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Tricare drug co-pays to jump this week

Jan. 28, 2013 - 04:35PM   |   Last Updated: Jan. 28, 2013 - 04:35PM  |  
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New Tricare pharmacy copayments go into effect on Friday.

Starting Feb. 1, co-pays for prescriptions at retail pharmacies will rise to $17 from $12, and to $44 from $25 for medications not listed in Tricare's formulary, according to the Tricare Management Activity. Copayments for generic medications will remain $5.

Copayments for Tricare's home delivery program also will rise: A 90-day prescription for a brand-name drug will increase to $13 from $9, and for non-formulary medications, to $43 from $25.

Generics will remain free by mail.

The increases were approved as part of the fiscal 2013 Defense Authorization Act.

That law also allows Tricare to increase copayments annually by the same percentage as the increase in retiree cost-of-living adjustments. In years when a COLA increase would result in increases of less than a dollar, the increase will be delayed and combined with the next adjustment, so increases will always be $1 or more.

As part of the compromise defense bill, Tricare also will institute a pilot program for Medicare-eligible retirees and family members those on Tricare for Life to receive routine medications by mail for at least a year or obtain them at a military pharmacy, instead of getting them from a retail pharmacy.

Tricare has not announced details of that program or when it would go into effect.

Tricare beneficiaries can always receive medications at military hospital and clinic pharmacies at no charge.

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