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Using the prescription drug plan this summer

Tips for in-service members
New York Teacher
Using the prescription drug plan this summer

As summer approaches, some of you will be heading out of town or even out of the country. Remember to take care of your maintenance 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:

  • Make sure you have refills available on your prescriptions. (If no refills are available, ask your doctor to e-prescribe a new prescription for each medication to the Express Scripts Mail Pharmacy. For any questions, call Express Scripts Customer Service at 1-800-723-9182.)
  • If refills are available but it is too soon for you to refill, call the UFT Welfare Fund pharmacists who can authorize a vacation supply for you. Please allow 14 to 21 days of lead time before your vacation. The Welfare Fund pharmacists can be reached at 1-212-539-0500 during regular business hours. (Express Scripts cannot grant permission for a vacation supply.)

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. Therefore, you must plan ahead and inform your physician’s office of the state and pharmacy location of your destination. 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 are traveling outside the country, you will have to seek direct drug reimbursement later by using 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.

By law, you cannot return prescription drugs, even if the package is unopened. You will be charged for any prescription ordered. 

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. If available, the address you would give Express Scripts is your local post office. The address format is your name and, underneath your name, the words “General Delivery” followed by the town, state and zip code of your local post office. 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, order another Express Scripts card to send along. Please contact the UFT Welfare Fund during regular business hours at 1-212-539-0500 to request that card.

You Should Know