Skip to content

Insurance Insights

Your Benefits/Your Money: Stretch Both with Generic Medications

Prescription drugs can be costly, especially for those who suffer from chronic illnesses. One way to save money on out-of-pocket costs for your prescriptions is to use generic medications whenever clinically appropriate, instead of brand-name drugs, which can be more costly.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved generics are bioequivalent of their brand-name counterparts. That means they have the same effect on the body as brand-name medications. Generic drugs must meet the same strict FDA standards for quality, strength, purity, stability and safety as brand-name drugs.

Facts about generics

UT SELECT Pharmacy Benefits
Your pharmacy benefits under UT SELECT are administered by Medco Health Solutions (Medco) and require a $50 annual deductible per person, per plan year. Your prescription drug program offers three different benefit levels based on the drug category and allows you to utilize both retail pharmacies and the mail order pharmacy.

As outlined in the table below, generic medications are available for the lowest copayment at both the retail and the home delivery pharmacy.

UT SELECT Pharmacy Benefits

Access Options Generic Drug Copayment Preferred Drug Copayment Non-Preferred Drug Copayment
Annual Deductible
$50/person/year (Deductible does not apply to medical plan deductible)
Retail Network Pharmacy: Up to a 30-day supply*. Refills allowed as prescribed. (Good option for new prescriptions) $10 $30 $45
Home Delivery Pharmacy: Up to a 90-day supply*. Refills allowed as prescribed.
Best option for maintenance medication)
$20 $75 $112.50

To identify if savings opportunities are available to you through generic medication options, log onto Medco’s My RX Choices® web site to:

My Rx Choices® can be accessed via the web (www.medcohealth.com) or through Medco’s toll-free service line (1-800-818-0155).

*Generic Drugs are medications sold under a standard name that by law must have the same active ingredients and are subject to the same U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards for quality, strength and purity as their brand name counterpart. Generic drugs usually cost less than brand name drugs.
*Preferred Drugs are a list of brand name medications preferred for their clinical effectiveness and opportunities to help contain participant and plan costs. The list of preferred medications is available on the Medco web site (listed at the end of this section).
*Non-Preferred Drugs are brand name medications that are not on the Preferred Drug list because there are effective and less expensive alternatives available. These medications require the highest copayments.

**If you choose to purchase a Brand Name Drug when there is a less expensive Generic alternative, you must pay the difference between the cost of the Brand Name drug and the Generic drug plus the applicable Generic Copayment. This difference does NOT count toward your $50 annual deductible per person per plan year.

Medication Safety Tips for Travelers

The key to healthy, fun traveling is to plan ahead. This is particularly true if you are taking medications, which, though meant to keep you well, can actually pose health risks due to travel and exposure to sun.

Try these tips:

For more information on traveling with medications, visit www.medco.com.

*Transportation Security Administration, “Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1.” Available at: http://www.tsa.gov/311/index.shtm.

Contact Us

If you would like a specific topic discussed or have a question you would like answered in a future issue of this newsletter, please send your suggestions to benefits@utsystem.edu.

UT System Employee Benefits Web site: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/
UT System Retirement Programs Web site: www.utretirement.utsystem.edu
Your Local Benefits Office: www.utsystem.edu/benefits/contacts.asp#1