- J. Olson
Tricare Update: Millions of Beneficiaries Must Now Approve Rx Refills by Mail
Many veterans are concerned about the recent change from Tricare regarding mail-order prescriptions. Express Scripts, Tricare's pharmacy benefits manager, recently implemented a policy that requires users to confirm their refills before prescriptions can be sent. This sudden change could lead to disruptions for millions of Tricare beneficiaries if they don't respond to the confirmation messages.
A reason for the change was to "prevent excess waste," according to the Defense Health Agency spokesperson. It could also be due to the lawsuit Express Scripts is currently facing for allegedly sending beneficiaries more medicine than they should have received.
Reminders are routinely sent out to beneficiaries ahead of the prescription shipping date. These reminders are sent via email, text message, or phone call, depending on the method the user prefers. Those who receive a phone call and miss the refill notification are encouraged to call 877-363-1303 and follow the prompts to consent for a refill.
If a user fails to confirm a refill before it is sent or even chooses to opt out one month, that medication will be automatically removed from the auto-refill program. At this point you would have to contact customer service and re-opt in.
Although mail-order prescriptions come with a fee of $2-$4 for generic and brand-name drugs, maintenance and specialty drugs are not included. Maintenance drugs can only be submitted through the mail or through an on-base pharmacy and refills are not available at a retail pharmacy.
This change from Tricare and Express Scripts could potentially cause some issues for veterans and I urge all users to take advantage of the different communication methods and confirm any refills necessary. By responding to the reminders sent by Tricare and/or Express Scripts, you can hopefully avoid any delays or disruptions in your prescriptions.