HEIDELBERG, Germany — Though some ERMC beneficiaries may see new pharmacy charges due to changes in Military Health System pharmaceutical pricing, they may not necessarily be higher.
“Periodic price adjustments on some prescription drugs are often lower,” said ERMC Uniform Business Office Manager Jeffrey A. Roberts, who advises beneficiaries who pay for their medications to do some comparison shopping.
The TRICARE Management Activity Uniform Business Office announced on its Web site that price changes are effective Aug. 9.
“TMA’s pricing methodology sets charges for pharmaceuticals at the same level TRICARE would reimburse for similar drugs under its retail pharmacy program,” said Roberts.
Roberts said the new prices affect non-TRICARE eligible pay patients who utilize Military Treatment Facilities on a space-available, reimbursable basis. U.S. civilian employees, authorized DODDS employees, contractors and other beneficiaries with or without their own insurance are among those charged for medical services and pharmaceuticals when using Army health clinics.
“TRICARE beneficiaries are not directly affected when using pharmacies at Army health clinics or Landstuhl Regional Medical Center,” said Roberts. “However, we use the same rates when billing their non-TRICARE medical insurance under the Third Party Collection program.”
Roberts said the TRICARE Management Activity reminds beneficiaries that the military pharmacy may not always be the lowest cost option, and encourages patients to compare prices with other commercial pharmaceutical sources to ensure they receive the lowest cost. The Europe Regional Medical Command’s Uniform Business Office offers TMA’s Pharmacy Pricing Estimator Tool through its web site at http://tinyurl.com/36wr37c.
Contact the ERMC Uniform Business Office by E-mail at email@example.com or by clicking on the “Contact Us” tab on the eUBO Web page for additional information on pharmacy rate changes.
What new pharmacy prices mean for you:
If you or your medical insurance company are billed for medicine received at an Army health clinic pharmacy, here’s what you can expect:
• You may notice a price change in your current prescriptions; although some pharmaceuticals you currently receive may be priced higher, the majority of prescription drugs will be available at the same or a lower price. About 32 percent of the current prices will remain the same and about 35 percent will be less.
• TMA UBO continues to add a $2 dispensing fee consistent with the average allowable dispensing fee under TRICARE Retail Pharmacy.
• Prices for most over-the-counter drugs will not change significantly.
TRICARE beneficiaries can visit www.tricare.mil to learn about their pharmacy benefit. Non-TRICARE patients should contact their medical insurance carrier.
(Courtesy of ERMC Uniform Business Office)