Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

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Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby ResNullius » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:20 pm

I got my Medicare drug plan with AARP United Health. As it turns out, starting in 2013, they have what they call a "preferred pharmacy" network (as opposed to just a "network pharmacy") where your co-pays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 generics drop from $6 to $3 and from $10 to $5 respectively. That's a 50% reduction if you go in my case to Walgreens versus the locally owned pharmacy in my little town. I called my local pharmacy and they said that their association is trying to sue to stop this, but I don't think there is any way they'll win, and they recommended that I switch drug plans, and why would I do this in order to pay a higher co-pay. Their recourse really is to join the United Health network, which requires them to give United Health $1 or $2 per prescription filled out of the lower co-pay. Walgreens joined in order to increase customer traffic in the store. I don't want to switch pharmacies, but it looks like I'm going to have to if I want to save 50% on my co-pays. Anyone else running into this? By the way, I would save almost $500 per year by switching to Walgreens under this process, since I'm on 10 meds for my heart issues, luckily all generic.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Grandpaboys » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:52 pm

First Health started this Preferred Pharmacy in 2012 using Walgreens and Walmart. I have both in my small town plus another privite owner pharmacy. I had been using Walmart so made little differance to me. Walmart has gone gang busters in suppling all insurance companies and created a huge learning curve for them to keep up with the business when the town doubles in size from all Winter Visiters from up North.
In one winter season they have got it down pat and has made it good for the locals all year long.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby ResNullius » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:20 pm

Grandpaboys wrote:First Health started this Preferred Pharmacy in 2012 using Walgreens and Walmart. I have both in my small town plus another privite owner pharmacy. I had been using Walmart so made little differance to me. Walmart has gone gang busters in suppling all insurance companies and created a huge learning curve for them to keep up with the business when the town doubles in size from all Winter Visiters from up North.
In one winter season they have got it down pat and has made it good for the locals all year long.

We also live in a resort area, where the summer population is huge, while the winter population is very small. The only pharmacy in town is a little private one, with the Walgreens being located in a larger town about 10 miles away. With luck, the local pharmacy will find a way to pay/join the AARP preferred network, because most of their customers are above 65 and on Medicare.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Sam I Am » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:01 pm

Message deleted.
Last edited by Sam I Am on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Firewood42 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:01 am

My wife and I just recently switched to Humana and can buy drugs at either Wallmart or mail order. It costs us 18.75 per month each, a huge savings over our former plans. We also have another way to get drugs. Where we stay in Texas for the winter, we can go over the border and buy prescriptions drugs over the counter for very reasonable prices. Many of our friends have been doing this for years. We went over last year with a friend and he said he saved 300 bucks for his needed supply of prescription drugs by buying them in Mexico.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Grandpaboys » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:26 pm

I have lived in Texas for 38 years and 140 miles from the Border. I used to buy drugs in Mexico, not any more. I do not TRUST the pharmacies to give you what you paid for. Most of my friends also gave up on buying drugs in Mexico. My Health is to important to me to take chances with drugs from Mexico. Those cheap costs are made up by poor product and are under no controls. Even my mexican friends living in Texas do not buy drugs in Mexico. In fact they will not make family visits to Mexico because there children will be kidnapped and held for ransom. Because of the conditions in Mexico even our State Dept. warns not to go.
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Firewood42 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:42 pm

Grandpaboys wrote:I have lived in Texas for 38 years and 140 miles from the Border. I used to buy drugs in Mexico, not any more. I do not TRUST the pharmacies to give you what you paid for. Most of my friends also gave up on buying drugs in Mexico. My Health is to important to me to take chances with drugs from Mexico. Those cheap costs are made up by poor product and are under no controls. Even my mexican friends living in Texas do not buy drugs in Mexico. In fact they will not make family visits to Mexico because there children will be kidnapped and held for ransom. Because of the conditions in Mexico even our State Dept. warns not to go.


Understand your concern. Where we go is a place set up for Winter Texans. You park your car and walk across the bridge. This area makes a huge amount of money from "Winter Texans". They strive to keep the place safe, even have the Mexican army located right in the town. In the five years we have been going to get medicine's and dental work there has never been an incident. You have to know which drug store to go to as some are not as reliable but just ask some "Winter Texan" that has been going there for a long time and you will find out which pharmacy or which dentist is the best. I would never drive my car over the border.

We don't buy a lot of drugs but my wife will stock up on her blood pressure pills so when we go on long trips we have extra. The package looks exactly the same as what she gets in the states,
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Re: Medicare Drug Plan: Preferred Pharmacies

Postby Jerilynn » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:11 pm

Firewood42 wrote:
We don't buy a lot of drugs but my wife will stock up on her blood pressure pills so when we go on long trips we have extra. The package looks exactly the same as what she gets in the states,


It's supposed to. I was just reading/watching something (i wish I could remember where) about counterfeit drugs, some of them were so good regarding packaging, that even the pharmacists couldn't spot the fakes and some were actually being sold by US pharmacies.

http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYo ... efault.htm


Edited to add:
I think I may have read it in consumer reports, in any event here is a video that addresses a similar issue.
http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/18809545 ... ake-drugs/
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