Health Insurance - Pharmacy Mail Order

Many people will be surprised to learn the hassle-free option of pharmacy mail order is not only available to them but covered on their insurance plan. Most pharmacies now offer refills on prescriptions by mail. You may even be able to submit your orders completely online or have the prescription faxed to a pharmacy from your doctor. However, be sure you are looking out for both proper insurance coverage and risks of mail or online orders before choosing this option.

Insurance Coverage for Mail Order

Those people with health insurance may find their company is partnered with a pharmacy benefit manager. These are not actually insurance companies; instead, they are third parties that help process and fill prescription drug claims. These companies will determine how much you can fill in one order, and some will discount your order for buying in bulk.

They will also decide how much to charge for generic or brand name prescription. Ordering your three or six-month supply of a generic drug through the mail, for example, may cost you drastically less than purchasing it each month in a pharmacy. Contact your plan administrator to understand your options. Those people who are uninsured and have low incomes may qualify for coverage under one of the many nonprofit organizations helping low income people gain access to medication. Mail order options are typically available through these services.

Insurance Coverage Risks

Ordering prescription drugs online is a very high-risk alternative. Reports say as little as ten out of every 3,000 online pharmacies is licensed. These pharmacies are also known for supplying expired drugs or incorrectly filling orders. If you are interested in ordering your medications online, look for the online option at your local pharmacy, such as a CVS or Walgreen's online service.

Additionally, using a pharmacy you are not familiar with may even be illegal. Some pharmacies are located overseas and many do not meet requirements for transporting medications into the United States. Your insurance will not cover medications from these unknown providers.

Online Order Risks

Even mail order prescriptions are not without their risks. Whenever you are electing to fill your order through a pharmacist you cannot meet in person, you are agreeing to a higher level of uncertainty with your medications. As mentioned above, this uncertainty most commonly leads to expired or incorrect drug orders. To protect against this, always carefully read the label of any medication you receive in the mail.

Another problem with mail or online ordering is the risk of identity theft. Prescription drug sites are infamous for being unsecured. This puts your information at risk any time you order. Look for the website's privacy policy before moving forward. Ensure your "cookies" are not being stored or used by the website. You should also check to see there are no outside advertisers on the website, as these companies may have access to the information you enter while you are visiting the URL.

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