3 ways to help get the most from your pharmacy benefits

Prescription medications aim to improve your well-being but, in the hustle of a busy life, figuring out the best way to get and pay for them may create some headaches.

About half of adults say they are currently taking at least one prescribed medicine and about a quarter say they take four or more. Additionally, roughly 3 in 10 adults report not taking their medication as prescribed because of the price, which can be unhealthy and even dangerous

Fortunately, solutions to these types of medication issues may be found in your pharmacy coverage.  Here are three ideas that may help simplify things:

1. Ask the experts for help

Don’t be shy about asking your team of health care professionals for advice about getting medicine that’s more affordable, in a way that’s convenient for you. 

  • Check the prescription drug list available through your health plan to see how much medications cost, and ask your doctor to prescribe medication that meets your needs at the lowest expense. Your health plan may have online tools that allow your doctor to check prices with you.
  • Call the number on the back of your health plan ID card to get assistance finding a network pharmacy where you may pay less for prescriptions.
  • Explore home-delivery options with your doctor and pharmacist. Your best value may come through the delivery of a 90-day supply.

2. Keep close tabs on your supply

Take steps to avoid the pitfalls of running out of medicine:

  • Pay special attention to any preauthorization that may be necessary. For some medicines, your doctor will need to provide additional information confirming the reason you are taking the medication to ensure it is covered under your pharmacy benefit.
  • Contact your pharmacy several days before you run out of your medication to request a refill. Your pharmacist may need time to contact your doctor for approval. Your doctor may also want to evaluate your condition before authorizing a refill.
  • Consider setting automatic refill reminders with your pharmacy to help make sure you aren’t caught unprepared.
  • Have ample medication supply on hand for when you travel or before you switch to at-home delivery. Aim to have a month’s supply before transitioning to at-home delivery.

3. Use online tools

Technology can put your prescription information at your fingertips, whether you’re at home or on the go. Check your health plan’s website for information on how to manage your pharmacy benefits online or through your plan’s app.

For example, the UnitedHealthcare app allows members to set up and refill home delivery orders, track prescription history, find network pharmacies and compare medication prices.

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