Express Scripts is a service offered by TRICARE for qualifying beneficiaries who want pharmacy options that include online prescriptions and home delivery. To use this service you must be TRICARE-eligible and provide a DoD Benefits Number at signup time.
Benefits Of Using Express Scripts
There are four basic perks associated with this program. One is the home delivery option that provides a three month supply of medication (in typical cases) of maintenance medications with free shipping.
Another is the ability to manage prescriptions online including being able to initiate new orders, check the status of current prescription medication orders, and to view all retail prescriptions.
A companion to this benefit is the Express Scripts App, which can be downloaded to compatible mobile devices and used to transfer prescriptions to the Home Delivery service, place orders for refills, etc.
There is also a way to create automatic refills for certain medications–when logged into the Express Scripts official site you can select Automatic Refills for approved meds; you have the ability to select automatic refills when purchasing the medication for the first time.
Express Scripts is also proud of its options to help patients price their meds and find generic alternatives to more expensive medications.
Using TRICARE Express Scripts
This service functions as an online pharmacy and an electronic management tool for pharmacy benefits. At press time, the official site for the program informs readers who can use this service:
“Express Scripts® Pharmacy is available to those with pharmacy benefits from Express Scripts and other participating pharmacy benefit managers. In the future, non-members will be able to use the pharmacy.”
If you signed up for TRICARE and are eligible for Express Scripts, you should have received (or will receive if you just signed up) a prescription benefit card or an ID card that is combined for both prescriptions and medical benefits. To use Express Scripts, you will need the ID number listed on your card.
If you do not have an Express Scripts card or a TRICARE ID number, call TRICARE to speak to a representative right away.
Using TRICARE Express Scripts home delivery (versus in-person pickup of prescriptions in your local area) means having a pharmacist available to speak to you by phone or online. However, whether you choose to pick up in person or get deliveries, you are still entitled to a three-month supply of your medication in typical cases.
Free standard shipping is included in TRICARE delivery plans but if you choose to pick up in person you may have multiple resources depending on what TRICARE region you are in and what local resources are available.
Depending on the nature of your TRICARE plan you may qualify to extend payments on approved medication over a three-month period. Ask your TRICARE rep about this option should you require it.
What To Expect From Express Scripts Delivery
Medications mailed to customers arrive in weatherproof and tamper-proof packaging in most cases but for temperature-sensitive meds, the shipment is made in a temperature-controlled container according to TRICARE.
Delivery times vary and those using the service for the first time should expect a longer delivery time than subsequent use simply because the account is new and may take time to become fully processed in the system. After first-time use you can typically expect:
- Online refills arrive in three to five business days
- Online prescription renewals ship in five to eight days
- Renewals online (pending doctor’s approval) arrive in five to eight days
- Refills ordered by mail arrive within six to nine days
- Renewals ordered by mail arrive in seven to ten days
Setting up an Express Scripts Account requires your personal information including a DoD Benefits Number. Ask your TRICARE rep how to proceed when you are ready to set up your plan if you have questions or you can walk through the simple application process yourself online.
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News
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