How to save money on prescription drugs
Who is this for?
If you have prescription drug coverage through your Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network plan, we’ll show you ways to save money on your medications. If you don’t have prescription drug coverage, we’ll tell you how you can still save money.
When your doctor prescribes medication, it’s a relief to have prescription drug coverage through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network. Even then, your share of the cost may be a concern. That’s why we’re always looking for ways to save you money. Here are some tips and programs to help you get the most savings on prescription drugs.
Select one of the topics below to learn more:
Embrace generic drugs
Buy in bulk
Medication by mail
Savings for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members (traditional and PPO)
Savings for HMO plan members
Benefit coordination helps you save
Don't have prescription drug coverage?
Coverage for female contraceptives
Don’t judge a drug by its name. Generic drugs—medication without all the fancy advertising—are safe and work just as well brand name drugs. They also lower your copays and overall costs. Need proof?
- Theunadvertisedbrand.com. Get news about generic drugs, calculate cost savings and more
Save money and time with fewer refills. In many cases, you can get a 90-day supply of the medication you take on a regular basis. Whether you fill it by mail order or at a retail pharmacy, It’s easy as 1-2-3: one order and only two copays instead of three.
Not all medications are available in a 90-day supply. You can find out two ways.
- Log in to Member Secured Services. Select the Hospitals, Physicians and Medications tab. The link to Medco Online Pharmacy will take you to Express Scripts. You won't have to log in again. In the left-hand column under “Prescriptions & benefits,” select “Price a medication” and follow the instructions. You’ll need to know the name of the medication, the dosage, and how often you’ll be taking it. You'll get an alert if your medication has a quantity limit.
- You can also see if your medication is in a Quantity Limit formulary. You'll find those drug lists here.
Brand name or generic, it’s cheaper to take one pill a day instead of two. If you take your medication more than once a day, ask your doctor whether you can take a stronger dose less frequently. You can look up your medication here:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan members: Dose Optimization Program list (PDF)
- Blue Care Network members: Quantity Limits (PDF)-- Dose Optimization is on page 6.
These programs aren’t available with all plans; call the number on the back of your enrollee ID card to see if you’re eligible.
- Do you take Mevacor®, Pravachol® or Zocor®? If your doctor says you can switch to the generic version, we’ll waive your first three copays (if you fill your prescription monthly) or one copay for a 90-day supply.
- If your brand name prescription drug is on our Generic Copay Waiver list (PDF), and your doctor says you can switch to generic, we’ll waive the copay for your first month’s supply.
- We’ve reduced the copayment for formulary controller medications used mainly to control asthma to the lowest or Tier 1 copayment. For example, a member whose drug rider has a $40 copayment for formulary preferred (Tier 2) drugs and a $10 copay for Tier 1 drugs (mostly generics), will pay just $10 for these brand-name controllers. The drugs included in this program are Alvesco®, Azmacort®, Asmanex®, Flovent®, Pulmicort Flexhaler™, QVAR®, and Intal®.
- We provide coverage for Risperdal (g) for $0 copayment in an effort to remove any potential barriers to access to this important drug.
If you’re covered by more than one prescription drug plan, you can save money by presenting the correct health plan card whenever you have a prescription filled.
- When your primary coverage is through another insurance carrier, present that insurance card to the pharmacy.
- If your prescription would normally be covered by Blue Care Network, you can be reimbursed for our allowed amount less any applicable copayment. Submit your pharmacy receipts using this reimbursement form.
If you pay for your own health insurance (you don’t have insurance through an employer) from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and your plan doesn’t include prescription drug coverage, you’re eligible for Affinity RX.
You don’t need any additional cards, and it doesn’t cost anything. Just show your enrollee ID card to your pharmacist and request a discount.
Tip: You can get an idea of what your prescription drug will cost by using the Affinity Rx calculator. It will tell you the average price for common medications.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as National Health Care Reform, generic oral contraceptives and diaphragms may be fully covered by your plan with no copayment requirement, even if your plan doesn‘t include prescription drug coverage. Check your plan benefits or call the Customer Service number on the back of your enrollee ID card and we’ll help.