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TRICARE changing prescription copayments

A graphic depicting pharmacy cost changes.

Courtesy photo

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. --

Beginning February 1, 2018, copayments for prescription drugs at TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery and retail pharmacies will increase. These changes are required by law and affects all TRICARE beneficiaries except active-duty service members, dependent survivors and medically retired service members and their dependents.

While retail pharmacy and home delivery copayments will increase, prescriptions filled at military pharmacies remain available at no cost. Patients can save the most money by filling prescriptions at military pharmacies.

“Military pharmacies and TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery will remain the lowest cost pharmacy option for TRICARE beneficiaries,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ann McManis, Defense Health Agency Pharmacy Operations Division.

TRICARE groups pharmacy drugs into three categories: generic formulary, brand name formulary and non-formulary. Individuals pay the least for generic formulary drugs and the most for non-formulary drugs, regardless of whether they receive prescriptions via home delivery or a retail pharmacy.

Retail network pharmacy copayment changes (up to a 30-day supply)

  • Generic formulary drugs will increase from $10 to $11.
  • Brand-name formulary drugs will increase from $24 to $28.
  • Non-formulary drugs will increase from $50 to $53. Non-formulary drugs are generally only available through home delivery.

TRICARE pharmacy home delivery copayment changes (up to a 90-day supply)

  • Generic formulary drugs will increase from $0 to $7.
  • Brand-name formulary drugs will increase from $20 to $24.
  • Non-formulary drugs will increase from $50 to $53.

Military treatment facility pharmacy copayment changes

  • Beneficiaries can still fill their prescriptions for no cost at military treatment facility pharmacies.

"Patients wishing to switch to a military treatment facility from mail-order medications must get a new prescription from their doctor; those wanting to switch from off base pharmacies are not required to but may do the same or request a transfer of medications at the military treatment facility pharmacy,” said Maj. Rachel Copeland, 19th Medical Group Pharmacy Flight Commander. “We aren’t able to accept transfers of prescriptions from-mail order, so patients are encouraged to visit the military treatment facility pharmacy before they run out of medicine.”

Copeland added that patients need to contact Express Scripts to cancel any future automatic refills for any prescription they want to receive from the military treatment facility.

To see the new TRICARE pharmacy copayments, visit www.tricare.mil/pharmacycosts. To learn more about the TRICARE Pharmacy Program, or move your prescriptions to home delivery, visit www.tricare.mil/pharmacy.

(Information courtesy of the office of the assistant Secretary of Defense Health Affairs and a U.S. Air Force story by TRICARE Communications)