Six ways to lower your prescription costs

June 13, 2019

Save money by taking advantage of important plan features when filling prescriptions.​

As prescription drug prices continue to rise, many people are looking for ways to lower their out-of-pocket costs for medications prescribed by their doctor.

Employees and their family members with medical coverage* through the Board of Pensions can save money by taking advantage of these plan features when filling prescriptions.

  1. Review the plan’s list of preferred drugs (called a formulary) with your physician.
    You can save on your costs for covered prescriptions by choosing formulary drugs. It’s also important to know that if you’re enrolled in the EPO or HDHP and you choose a drug that is not on the formulary, you will be responsible for 100 percent of the cost of your prescription (these options do not cover non-formulary drugs).
  2. Ask for and use generic drugs.
    Chemically equivalent generic drugs are required to have the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts, and are subject to the same U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards for quality, safety, and effectiveness. And, they generally cost you less out of pocket.
  3. Ask your doctor if a preventive drug is right for you.
    The plan’s list of designated preventive drugs includes medications used to treat chronic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. You’ll pay less out of pocket when you choose medications on the Preventive Drug List.
  4. Use mail order for ongoing medications.
    You can receive a 90-day supply of your medication for less than you would pay at a retail pharmacy. Prescriptions are delivered right to your home, and shipping is free.
  5. Take advantage of online tools.
    OptumRx, the administrator of the prescription drug program, offers numerous tools to help you manage your prescription drug costs. Log in to the OptumRx website and use the drug search tool to find information and pricing for specific medications. You can also use the site to locate network pharmacies, order refills by mail, track deliveries, and more. To manage your medications from anywhere, download the OptumRx mobile app from the iOS app store or Google Play.
  6. Use FSA or HSA funds to pay for out-of-pocket prescription costs.
    If you have a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA), you can use the pretax funds in your account to pay for your out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, including copays, copayments, and/or deductibles.

*Those enrolled in Triple-S or GeoBlue should consult their plan for information about prescription drug benefits. Retired members covered by the Medicare Supplement Plan have access to similar prescription drug benefits through OptumRx but do not receive reduced copays for preventive drugs.