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HHS Activates Emergency Prescription Assistance Program for Uninsured Kentucky Residents Needing Medicine after Recent Tornadoes

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) today activated the Emergency Prescription Assistance Program (EPAP) for Kentucky to aid uninsured residents in replacing prescription medicines or certain medical equipment lost or damaged in tornados that impacted communities across the state recently.

Through the federally managed program, uninsured Kentuckians can request a free 30-day supply of certain prescription medications at any EPAP-partici​pating pharmacy and can be renewed every 30 days while the EPAP is active. The program also pays for replacements of some types of durable medical equipment and supplies such as canes; crutches; walkers; wheelchairs; blood sugar meters, and blood sugar test strips for diabetics. Vaccinations provided by retail pharmacies also may be covered under EPAP.

“When a disaster strikes, medications can get lost or damaged, putting people’s health and well-being at risk, and those without any form of insurance or public assistance for medical care are particularly vulnerable in these situations,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Dawn O’Connell. “HHS is here to help. I encourage uninsured Kentuckians to take advantage of this vital program.”

Uninsured Kentucky residents affected by the recent tornadoes can call the EPAP hotline, 855-793-7470, or visit the EPAP website to learn if they qualify, whether their medications or medical equipment is covered by EPAP or to find a participating pharmacy. For this program, Medicare, Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program beneficiaries are considered insured.

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 (DME) for eligible individuals in a federally identified disaster area. Thousands of pharmacies across the country participate in EPAP, and pharmacies that do not yet participate are encouraged to enroll.

Following the storms, President Biden issued a major emergency declaration for Kentucky to aid the state in responding to the tornadoes. EPAP activation is part of the federal support available after disasters. To learn more about EPAP, check out HHS Emergency Prescription Assistance Program, a video that uses American Sign Language to explain eligibility and how the program works.