to Silver&Fit to learn more.

Will I get a card for my Vision Service Plan (VSP)?

No. When you access vision care, your VSP provider can verify your coverage using your Sharp Health Plan member ID number (starts with the letter S).

My eye doctor is unable to verify my eligibility. What do I do?

If your Vision Service Plan (VSP) provider can’t find you in their system, please contact VSP Member Services at 1-800-877-7195, or send an email to to verify that you are in their system. They are available to assist you Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time. If they are unable to find you in their system, please call Sharp Health Plan Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY 711) to report this issue. Please be sure to have your Sharp Health Plan member ID number available.

My dentist can’t verify my eligibility. What do I do?

If your dental provider can’t find you in their system, please call Delta Dental’s Customer Service Department at 1-800-390-3368 (TTY/TDD 711). They are available to assist you Monday – Friday, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m., Pacific Time. If they are unable to find you in their system, please call Sharp Health Plan Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY 711) to report this issue. Please be sure to have your Sharp Health Plan member ID number available.

Is the Assist America® phone number on my Sharp Direct Advantage member ID card?

No. Assist America’s contact information is not shown on your member ID Card. To contact Assist America in the U.S., please call 1-800-872-1414. To contact Assist America outside of the U.S., please call 1-609-986-1234. They are available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Please be sure to have your Sharp Health Plan member ID number available.

Accessing plan materials and correspondence

Is there a way to decrease the amount of mail I receive from Sharp Health Plan? Can I elect for email notifications instead?

Unfortunately, no. Sharp Health Plan is required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to communicate most plan information to members by mail. For this same reason, we are unable to offer an email notification option for member correspondence at this time.

Filling prescriptions

How do I sign up for mail-order prescriptions?

To sign up for mail-order prescriptions, please visit You can also call Postal Prescription Services at 1-800-552-6694. They are available to assist Monday – Friday, 6 am to 6 pm, and Saturdays 9 am to 2 pm, Pacific Time. Please note that Tier 5 medications are not available through mail order.

*Important note: We transitioned to a new mail order partner in January. To learn more, visit Pharmacy FAQ.

Over-the-counter benefit

I tried calling to place an order, but I couldn't get through. Is there another way I can place an order?

We are currently experiencing extreme demand, which is impacting call center wait times, and availability of select preparedness related product categories, like hand sanitizer, wipes and cold & flu products. Our teams are making every effort to prioritize your needs with our suppliers. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience during these unprecedented circumstances.

As a reminder, the fastest easiest way to access your benefit 24/7 is online by visiting Where you can check account information, product availability and process your order.

Below are instructions on how to create and account and place an order online.

How to place an order online:

  1. Create an account
    • If it’s your first time placing your order online, you’ll need to create an account by visiting
      • Then, click on the Create account button and follow the instructions.
      • You will need your member ID, date of birth, zip code, and a current email address.
      • You will also need to create a password.
    • If you need help locating your member ID, click on Get help locating your member ID.
    • Remember to save your password for future orders. You will need your member ID or email address along with your password to sign in.
  2. Place an order
    • Once you sign in, your benefit amount and balance will be displayed at the top of the page.
    • Browse through the available products and add to your basket. Your order total will automatically deduct from your remaining balance at the top of the page.
    • Once you are ready to place your order, click on Checkout.
    • On the checkout page, confirm your shipping address, review your order, and place your order. Your order will arrive in 7-10 days.
    • You will receive an email with tracking information once your order has shipped and another once your order has been delivered.

Where can I find my Sharp Health Plan member ID number?

It can be found on the front of your health plan member ID card.

How can I find out what my benefit allowance is?

Our Sharp Direct Advantage Gold and Platinum Card individual plans feature a supplemental over-the-counter (OTC) benefit. Benefit allowances vary depending on your plan. Check your Evidence of Coverage (EOC) to see what plan you’re enrolled in. You can access your EOC online through your Sharp Connect account at

Where can I find an OTC benefit catalog?

You can download the OTC benefit catalog for your plan. You can also have a catalog mailed to you by calling OTC Health Solutions at 1-888-628-2770 (TTY: 711). They are available to assist you Monday through Friday, 6 am to 5 pm Pacific Time.

How do I place my order?

You can place your order either online or over the phone. To order online, visit and log in with your Sharp Health Plan member ID number and ZIP code.

I take aspirin every day. Can I use my allowance to buy it?

Yes, aspirin is just one of the hundreds of everyday health care products available in the catalog.

Is there a shipping and handling charge?

No. There is no charge to you for shipping and/or handling.

How long does it take to get my order once I’ve placed it?

You should receive your order within 7 to 10 business days of placing your order.

Can I track my orders?

Yes. Visit, go to My Account and click on Order History. Or you can call 1-888-628-2770 (TTY: 711) to check the status of your order.

Can I use my allowance at my local pharmacy?

No, the benefit allowance can only be used for products from the Sharp Health Plan OTC catalog and can’t be used at a pharmacy or retail store.

What if the cost of my order is less than my allowance?

Let’s say your benefit allowance per quarter is $80 and you spend only $20 on your first order. That means you have another $60 left to use as long as you place the second order before the next quarter begins. Remember, unused benefits do not roll over from one quarter to the next.

What if the cost of my order is more than my allowance?

You won’t be able to place an order for an item that is above your allowance amount.

Can I check my account balance?

Yes. Visit the Sharp Health Plan OTC website and click on My Account to see your balance. Or you can call 1-888-628-2770 (TTY: 711) to find out what your account balance is.

What if I have money left in my account at the end of the quarter? Can I add it to the allowance for the next quarter?

No, the benefit allowance does not roll over into the next quarter. At the beginning of each quarter, your allowance will be reset to your quarterly spending limit.

Can I return my order?

Yes. If you receive a damaged item, please call OTC Health Solutions within 30 days after receiving your order. An identical replacement item will be shipped to you free of charge. No other returns or exchanges are allowed.

Registering for the portal

What is Sharp Connect?

Sharp Connect is our free online member portal that connects you with important plan information 24-hours a day. It’s mobile friendly, and allows you to view your benefits, update plan information, change your primary care physician, request a new member ID card, print a temporary card, check the covered drug list and much more.

I have a Sharp Connect account, why do I have to re-register?

We’re excited to announce a  portal upgrade that will offer even better functionality for our members online. As a result, we’re asking existing portal users to re-register on the portal for a brand new experience. You can do that by visiting the Sharp Medicare Advantage login page beginning January 1, 2018.

Selecting or changing my primary care physician

How do I choose a primary care physician (PCP)?

Your personal doctor, or primary care physician (PCP), is your partner in health. Whether it’s your first visit or an annual preventive care check-up, they will coordinate all of your care. They also provide referrals to other plan providers within your plan medical group. When you select a PCP, you are selecting your plan medical group. We encourage you to select a PCP who best suits your needs. If you are unable to select a PCP at the time you enroll in Sharp Health Plan, we will select one for you based on your mailing address, so that you can access care immediately.

Can I change my primary care physician (PCP)?

We know choosing the right PCP is a personal decision, which is why we make it easy for you to change your selection at any time. You can find a list of doctors online at If you wish to make a change, you can log in to Sharp Connect to use the online change PCP form, or call Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY 711) and we will help you select a new PCP. The change will be effective on the first day of the following month. Upon making your selection, we will mail you a new member ID card.

Applying for coverage

When can I apply for Medicare coverage? How do I go about applying for it? 

If you are turning 65 and plan to begin Medicare, you can apply for coverage up to three months before and three months after your 65th birthday through Social Security. Unless you are still working and have comparable coverage through your employer, you could incur late enrollment penalties if you don’t sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period. 

You can sign up for Medicare by:

  • Visiting Social Security services online
  • Going to your local Social Security office
  • Calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (toll free) or 1-800-325-0778 (toll-free TTY for the hearing/speech impaired), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Am I able to apply for Medicare if I do not plan on retiring at 65?

If you or your spouse plan to continue working past the age of 65 and you want to keep your employer-based health coverage, you do not need to enroll in Medicare until you retire. If you prefer to enroll in a Medicare plan even through you or your spouse is still working you may do so. You can then choose to keep your employer health plan, or if you choose to disenroll, ask your employer about their rules for disenrolling.

Should I apply for Medicare if I am already receiving Social Security benefits?

You do not need to apply for Medicare if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, as you will be automatically enrolled in the Medicare program through those benefits. You should receive your Medicare card and coverage documents from your Social Security office approximately 90 days before your 65th birthday. Once you have your red, white and blue Medicare card, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan like Sharp Direct Advantage, or other types of additional Medicare coverage.

How do I get Medicare Part D drug coverage?

You can receive Medicare Part D coverage by enrolling in a qualifying plan, such as a Medicare Advantage with Part D coverage (MAPD) or Sharp Direct Advantage. If you do not enroll in a plan with Part D drug coverage when you are first eligible, you may receive late enrollment penalties from Medicare.

Understanding Medicare coverage and costs

What is Original Medicare? How do I use my Original Medicare benefits?

Original Medicare refers to Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). When you visit a medical provider that accepts Medicare patients, these visits are covered with a cost share from Medicare. Although Original Medicare may cover a percentage of your care, there is no cap on your out-of-pocket costs and most drugs are not covered. Most people with Medicare enroll in additional coverage, such as a Medicare Advantage plan (like Sharp Direct Advantage), Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan or stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan.

Is there a cost for Medicare? 

Most people pay no premium for Part A but do pay a monthly premium for Part B, which may vary by your income level and when you enrolled. Depending on income, some people also pay a monthly premium for Part D. These premiums are payable to Medicare and are typically deducted from your Social Security check if you receive one.

How do Medicare Advantage plans work? 

Private insurance companies like Sharp Health Plan offer Medicare Advantage plans, or Part C plans. These plans always offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare and usually more. Depending on the plan, premiums can be as little as $0 per month. These plans combine Part A, Part B and usually Part D into one comprehensive plan, and may add benefits not found in Original Medicare, like hearing and vision. When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must only use in-network providers (except in emergency situations).

What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare? Can I qualify for both? 

Medicaid (known as Medi-Cal in California) is a state health care program available to people who qualify based on low income status. Medicare is a federal health care program available to people who are 65 and older, as well as people under 65 with specific qualifying disabilities, or people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). If you think you may qualify for Medi-Cal, you should speak with a representative of your local Social Security office. 

Getting enrolled

What are the requirements to enroll in the Sharp Direct Advantage Medicare plan? 

To enroll in Sharp Direct Advantage, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have Medicare Part A and be eligible for Medicare Part B
  2. Reside in San Diego County 
  3. Enroll during a valid enrollment period.
  4. Not have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), except under specific circumstances 

How do I enroll in a Sharp Medicare health plan?

You can choose how you would like to enroll

How can I check my enrollment status?

Contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY/TDD 711) to check your enrollment status. For your convenience, our office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 7 days per week from October 1 to March 31: 7 days per week 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. From April 1 to September 30: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, your call will be handled by our voicemail system. A Customer Care Representative will return your phone call the next business day. 

Paying my bill

What is the Sharp Direct Advantage payment book?

Our Sharp Direct Advantage® payment book is for you to use to help manage your monthly plan premium payments. Your payment book will help you to easily keep track of your payments, see credits you may have on your account and avoid overpaying.

Will I still receive a monthly bill from Sharp Health Plan?

No. The Sharp Direct Advantage payment book will replace your monthly bill from Sharp Health Plan.

How do I read my payment book?

We’ve created a payment book guide to help you understand key points of your payment book. If you still have questions, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY/TDD 711).

What if I don’t want to use my payment book? What are my other payment options?

Visit How to Pay if you would prefer to pay using another method.

What is the difference between automatic bank withdrawals and automatic payments online?

With automatic bank withdrawals, your monthly health plan premium is automatically deducted from your bank account. The benefit of automatic bank withdrawals is that your balance due is always deducted, so you never have to worry about updating your premium amount. The payment portal does not automatically update your payment information when you make a change to your plan benefits. When using automatic payments, you must manually update your premium online to ensure that you’re paying the correct amount.

I elected to have my premiums deducted from my Social Security account, but I still received a payment book. Do I need to use it?

No. If you have automatic payments set up through either Social Security deductions, automatic bank withdrawals or through our payment portal online, then you do not need to use your payment book.

I’ve misplaced my payment book or I never received one. What should I do?

If you’ve misplaced your payment book or never received one, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 (TTY/TDD 711) so that we can send you a new one.

Online payments

What information will I see on the payment portal and what can I do there?

Medicare members will see:

  • Current plan
  • Online transaction history
You will have options to make either one-time or scheduled automatic payments. 

Is making an online payment secure?

The Sharp Health Plan payment portal is a safe and secure way to pay your premium online. We use Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant software with a secure payment gateway - technology used to transfer data. 

Will I get confirmation after making my online payment?

After making your online payment, you will receive an on-screen confirmation. You will also receive an emailed confirmation of your payment, including the receipt number and payment amount.

Why can't I view my balance due? 

The ability to view your balance due is currently unavailable, but we hope to offer this feature in the near future. 

Your correct monthly premium can be found on your monthly premium billing statement or 2020 coupon book from Sharp Health Plan. You can also view your billing correspondence on Sharp Connect. Please use this information to update your automatic payments.

I tried to set up a payment method using my American Express or Discover card, but it would not process. Why?

Sharp Health Plan accepts Visa® and Mastercard® credit or debit cards only.

How can I set up automatic payments?

Here are the steps to set up automatic payments:

  1. Create an account on the payment portal by entering the required information.
  2. Go to the “Automatic payments” page and click “Add automatic payment.”
  3. Select your payment method, plan and enter your payment amount.
  4. Choose a start and end date for the payments:
    • Start date: The day your payment will be processed each month.
    • End date: The last day your payments will automatically be made. We do not accept automatic payments after the 28th of each month.

Remember to update your automatic payment schedule(s) each year, before December 31. This will ensure accurate and timely premium payments.

Please note that if your payment method fails during a scheduled payment, payments will stop after three (3) failed attempts. To set up automatic payments again, you will have to delete your existing schedule, and create a new one with your updated payment method.

NOTE: You are responsible for canceling your automatic payments if your health coverage is terminated for any reason prior to the end date. Your payment amount is not automatically updated when you make changes to your health plan benefits.

How do I cancel an automatic payment?

To cancel automatic payments:

  • Log in to your payment portal account
  • Go to the “Automatic payments” page.
  • Under "Automatic payments," click on the trash icon located to the right of the scheduled automatic payment.

NOTE: You are responsible for canceling your automatic payments when your health coverage is terminated for any reason or when you no longer wish to make automatic payments.

Do I need to create an account to make a one-time payment?

Yes, all customers will need to create an account in order to make a one-time payment. Creating an account will also allow you to see your online transaction history and set up automatic payments.

I use automatic payments. When I make plan changes are my automatic payments automatically updated?

To ensure your automatic payments reflect your correct monthly premium, we recommend that you update your automatic payments regularly. Our online payment portal does not automatically update your payment information when you make a change to your health plan benefits.

Your correct monthly premium can be found on your monthly premium billing statements from Sharp Health Plan. You can also view your billing correspondence by registering or logging in to Sharp Connect. Please use this information to update your automatic payments.

How can I see my transaction history?

After logging in to your payment portal account, go to the “Transaction history” page. Your transaction history will display payments starting from Jan. 1, 2019. For more information, please call Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853.

How do I change my payment portal email address?

Please call Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 to change the email address for your payment portal account.

How do I update or change a credit card?

If your credit card information changes, log into the payment portal and select “Profile.” Under the “Payment methods” section, simply delete the old credit card and add the new credit card information. If you update the credit card information used for your automatic payments, you will need to delete the current automatic payment that is set up and create a new automatic payment schedule.

I canceled my plan benefits. Why am I still getting charged?

Our online payment portal does not automatically update your payment information when you end your coverage. Automatic payments will continue until you cancel them. Please log in to the payment portal to cancel any automatic payments.

Coronavirus & COVID-19

My pharmacy benefits are provided by CVS Caremark®. Will the COVID-19 pandemic affect my ability to get prescriptions filled?

CVS Caremark is not reporting drug shortages as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) that would affect your ability to fill prescriptions. Stay up to date on the latest news by frequently checking their COVID-19 resource center.

Member ID cards & pharmacy

I haven't received my new member ID card, and I can't fill a prescription. What information does my pharmacist need?


We recently updated the pharmacy information on the back of your member ID card.

If you have not received a new member ID card with this information — or cannot access your member ID card via the Sharp Connect member portal — and are filling a prescription, please share the following information with the pharmacist:

Members with a Sharp Direct Advantage individual plan (Medicare):

BIN 004336
Group RX4154

Members who have a group Medicare plan through Sharp HealthCare or SDPEBA:

BIN 004336
Group RX4155

If you have questions or are experiencing any issues, please call Customer Care at 1-800-359-2002.

Am I getting a new member ID card?

Yes. New member ID cards were mailed in December 2019. If you have not received your new card, you can request a replacement card by logging in to Sharp Connect.

These cards include new BIN and PCN information, which is used by pharmacies when you fill a prescription. Cards will also include a new, dedicated pharmacy telephone number for 24/7 support. You should use your new ID card whenever getting care or filling prescriptions. See samples of the new ID cards.

Do I need to let my pharmacist know that I have a new ID card?

Yes. Your new ID card includes new BIN and PCN information, which is used by pharmacies when you fill a prescription. To ensure the best customer experience, it’s important to let your pharmacist know that you have a new ID card with new pharmacy information. 

Introducing CVS Caremark® — our 2020 pharmacy benefit manager

What is changing?

We are partnering with a new pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) and mail order supplier in 2020 to help us improve your pharmacy experience. This new partnership will bring some enhancements for you beginning January 1, 2020:

  • A new, dedicated Medicare prescription helpline staffed by pharmacy experts who are available to assist you 24/7.
  • An improved digital pharmacy experience that allows you to access medication, prescription and pharmacy network tools and information through our website and Sharp Connect member portal.
  • Enhanced digital tools, like a free CVS Caremark® mobile app that lets you see your personalized pharmacy benefit information, refill or request new mail service prescriptions, track order status, view prescription history and much more.

We’ll also be making some updates to our pharmacy network and formulary. For more information, please read the frequently asked questions that follow below.

What changes will be made to the formulary?

Our formulary (or drug list) will be changing for 2020. There will be more positive formulary changes than negative. We will cover non-formulary drugs only when their use has been determined to be medically necessary after a review of a member’s specific needs. There will also be some tier, specialty drug and utilization management changes, including new step therapy, prior authorization and quantity limit requirements. Visit to see the 2020 formulary.

Why is the formulary changing?

Formularies change as new drugs are approved, and more information about new uses for drugs becomes available. These formulary changes help us to ensure that our formulary is up-to-date and includes the latest safety data and FDA-approved prescribing information.

When will the new formulary be effective?

The new formulary will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Is my pharmacy network changing?

Our pharmacy network (where prescriptions can be filled) will remain 99% the same in 2020. You can continue using all Sharp® pharmacies, in-network community pharmacies, and retail pharmacy chains such as Albertsons®, Costco®, Ralphs®, Rite Aid®, Vons®, Walgreens® and Walmart® in addition to CVS Pharmacy® stores. To find a pharmacy near you, visit

Plan notifications about formulary changes

How will I know if the formulary changes impact me?

We will notify members of any potential formulary changes by mail in November and December. These notices will only be sent to members who are taking medication that will be affected by changes to the formulary. If you get a letter from us, you will be directed to work with your doctor if you have questions. Your doctor will be notified of these changes too so that they are prepared to assist you with questions.

Managing prescriptions

Can I get a transition refill of my current prescription?

Yes. You can get a one-time, 30 day supply refill (also called a transition fill) of your current prescription during the first 90 days of 2020. The only exception is if your prescription is expired or does not have any refills left. For the best customer experience, please use a pharmacy that is in your network. To find a pharmacy near you, visit

Can I continue filling my prescriptions at a pharmacy that is no longer a part of my network?

Yes, but for the best customer experience, we encourage you to use a pharmacy in your network. To find a pharmacy near you, visit Please note that if you choose to use a pharmacy that is out of your network, you will only be reimbursed the network rate for your medications.

What should I do if I’m going on vacation?

If you have a vacation planned, it’s a good idea to refill your prescriptions before you leave. If you are traveling before Jan.1, 2020, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 to request an exception to fill your prescription early. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, you can call our dedicated prescription helpline at 1-855-222-3183 to request an exception.

Mail order

Do I need to update my mail order account?

Yes. We've moved from Postal Prescription Services® Mail Order to CVS Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy. Your prescriptions have been transferred from Postal Prescription Services to CVS Caremark unless your prescription has expired, there are no refills left on their prescription, or if you are taking a controlled substance. These three instances require you to get a new prescription. If you want to continue receiving mail order prescriptions, then you have to create an account with CVS Caremark and add your payment information. You can do that by calling the dedicated prescription helpline on the back of your new member ID card or by visiting

Pharmacy prior authorization

What if I have a prior authorization for my current medication?

All existing pharmacy prior authorizations will remain in effect until the date noted on your original approval letter from Sharp Health Plan. If you no longer have your approval letter, please contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853 before the end of the year so that we can assist you.

Member reimbursement

Has the member reimbursement process changed for prescription drugs?

Yes. You can still download the request form from our website. However, please note that the form has a new look and feel. Please send your member reimbursement forms to this new address:

CVS Caremark Medicare Part D Claims Processing
PO Box 52066
Phoenix AZ  85072-2066

The address is also printed on the request form.

Specialty pharmacy

Do I need to do anything if I use a specialty pharmacy?

Please make sure to share your new member ID card with your pharmacist, and let them know that you have new BIN and PCN information on the back of your member ID card.

Who to contact about my medications

Who should I contact with questions about my medications?

If you have questions about your medications, please work with your doctor. For all other questions, contact Customer Care at 1-855-562-8853. Our hours of operation are 8 am to 8 pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. (From October through March, you can call us seven days a week.) Calling after hours will direct you to our voicemail system and a Customer Care representative will return your call the next business day.

We also offer a dedicated prescription helpline that is available for members to call with pharmacy-related questions. The helpline is available 24/7 at 1-855-222-3183.

What is the new pharmacy telephone number?

Our new dedicated prescription helpline is now available. The number is printed on the back of your new member ID card and is also available on the Contact Us page of our website.

Plan Type 24/7 Prescription Helpline
Medicare 1-855-222-3183

Explanation of benefits

Can I elect to receive paperless pharmacy EOBs?

Yes. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, you can elect to receive paperless pharmacy EOBs. To do this, you will have to create an account at Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be able to change your pharmacy EOB preferences to paperless. After you’ve made this selection, a monthly email will be sent to notify you when your pharmacy EOB is available to view online. You will then need to log into your CVS Caremark account to view your pharmacy EOBs.


If you have additional questions, please contact us at Sharp Direct Advantage. We’re here to help.


Sharp Direct Advantage is offered by Sharp Health Plan. Sharp Health Plan is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment with Sharp Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Read the full disclaimer.

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Page Last Updated: 5/29/2020
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