If you take prescription drugs, you’re not alone. Many adults take at least one prescription drug, but it's not uncommon for some older adults to be on five or more medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Prescription drug expenses can add up quickly, so here are six tips to help you save money with your STRS Ohio Express Scripts coverage.
- Ask for generics.
You will pay less for generic drugs, so ask if a generic is available. Also check the low-cost generic drug list. You can receive a 90-day supply of some of the most commonly prescribed generics for only $9 through the Express Scripts Home Delivery Pharmacy.
- Check your list of covered medications.
If a generic is not available, you can still save money by using brand-name drugs covered by your plan. To find out if a drug is covered, log in to your Express Scripts account or call Express Scripts. You can also check the preferred list of medications (non-Medicare) or formulary (Medicare).
- Ask about lower cost alternatives.
If your doctor prescribes a drug that is not covered by your plan, ask about potential lower cost alternatives. You can also log in to your Express Scripts account and select "Save With My Rx Choices" under the Manage Prescriptions menu to look for possible alternatives.
- Use preferred network retail pharmacies.
You can save money by using a preferred pharmacy. Your plan includes two types of network retail pharmacies — preferred and non-preferred. While you can use either type, you will pay a $10 fee per fill in addition to the copayment/coinsurance when you use a non-preferred pharmacy. To check the network status of a pharmacy, visit the Express Scripts website or call Express Scripts.
- Choose home delivery for long-term medications.
If you’re taking a long-term medication, you can save money by using the Express Scripts Home Delivery Pharmacy. Home delivery offers a 90-day supply of medication for a lower copayment than three fills at retail.
- Shop around.
Many retail pharmacies offer discount drug programs, such as $4 generics or free antibiotics, so it pays to shop around. Remember, if the cost of the drug is less than your Express Scripts copayment, you pay the lower amount.
For more information about your Express Scripts coverage, log in to your Express Scripts account at www.express-scripts.com or call Express Scripts toll-free at 866-685-2792 (non-Medicare) or 888-416-3326 (Medicare).
More news and information for STRS Ohio Health Care Program participants is available in the Health Care News section of the STRS Ohio website. Enrollees are encouraged to check it regularly.