All GIC health plans provide benefits for prescription drugs using a three-tier copayment structure in which your copayments vary, depending on the drug dispensed. See the plans pages for copay details, and contact the plans you are considering with questions about your specific medications.
Tier 1: You pay the lowest copayment. This tier is primarily made up of generic drugs, although some brand name drugs may be included. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients in the same strength as their brand name counterparts. Brand name drugs are almost always significantly more expensive than generics.
Tier 2: You pay the mid-level copayment. This tier is primarily made up of brand name drugs, selected based on reviews of the relative safety, effectiveness and cost of the many brand name drugs on the market. Some generics may also be included.
Tier 3: You pay the highest copayment. This tier is primarily made up of brand name drugs not included in Tiers 1 or 2. Generic or brand name alternatives for Tier 3 drugs may be available in Tiers 1 or 2.
Tips for Reducing Your Prescription Drug Costs
During Annual Enrollment, Compare and Contrast Prescription Drug Programs – Contact the plans you are considering to find out which tier the prescription drugs you and your family use most often are in. It may save you money to switch to a plan that places your prescription drugs in a more favorable tier.
Use Mail Order: Are you taking prescription drugs for a long-term condition, such as asthma, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol? Switch your prescription from a retail pharmacy to mail order. Some plans offer this benefit at select retail pharmacies. It can save you money – $5 -$30 for three months of medication, depending on the tier. See the plan pages for copay details. Once you begin mail order, you can conveniently order refills by phone or online. Contact your plan for details.
Prescription Drug Programs
Some GIC plans have the following programs to encourage the use of safe, effective and less costly prescription drugs. Contact the plans you are considering to find out details about these programs and whether they apply to the drugs you are taking:
- Mandatory Generics – When filling a prescription for a brand name drug for which there is a generic equivalent, you will be responsible for the cost difference between the brand name drug and the generic, plus the generic copay.
- Step Therapy – This program requires enrollees to try effective, less costly drugs before more expensive alternatives will be covered.
- Maintenance Drug Pharmacy Selection – If you receive 30-day supplies of your maintenance drugs at a retail pharmacy, you must call your prescription drug plan to tell them whether or not you wish to change to 90-day supplies through either mail order or select retail pharmacies.
- Specialty Drug Pharmacies – If you are prescribed injected or infused specialty drugs,you may need to use a specialized pharmacy which can provide you with 24-hour clinical support, education and side effect management. Medications are delivered to your home or doctor’s office.
- Prior Authorization – You or your health care provider may be required to contact the plan for Prior Authorization before getting certain prescriptions filled. This restriction could be in place for safety reasons or because the plan needs to understand the reasons the drug is being prescribed instead of a less expensive, first-line formulary option.
- Quantity Limits – To promote member safety and appropriate and cost-effective use of medications, there may be limits on the quantity of certain prescription drugs that you may receive at one time.
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Reminders and Warnings
For most GIC Medicare enrollees, the drug coverage you will have through your GIC health plan is a better value than a basic Medicare Part D drug plan. Therefore, most individuals should not enroll in a non-GIC Medicare Part D drug plan. See the Medicare Part D page for additional details.
This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .