Prescription Drug Transition Process

What to do if your current prescription drugs are not on the formulary or are limited on the formulary.

New members
As a new member in our plan, you may currently be taking drugs that are not on our formulary or are on our formulary but your ability to get them is limited. In instances like these, you need to talk with your doctor about appropriate alternative therapies available on our formulary. If there are no appropriate alternative therapies on our formulary, you or your doctor can request a formulary exception.

If the exception is approved, you will be able to obtain the drug you are taking for a specified period of time. While you are talking with your doctor to determine your course of action, you are eligible to receive an initial 31-day supply (unless you have a prescription written for fewer days) of the drug anytime during the first 90 days you are a member of our plan.

For each of your drugs that is not on our formulary or for situations where your ability to get your drugs is limited, we will cover a temporary 31-day supply (unless you have a prescription written for less than 31 days) when you go to a network pharmacy. If the prescription is written for less than 31 days, multiple fills are allowed to provide up to a total of 31 days of drugs. After your first 31-day transition supply, we may not continue to pay for these drugs under the transition policy. You are reminded to discuss with your doctor appropriate alternative therapies on our formulary and if there are none, you or your doctor can request a formulary exception.

If you are a resident of a long-term care facility, we will cover up to a temporary 31-day supply (unless you have a prescription written for less than 31 days). We will cover more than one refill of these drugs for the first 90 days you are a member of our plan, up to a 98-day supply. If you need a drug that is not on our formulary or your ability to get drugs is limited, but you are past the first 90 days of membership in our plan, we will cover a 31-day emergency supply of that drug (unless you have a prescription for less than 31 days) while you pursue a formulary exception.

There may be unplanned transitions such as hospital discharges or level of care changes (i.e., in the week before a long-term care discharge) that occur after the first 90 days that you are enrolled as a member of our plan. If you are prescribed a drug that is not on our formulary or your ability to get your drugs is limited, you are required to use the Plan's exception process. You may request a one-time emergency supply of up to 31 days (unless you have a prescription written for less than 31 days) to allow you time to discuss alternative treatment with your doctor or to pursue a formulary exception.

Continuing members
As a continuing member in the plan, you receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). You may notice that a formulary medication which you are currently taking is either not on the upcoming year's formulary or its cost sharing or coverage is limited in the upcoming year.

For coverage requests we receive before December 16, 2013 and approve, the plan will cover the drug as of January 1, 2014. For coverage requests initiated on or after December 16, 2013, normal timeframes for resolution apply: you will receive an answer within 24 hours for urgent requests and 72 hours for all other requests.

If your existing medication is subject to new formulary restrictions and you have not discussed switching to an alternative formulary medication or pursued a formulary exception with your doctor, as of January 1, 2014, you may receive a temporary 31-day supply (unless you have a prescription for less than 31 days), when you go to a network pharmacy, to allow you time to discuss alternative treatment with your doctor or to pursue a formulary exception.

There may be unplanned transitions such as hospital discharges or level of care changes (i.e., in the week before a long-term care discharge) that can occur anytime. If you are prescribed a drug that is not on our formulary or your ability to get your drugs is limited, you are required to use the plan's exception process. You may request a one-time emergency supply of up to 31 days (unless you have a prescription written for less than 31 days) to allow you time to discuss alternative treatment with your doctor or to pursue a formulary exception.

If you are a resident of a long-term care facility, we will cover up to a temporary 31-day supply (unless you have a prescription written for less than 31 days).

If you have any questions about our transition policy or need help asking for a formulary exception, please contact UnitedHealthcare Customer Service.

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Optional supplemental service (rider)

Additional coverage you can add to your Medicare Advantage plan. Examples of optional plan services covered with riders include: dental coverage and fitness programs.

Optional supplemental service (rider)

Additional coverage you can add to your Medicare Advantage plan. Examples of optional plan services covered with riders include: dental coverage and fitness programs.

Optional supplemental plan (rider)

Additional coverage you can add to your Medicare Advantage plan. Examples of optional plan services covered with riders include: dental coverage, vision and hearing coverage and fitness programs.

Creditable Coverage

Refers to prescription drug coverage that offers benefits the same as or better than coverage available through Medicare.

Tier 1: Preferred Generic. Lowest Copay.

This tier includes lower-cost, commonly used generic drugs. Use Tier 1 drugs for the lowest out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 2: Non-Preferred Generic. Low Copay.

This tier includes most generic drugs. Use Tier 2 drugs, instead of Tier 3 or 4, to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 5 : Specialty Tier. Coinsurance.

This tier includes unique and/or very high-cost drugs. You pay a percentage of the total drug cost, called coinsurance.

Tier 4: Non-Preferred Brand. Highest Copay.

This tier includes non-preferred generic and non-preferred brand drugs. Many Tier 4 drugs have lower-cost options in Tier 1, 2 or 3. Ask your doctor if you can switch to one of these drugs to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Tier 3: Preferred Brand. Medium Copay.

This tier includes many common brand name drugs, called preferred brands, and some higher-cost generic drugs. Many Tier 3 drugs have lower-cost options in Tier 1 or 2. Ask your doctor if they could work for you.

Tier 4: Non-Preferred Brand. Highest Copay.

This tier includes non-preferred generic and non-preferred brand drugs. Many Tier 4 drugs have lower-cost options in Tier 1, 2 or 3. Ask your doctor if you can switch to one of these drugs to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Drug List tool tip

A list of drugs covered by your Medicare Part D plan. A drug list may also be referred to as a covered prescription drugs list (CML), a preferred drug list (PDL), a select drug list or a formulary. These drugs are dispensed through participating network pharmacies to covered members. Drug lists may differ between Medicare prescription drug plans.


Carefully weigh the differences in drug lists against the plan costs and other features when choosing a plan that may best meet your needs. A drug list may change during the year.

Tier 2: Low Copay

This tier includes most generic drugs. Use Tier 2 drugs, instead of drugs in Tiers 3 or 4 to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Coverage Gap Stage:

During the Coverage Gap Stage, you (or others on your behalf) will pay no more than 72% of the total cost for generic drugs or 47.5% of the total cost for brand name drugs, for any drug tier until the total amount you (or others on your behalf) have paid reaches $4,550 in year-to-date out-of-pocket costs.

You may pay less if your plan has better coverage in the gap.

Always use your Medicare Part D member ID card during the coverage gap to get the plan's discounted drug rates. The money you spend using your card counts toward your out-of-pocket costs.

Out-of-Pocket Costs:

The amount you (or others pay on your behalf) pay for prescription drugs starting January 1, 2013 not including premiums.

Premium (or monthly premium)

The monthly fee you pay for Medicare coverage.

Deductible/annual deductible

The pre-set, fixed amount you must pay for healthcare or prescription drug costs before Medicare or the plan begins to pay.

Deductible/Annual deductible

The pre-set, fixed amount you must pay for healthcare or prescription drugs costs before the insurance company or Medicare begins to pay.

Coinsurance

A kind of cost sharing where you pay a percentage of the cost of a service. For example, a plan might pay 75% and you would pay 25%. In Medicare Advantage, coinsurance varies depending on the plan.

Copay

A kind of cost sharing where you pay a predictable, pre-set amount for a service, such as an annual check-up.

Copay

A kind of cost sharing where you pay a predictable, pre-set amount for a service, such as an office visit.

Primary Care Physician's name and ID

Your primary care physician (PCP) plays an important role in your health care, and we want you to have the opportunity to select one you are comfortable with. Your PCP can:

  • Help you make good lifestyle choices to maintain and improve your health.
  • Serve as a direct point of contact in case of an emergency.
  • Manage the drugs prescribed to you and identify potential adverse interactions.
  • Coordinate the care of specialists who may diagnose and treat your conditions.
  • Help ensure that you are getting the care you need while helping to minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

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