BY LESLIE HANSEN
You do not need to get your prescriptions filled through your insurance.
I have heard stories recently of people who could not get a prescription from an urgent care doctor filled in Los Alamos, and people who are stressed by getting prescriptions filled off the hill. We do not need more stress associated with accessing health care.
Several years ago, the Laboratory insurance’s mail order pharmacy at the time turned me down twice when I tried to get refills of Levothyroxin, a common generic maintenance drug. I got so frustrated, I started looking into alternatives.
I ended up joining the Kroger Savings Club, which provides discounted prices for many prescription drugs at Smiths and other Kroger family stores. The prices are similar to my old insurance copays, I can get a 90-day supply retail (no mail order!), and I don’t have to care what Express Scripts does. It also provides discounted prices for prescriptions for my dogs.
Other alternatives includes just asking the pharmacy, including Nambe, what the cash price is for your prescription, and looking into coupon programs like GoodRx, Optum Perks, and Singlecare. Ask your pharmacy if they accept any of these discount cards. Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus Drug Company looks interesting as well.
You can use Express Scripts for some of your prescriptions, and a non-insurance option for others. You can’t pay for a Kroger Savings Club membership with a Health Savings Account (HSA) debit card, but you can continue to use it to pay for your medications. Prescriptions not purchased through your insurance do not count toward your deductible, but to me, the freedom of choice it is completely worth it.
If you have been inconvenienced by recent Express Script policies, I hope this letter gives you some alternatives to think about.