March 06, 2019
As a SmartHealth member, your benefits include covered prescription drugs available to help manage your health conditions. Many conditions have both brand-name and generic drugs available as part of your coverage – how do you choose which one to use? Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice for your medications.
What’s the difference between brand name and generic medications?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires generic medications to provide the same clinical benefit as its brand-name versions. The FDA also requires generic makers to prove that the generic works in the same way as the brand-name medication.
This means that generic equivalent medications must:
Generics typically cost much less than brand-name medications – in some cases, up to 85 percent less. It’s important to remember that just because generics cost less than brand-name prescriptions, it doesn’t mean they’re lower-quality medications.
How can I save money on my prescription medications?
You may be able to save money by switching to a medication that’s on a lower tier (ex. generic or preferred brand) or by filling a 90-day supply, if your plan allows. You should talk with your doctor to find out if one of these options may work for you.
How can I find out how much I’ll pay for a specific medication?
Talk to your physician and your pharmacist about your current medication costs and other lower cost alternatives that may be available.
For more information about your pharmacy benefits, FAQs, and lists of covered medications, please visit: www.cigna.com/ascension.