I talk to people every day who are amazed at how much they can save by using the mail order pharmacy that is available through their benefits package from their employer. It is nice to be able to use your local pharmacy for those medications that you need immediately, like an antibotic or a pain medication. But if you are taking medication to treat a chronic condition, you need to find out if your health plan has a mail order pharmacy benefit.
Look at your health care card, ask your benefits office and call the provider to find out exactly how it works. Have a list of the medications you take, the strength and the directions. The customer service representative at the mail order pharmacy should be able to give you co-payment information and instruct you on how to submit your prescriptions for filling.
Please remember that all plans are different and each prescription benefit manager (your prescription insurer) may have different procedures. Most plans that I see allow a 90 day supply of a medication for either a flat co-payment or a percent of the gross amount that the drug costs.
Questions to ask the customer service representative are what is the turn around time for prescriptions, what methods of payment can you use, how do you get order forms, how do you order your refills and who do you contact if there is a concern about the medications you received. These are the questions I hear most asked.
I would also recommend getting a copy of your pharmacy plan and read through it. There may be important information on limitations to your plan that you need to know about your mail order pharmacy plan. Knowing your plan and how it works are key to maximizing your savings and your satisfaction.
About The Author: Sandra Roberts spent 25 years as a pharmacy technician in the retail and hospital settings. I have been a customer service representative for 2 years at a major prescription benefit manager.