Time for TRICARE beneficiaries to move maintenance drugs out of retail

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

(U.S. Air Force graphic/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- This December, TRICARE beneficiaries can take action to avoid paying more for some prescription drugs. If you fill a prescription for a select brand name maintenance drug at a retail pharmacy, you may need to move your prescription to either a military pharmacy or TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery. If not, you may have to pay full cost of your prescription.

Beneficiaries can move their prescriptions by contacting the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts at 877-363-1303 or by using ESI’s secure online portal.

If you are an active-duty service member, live overseas, or if you have other prescription drug coverage, you can continue using retail pharmacies with no changes to your current copays.

The new rule began Oct.1, but allows you to get two 30-day refills of an affected drug from a retail pharmacy. For many, those two refills will run out this month, and the next prescription refill will need to be filled through home delivery or at a military pharmacy.

If you are taking an affected drug, you should have received several notifications from ESI. You can also check by calling ESI at the number listed above.

TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery is a safe, convenient and low cost option to get maintenance drugs. You can save up to $176 a year for each brand name drug you switch from retail to home delivery. If you want to use a military pharmacy, make sure to check first to see if they carry your prescription.

For more information about this change to TRICARE’s pharmacy benefit, visit www.tricare.mil/RxNewRules. If you are interested in learning more about the TRICARE pharmacy benefit, you can also listen to the upcoming TRICARE pharmacy webinar, featuring Dr. George Jones, chief of Pharmacy Operations at the Defense Health Agency. Tune in Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.; the webinar does not require prior registration.