Last Updated on August 9, 2019
One of the major benefits of joining the military as an active duty soldier is the family medical coverage through Tricare and access to zero cost prescriptions at any Military Treatment Facility (MTF). In addition, any time a National Guard or Reserve soldier is on orders for thirty days or more, he or she is also eligible for these benefits.
Great Resource for National Guard Families
As an Army National Guard wife of ten years, my husband has spent almost a third of his time on active duty status due to deployments, schools and time spent in recruiting. But in all the time he’s been on active duty, we have not lived anywhere near an Army post and therefore have not had access to a Military Treatment Facility.
Tricare members may use a traditional drugstore pharmacy to fill prescriptions but depending on the types of prescriptions a family needs, the prices can really add up. Over time, I’ve heard the common complaint of military families saying that prescriptions cost way too much if you are not able to fill them on post.
What is Express Scripts?
A great way to save money on prescriptions if you are covered through Tricare but do not live near a MTF is to use Tricare’s mail order pharmacy: Express Scripts. Basically, it costs 1/3 of the price to get prescriptions filled. You can order a 90 day supply of a prescription for the same cost as you would pay for a 30 day supply at a drugstore pharmacy. Even more exciting news is that as of October 1, Express Scripts is offering generics at no cost!
How Do I Sign Up?
Using Express Scripts is very easy to do. Simply go to www.express-scripts.com to set up a family account. Once an account is set up all you have to do is print a form and take it with you to the doctor. The doctor can fill out the prescription section and fax it directly to Express Scripts to fill your order. If you go to an appointment without the pre-printed form, you can also send a traditional doctor prescription note to Express Scripts in the mail. The company works very quickly to get orders sent out in just a few days. Another benefit is that you will get email reminders sent to you when it is time to refill a prescription every 90 days.
My family has used the mail order pharmacy program whenever my husband has been on active duty orders. We have saved a lot of money over the years by using this service. The only downside is that you have to wait a few days to get your order in the mail so it is not always convenient when someone is sick and needs their medication right away. But, for anything that is taken on a regular basis I would absolutely recommend Express Scripts!