Note from MOAA: Have you been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, or the response? Share your story to help MOAA understand the needs of the uniformed services community in this challenging time.
With additional legislation to address the coronavirus pandemic potentially in the works, MOAA is urging congressional leaders to temporarily waive TRICARE mail order pharmacy copays.
TRICARE pharmacy copays were set into law with the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. For calendar year 2020, the mail order copay for a 90-day supply of medications is $10 for generics, $29 for brand name, and $60 for non-formulary drugs.
Many military families — particularly those with special needs, wounded warriors, and Medicare-eligible retirees and their spouses — take multiple maintenance medications each day.
Even with the COVID-19 national emergency, the Defense Health Agency (DHA) does not have the authority to modify TRICARE pharmacy copays, so MOAA is advocating for a legislative fix.
Military families appreciate the option of getting medications at no cost from pharmacies at military treatment facilities (MTFs), since TRICARE mail order copays can quickly add up. The TRICARE pharmacy copay structure creates a strong incentive for patients to visit the MTF pharmacy, increasing risk of exposure to COVID-19.
Eliminating mail order copays reduces the financial incentive to use MTF pharmacies and encourages social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, a precaution that is strongly recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A copay waiver is particularly important since some installations have instituted temporary access restrictions while others have put limitations on pharmacy access intended to protect both patients and health care teams, with more restrictions likely should conditions worsen.
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MOAA seeks to ensure impacted families don’t face sudden, unexpected out-of-pocket costs related to medication copays.
Please consult the TRICARE website for guidance on transferring your prescriptions to mail order or retail. If you experience problems transferring your prescriptions, please let us know at email@example.com or by sharing your story.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Website
- CDC Advice for Higher-Risk Individuals
- VA Coronavirus Website
- TRICARE Coronavirus Information
- DoD Coronavirus Response Website
- Health.mil Coronavirus Information
- Military OneSource Coronavirus Resources
- National Institutes of Health Coronavirus Information
- From MOAA: What You Need to Know About the CARES Act
- Latest Coronavirus News from Military.com
- Latest Coronavirus News from Military Times