Many people stop taking drugs because they cost too much, didn’t seem to work or had ugly side effects. If you stop taking a drug, your health problem may get worse and wind up costing you more later. You can save yourself from going down this path by asking your doctor a few easy questions:
About your coverage
- Is the drug covered?
- Why do I need this drug?
- Will a generic work for me?
- Do I need to try a generic or other drug first?
- Is there an over-the-counter option?
About the drug
- Are there any side effects?
- How often should I take the drug?
- For how long will I be taking the drug?
- Must I avoid certain foods, drinks or other things while I’m taking the drug?
- What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
- How will the drug interact with other drugs I’m already taking?
- Do I need to wait for approval?
Talking to your doctor about the drugs he or she orders is important. You’ll feel more comfortable taking a drug that best treats your health problem and have fewer surprises at the pharmacy.
Find out about Blue Cross covered drugs here
Find out about Humana covered drugs here
Starting January 1, 2017,* some of the medicines covered by Humana’s prescription drug plan may change.
What do these changes mean? Some medicines will have new requirements. (Specific state regulations may apply.) These requirements include:
- Prior Authorization: The member’s doctor must contact Humana to get approval before he or she fills or refills a prescription for any medicine that requires prior authorization. His or her plan benefits won’t cover this medicine without prior authorization, and he or she will pay the entire cost of the medicine if he or she decides to buy it.
- Step Therapy: Sometimes there’s more than one medicine that works to treat a health condition. Some medicines may cost less but work just as well. Before a prescription is filled for a medicine that costs more, the member may be asked to try at least one other medicine first.
If the member’s doctor thinks the other medicine isn’t right for him or her, he or she will need to request approval from Humana to use the medicine that costs more. His or her plan benefits won’t cover this medicine without approval, and he or she will pay the entire cost of the medicine if he or she decides to buy it.
- Quantity Limits: A member has a limit on the amount of some medicines he or she can fill during a period of time. These limits can be placed on some drugs because of safety concerns and help prevent misuse of these drugs. If the member’s prescription is over the limit, there are two choices:He or she can get the amount of medicine that’s covered by his or her plan benefits and then pay out of pocket for any medicine that’s over the limit.
OR If his or her doctor thinks more medicine is needed, he or she can ask for approval from Humana for the amount of medicine that goes over the limit.
- Tier Changes: The member’s medicine(s) is grouped into different tiers. For each tier, he or she will pay a different amount. If a member fills or refills a prescription for a medicine that’s moving to a different tier, he or she may have to pay more or less.
- Not Covered: Starting January 1, 2017,* some medicine(s) will no longer be on the member’s Drug List. If a member fills or refills a prescription for any medicine that isn’t covered under his or her benefit plan, he or she will have to pay the full cost of the prescription.
The member’s doctor can ask Humana to make an exception to cover his or her drug if it’s not on our Drug List. Generally, Humana will only approve a request for an exception if the alternative covered drugs wouldn’t be as effective in treating his or her health condition and/or would cause adverse medical effects. To ask for an exception, the doctor can contact HCPR at 1-800-555-2546 between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday.
Why is Humana making these changes?
Humana reviews and updates the Drug List to help ensure safety and offer cost-effective choices for drug benefits. Updates to the drug list can happen when medicines have changes in dosing and prescribing guidelines. The selection of available medicines may also change. This can happen when a drug is removed from the market by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or a drug’s manufacturer, or a new drug becomes available and is added to the drug list.
Visit Humana.com/Druglist after October 15, 2016 to review the latest Drug Lists and changes in 2017. If you have questions, please contact your Humana Sales Representative.
Humana clients and their employees will receive notification from us explaining these changes.
*For Texas, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico Fully Insured groups, these changes start on each group’s renewal date in 2017
You can learn more about how your drugs are covered by reading lists called formularies. These lists have tiers that will help you see if there are drugs you can take that will cost you less. Tier 3 drugs cost more than Tier 2 and Tier 1 drugs.
These drug lists also show what rules may apply to your drugs. Some of these rules may include having your doctor call Blue Cross first before ordering a drug; getting a certain amount of a drug at one time; or trying other drugs first before your plan will cover a drug.
First, check your plan booklet to see how many drug tiers your plan has then go to:
- Click Prescription Drug Lists
- Choose the 2016 Drug Formulary for your plan
- Look up your drug in the index to find what page it is on in the formulary
If you have questions, call the Pharmacy number on your member ID card.
Continue reading “Learn more about how drugs are covered with Blue Cross”