Paycheck Chronicles

Tricare Changes Prescription Co-Pays

Ever wondered about the Tricare Prescription Home Delivery Program? Now is a good time to look into this easy way to fill ongoing prescriptions for chronic conditions, because the co-pay on generic drugs is dropping to $0 (yes, that is zero) on 1 October 2011. At the same time, co-pays for retail pharmacies will be going up slightly.

The Prescription Home Delivery Program is affordable and convenient, and can allow your doctor to prescribe medications that might not be available at your local pharmacy or military treatment facility.  The co-pay for name brand drugs via the home delivery program applies to a 90 day supply, a substantial savings over the 30 day supply co-pays for retail pharmacies.   Also, using the online pharmacy program allows you some privacy, especially if you live in a small town or are posted at a small military base.

Signing up isn't too difficult, either. You will have to register each family member. When you click through to the registration page, be sure to see the note at the top that tells Tricare beneficiaries to click again to get to the Tricare page. Registration takes about 2 minutes per person, so that part isn't hard.

Once you've registered, you'll need to get your prescriptions into the system.  If you already have prescriptions that are being filled through a retail pharmacy and are being billed through Tricare, those prescriptions may already be in the system for you to switch to home delivery.  Otherwise, you can ask your doctor to write a 90 day prescription and either mail it or have your doctor fax it to the pharmacy program.

Other co-pay changes that will occur on 1 October 2011 include:

  • Generic formulary medications at retail pharmacies will increase from $3 to $5
  • Name brand formulary drugs at retail pharmacies will increase from $9 to $12
  • Non-formulary drugs at retail pharmacies and via the mail order program will increase from $22 to $25
Name brand formulary drugs obtained via the home delivery program will continue to have a $9 co-pay.

I have been thinking about switching our regular medication to the home delivery program in order to save time at the pharmacy, and now will be a great time to make that change.  You might consider it, too.

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