TRICARE Prescriptions by Mail in February

NGAUS Washington Report

(Dec. 17, 2013) The Pentagon has determined it can save $120 million a year if TRICARE For Life users fill some prescriptions by mail.

The government last week published an interim rule requiring retirees and family members age 65 and older to fill maintenance prescriptions by mail starting on Feb. 14, 2014, according to a story by Military Times.

The requirement does not apply to prescriptions needed for acute illnesses.

Half of the 70 million prescriptions filled by TRICARE beneficiaries in 2012 were for TRICARE For Life users. The Defense Department pays 17 percent less for prescriptions filled by mail, so requiring TRICARE For Life beneficiaries to use mail for certain prescriptions will save $120 million annually.

The requirement also saves money for beneficiaries, the newspaper pointed out. Refills of generic drugs cost nothing by mail, but $5 at a pharmacy. Brand-name drugs cost $13 by mail, but $17 at a store.

Affected beneficiaries will receive a letter with details of the plan.