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Know Your Benefits

Summer prescription drug plan tips for in-service members

New York Teacher

When summer is here, some of you will be heading out of town or even out of the country. Remember to take care of your prescription needs before you pack your bags. For emergencies, always carry your Express Scripts prescription ID card.

Summer vacation supplies

For those traveling out of the country, make sure you have your 90-day maintenance medications filled before you leave so you do not run short.

Here are a few steps you should take to ensure you receive your medication in a timely manner:

Tips for using your prescription plan

Information regarding the plan design, including copays and the drug formulary, is available on both the UFT Welfare Fund website  and the Express Scripts website.

Before ordering or refilling medications, check the formulary to find out what tier (generic, brand formulary or brand nonformulary) your drug is in. The tier will determine your copay responsibility. You can find out the copay for a particular medication through your pharmacist or by going to the Express Scripts website, which includes a Price-a-Medication button.

Bring the formulary to your doctor and together you should decide which medication is appropriate for you.

Order controlled substances from your local retail pharmacy. Controlled substances filled in New York State are now required to be e-prescribed only in 30-day supplies (unless your physician e-prescribes an approved condition code on the new electronic prescription that allows your local retail pharmacy to dispense a 90-day supply).

State guidelines restrict controlled drugs from being refilled too soon, preventing an early vacation supply. You must plan ahead and inform your physician’s office of your destination state and a pharmacy location there. Your physician must e-prescribe a controlled substance or other acute illness drugs to one of Express Scripts’ 50,000 participating network pharmacies. To pick up that prescription, you must present your Express Scripts prescription ID card at that pharmacy.

If you travel outside the country, you must seek direct drug reimbursement after your trip with the Direct Drug Reimbursement Form for In-service Members. Keep all receipts, medication bottles and boxes and other records so the UFT Welfare Fund can make the best effort to reimburse you in accordance with the Fund’s rules. A foreign prescription is reimbursable only if there is a U.S. equivalent for that drug.

Mail order to your post office

General Delivery mail, offered by the U.S. Postal Service, is a safe, no-cost option for members who have concerns about having their prescription drugs delivered to their homes. Call your local post office to find out if this service is available in your area. Your package will be available for pickup at the local post office for up to 30 days.

College-bound students

If your dependent child will be heading to college in the fall, you can order another Express Scripts card for their use by contacting the UFT Welfare Fund during regular business hours at 212-539-0500.