06
December
2016
|
04:50 PM
America/Phoenix

3 Easy Ways to Lower Your Drug Costs

Are you looking to save money on your drug costs? Try these three tips to keep more money in your pocket when filling your prescriptions.

1. SAVE UP TO 85% WITH GENERICS1

Choose generic drugs when possible. Many generics cost 80 to 85 percent less than brand name drugs.

Some think generics are lower quality or do not need meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor or visit www.fda.gov to learn more.

Generic drugs:

  • Cost less because the makers do not need to pay for costly studies or advertising
  • Are the same in quality to brand name drugs
  • Work as well as brand name drugs
  • Are checked for safety and results, just like name brand drugs

For more tips visit www.fda.gov or call 1 (888) INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332).
 

2. USE THE 90-DAY MAIL ORDER PROGRAM FOR LONG-TERM PRESCRIPTIONS

Order a 90-day supply through the mail. You may save money when compared to the cost of three monthly drug refills. (Note: the amount saved varies based on your Rx benefits. Review your health plan for details.)

It takes about 10 - 14 days to get your order by mail once your order is received. Refill orders take about 7 - 10 days. Drugs that need special handling or packing are shipped next-day and delivered Tuesday through Friday with no extra costs to you.

Sign up for the 90-Day Mail Order Program by phone or online:

  • Phone: Call the Pharmacy Benefits phone number on the back of your BCBSAZ ID card (for hearing impaired, TTY711).
  • Online:
    • Log into your account at azblue.com/member.
    • On your account home page, click the “Plan Benefits” button on the left.
    • Under the “Pharmacy Benefits” heading, click the “Prescription Benefits” link.
    • Under Mail Order Program section, locate "Prescription Drug Mail Order Program, click here”.

Once you join the Mail Order Program, you can order up to a 90-day supply of your medication four ways:

  • Phone: Call the Pharmacy Benefits number on the back of your ID card.
  • Mail: Print and fill out this order form: Mail Order Prescription Form.
  • E-Prescribe: Ask that your doctor send an electronic prescription to the BCBSAZ mail order prescription service.
  • Online:
    • Log into your account at azblue.com/member.
    • On your account home page, click the “Plan Benefits” button on the left.
    • Under the “Pharmacy Benefits” heading, click the “Prescription Benefits” link.
    • Under Mail Order Program section, locate "Prescription Drug Mail Order Program, click here”.

Visit azblue.com or call BCBSAZ Pharmacy customer service at the number on your ID card to learn how to use your Pharmacy Benefits.


3. BEWARE OF THE HIDDEN COSTS OF “FREE”

Read the fine print before using manufacturer coupons or free samples.

Drug companies hope that discounts will make a patient loyal to only the brand so they won’t switch to a generic. Discounts for brand name drugs look like a good deal at first glance, but they have their downside.

Most coupons or offers can only be used for a short time. In some cases, they are good only once. Once an offer ends, patients with long-term health issues face higher copays for these brand name drugs.

Save more money in the long run. Speak with your doctor about generics before you try a limited-time offer on a brand drug.

Researching My Prescription Benefits:

Your online account at azblue.com/member gives you tools to help you learn more about your drug benefits, like:

  • If a deductible or a copay will apply
  • Where to view lists of medications that apply to the different copay levels
  • Benefits of using the 90-Day Supply Prescription Mail-Order Program and how to join
  • How to compare the costs of name brands versus generic brands between pharmacies
  • Where to find facts about a certain medication

All the research tools and information can be found by using your Member Portal on azblue.com. Once you log in, select the “Plan Benefits” button or the “Drug Cost/Copay Calculator” link based on the drug information you are researching. See picture below to help you find those choices.

To help you to find more on benefits and copays in the Member Portal on azblue.com, we created this how-to guide (PDF, 691K).


BCBSAZ is here to help

We hope you find this helpful. When you know your drug options and learn how to use BCBSAZ’s online tools, you can save money on drug costs.

Questions about how to use the website or about your benefits? Call the BCBSAZ customer service team at the number on your ID card.

 

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1. Facts about Generic Drugs, http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/UnderstandingGenericDrugs/ucm167991.htm

 
Summary

Are you looking to save money on your drug costs? Try these three tips to keep more money in your pocket when filling your prescriptions.

Disclaimer

© Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona | An Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Individuals should always consult with their healthcare providers regarding medical care or treatment, as recommendations, services or resources are not a substitute for the advice or recommendation of an individual's physician or healthcare provider. Services or treatment options may not be covered under an individual’s particular health plan.

Contacts

For media inquiries please contact the public relations team at pr@azblue.com

For media buying inquiries please contact BPN at (310) 360-5782 or jeremy.adler@bpnww.com

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