Important TRICARE pharmacy benefit change in effect now

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- As of October 1, a new law requires all TRICARE beneficiaries, except active-duty service members, to get select brand-name maintenance drugs through either TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or from a military pharmacy.

Beneficiaries who keep using a retail pharmacy for these drugs will have to pay the full cost.

Maintenance drugs are drugs you take regularly for a long time, such as those used to control blood pressure or cholesterol. The law does not apply to drugs you take for a short time, like antibiotics, nor does it apply to generic drugs.

Affected beneficiaries were sent a letter in September from the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts, explaining their options. The lowest cost option for beneficiaries and for the federal government is to fill the prescription at the local military pharmacy.

Ninety-five percent of the time we stock or can order the medication you need. There is no copay when filling at a military pharmacy, so we hope you come in to see us, so we can save you some money.

Beneficiaries can contact Express Scripts at 1-877-363-1303 if they have any questions or contact the Eielson Pharmacy at 907-377-1462.

Co-pays using TRICARE mail order are as follows:

$0 for generic drugs
$16 for brand drugs
$46 for non-formulary drugs

These prices are good for up to a 90-day supply of medication by mail.

For more information about this change to TRICARE's pharmacy benefit, visit the TRICARE website.