Rx home delivery?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
User avatar
Picasso
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Picasso »

I run a health insurance plan and Rx home delivery is a great option! It is easier and less expensive for you and the insurer (read - lower premiums).

Check with your insurance pharmacy benefit manager via your online portal. They'll likely have a way to opt-in to home delivery, though this is plan dependent and decided by your employer. I wouldn't have an issue with receiving refrigerated drugs via mail - they pack them with dry ice.

Happy to help as needed.
eddot98
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:47 am
Location: The Berkshires

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by eddot98 »

Our insurance is a Medicare Part D that lets us use local participating pharmacies and we do use them for one off prescriptions. We live in a small town and the closest one, a Walgreens, is a 5 minute walk away. Because it is a small town, there are usually not more than one or two people ahead of us, if there are any. For continuing prescriptions we use CVS Caremark mail order and have done so for many years. Doctors send scripts to them electronically and a 90 day supply is sent to the house very quickly. Refills are ordered online. With our insurance, scripts are very inexpensive - my generic statin is actually free and most generics are $5 for a 90 day supply. I recently started a specialty drug and 6 injectable pens were sent overnight to the house in an insulated container with plenty of ice packs. A $6000 prescription cost us $55. Getting 3 months worth at the local pharmacy would be $90.
We will continue to get our prescriptions this way unless things change dramatically for the worse.
DetroitRick
Posts: 1027
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:28 am
Location: SE Michigan

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by DetroitRick »

sport wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 11:04 am
DetroitRick wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:45 am A few years ago, Express Scripts acting as benefits manager for our health insurer, kept calling to convert our maintenance scripts to mail. Price was not substantively better. But I raised the issue of temperature controls, including in-transit and our mailbox (I can't guarantee it won't be in our box for a few hours). And understanding both the normal storage temps and manufacturer-specified excursions. Their answer was so vague that I didn't trust them and dropped the idea.
My Part D insurance is through Express Scripts as part of my Medicare Advantage Plan. I have a choice of mail order from them, or local pharmacies. Mail order is a little cheaper. I started using mail order. However, when I had one Rx was not right (probable temperature damage), Express Scripts would replace it unless I paid another copay. They said there was no recall on the drug so they would not replace it. They gave me contact info for the manufacturer. The manufacturer offered to replace it for free, but they are not a licensed pharmacy. So they offered to supply the drug to Express Scripts to give to me. Express Scripts refused to cooperate. In the end the manufacturer reimbursed my copay and asked me to send the bad Rx to them. I have been using local pharmacies ever since, even though I pay a little more. It is worth the difference not to deal with Express Scripts.
Thanks for the info, and I'm not surprised. While my Part D is currently thru Mutual of Omaha, that plan is administered by Express Scripts too. Anyway, I did compare prices for their mail order and my retail pharmacy, and only one instance was very marginally better via mail. With the whole temperature thing, I'm just not taking the risk. Your narrative tells me I made the right decision.
User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 2797
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by galawdawg »

Our insurer formerly used Express Scripts and is now using Caremark as the pharmacy benefits manager. I tried both of those for the mail order prescription service years ago and was not at all satisfied. Deliveries did not always ship when promised, shipments were delayed, boxes were not well-packaged and I even had one that never showed up which was a nightmare to have replaced.

Now, USPS in our area is more unreliable and slow than ever and two recent FedEx 2nd day air shipments took over a week after shipping to arrive to me. UPS still appears to be able to deliver shipments on time and correctly.

I'll never use mail order or other shipped pharmacy services again if I can help it. Once it leaves their hands and is under the control of USPS, FedEx or UPS...good luck getting any resolution if the shipment is delayed, diverted, damaged or lost.

Our local Walmart will bring your prescription out to you in the car and most of the other local pharmacies have a drive-thru lane. At least then when they say your prescription is ready they actually have it and you can pick it up at your convenience. And any wait if you prefer not to go inside is in the comfort of your car where you can listen to music, have the AC on, drink a cold beverage and scroll through the latest posts on Bogleheads! 8-)
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 12088
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by ResearchMed »

Update:

The Rx from Walgreens was picked up by FedEx late Monday afternoon, and I received an email with the tracking number as soon as Walgreens had processed the label. I was able to track it from the label processing, pickup, through a FedEx sorting facility one state over, back locally, out for delivery, and then it arrived on our doorstep at about noon on Tuesday.
I promptly got an email announcing it had been delivered.

It was nice to have the tracking info.
(One needs to sign up for the notifications using the tracking number.)

I don't know if there was any particular reason that the downtown Walgreens used FedEx rather than USPS, as our neighborhood CVS branches do. (It was an injectible, but *not* narcotic/controlled, but perhaps the needle/syringes?)

No complaints. :happy

However, I have wondered who is absorbing these delivery fees, given that at least for now, there are no extra charges to us, even for the FedEx. There's never been any extra cost to us since the pandemic led to the new delivery situation.

RM

Sandtrap wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:27 am
ResearchMed wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:11 am
<snip>

A new pharmacy (Walgreens) ordered a special med that the CVS stores near us couldn't get in the past. They sent it FedEx overnight yesterday, for delivery today, with full tracking. (It's not a controlled substance.)

In the past, when DH needed specially compounded eye drops without preservatives, yet another specialty pharmacy would make up a few dozen tiny (teeny tiny!) vials, and ship them frozen with ice packs (LOTS of ice packs!), via FedEx next day delivery. The amount of insulation around the vials and ice packs was... astonishing.
Back then, pre-covid, we had to pay for the delivery, but it was little enough that we didn't bother to drive and hour round trip to get it after the first time (when we discussed the med in person dirctly with the compounding pharmacist).

Many "local" pharmacies deliver, and by now, they should have a procedure well in place.
At least for CVS, we can also see when they've received an Rx from our physician, and "click" to have it filled and sent out.
That should be close enough to "online pharmacy" for you, even though it is a physical store...?

RM
This is great info.
Thanks for taking the time for a long post.

I'll look into the RX's I pickup now to see if they can also be delivered this way.
Mahalo
j :D
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 12088
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by ResearchMed »

galawdawg wrote: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:59 am Our local Walmart will bring your prescription out to you in the car and most of the other local pharmacies have a drive-thru lane. At least then when they say your prescription is ready they actually have it and you can pick it up at your convenience. And any wait if you prefer not to go inside is in the comfort of your car where you can listen to music, have the AC on, drink a cold beverage and scroll through the latest posts on Bogleheads!
We had a similar process when we went for our flu shots last fall, at the local CVS mini-clinic (forget what they are called).

We could log in using our cell phones to see where we were in the queue, with the timing being the same as what we had signed up for online previously.

We were able to wait in our car near the CVS door, until we got a notification that the first of our two appointments was "ready". We both went in, despite the "no one may accompany unless assistance is needed", and told the medical staffer that we had sequential appointments and were 'together'. She smiled and said that of course we could both come in together if that's what we preferred.

SO much nicer that sitting in a crowded area right near a line of people who are waiting to drop off/pick up prescriptions,

At least *some* of the new "inconveniences" are very convenient indeed.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
Madbull
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:01 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Madbull »

My husband and I both use Accredo Mail-order pharmacy for some specialty meds, (they are the only way we can fill them, our Cigna plan requires certain tier meds to be through them). No issues during the 9 months we've had them. They overnight FedEx two of them, (one refrigerated in foam box with ice-packs, and a little paper temp warning gauge to indicate if it got too hot during transit, the other in insulated pouch with a gel-pack that isn't as cold). The third med they overnight via UPS, (I have no idea why they don't use the same carrier, when their overnighting all of them, but they've done it that way from the start).

Prior to this, we had United Healthcare for almost two decades, and our plan had a few different benefit managers over the years that they contracted with for specialty meds. Same deal, mail-order only. I recall Optum RX as the PBM at one point, and Costco at another. No issues with them either, (with the exception of taking a couple times for them to get their act together to notate our files correctly with the releases to allow us to order for each other based on our schedules).

For 'routine' lower tier meds, I do not use them. I just use Sam's Club. Mail-order I could get a slight discount, but I like the personal care our local store gives us, (asks about my mom, each other, good about checking for interactions, etc). There's also 2 (maybe 3?), of our meds that are free to use being Plus members, no cost to us.
Big Dog
Posts: 2734
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Big Dog »

Mail order has been around for many years, so it can be really good for maintenance meds. When I was in benefits at mega-corp, our retirees loved the convenience.

Many insurance plans offer mail order option in addition to retail. Check with yours medical/pharmacy plan and ask about specific Rx that you might be taking to see if they are eligible for mail order. (not sure if refrigerated items qualify)
ellvizzle
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 9:18 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by ellvizzle »

Depending on where you live, Alto is an amazing pharmacy. You can even order day of until 5p and they’ll courier it that evening. I have had a number of expensive refrigerated meds delivered and they have been packaged so well. I’ve noticed prices are often comparable to other pharmacies, sometimes lower, higher, or same.
RudyS
Posts: 2228
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by RudyS »

calmaniac wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:26 am I switched to Express Scripts a year ago. I order meds and typically receive them within 3 days (Wash DC suburb). No lines, no waiting, no fuss.

A family member used to get insulin by mail. Always came with cold packs. No real issues.
Also found Express Scripts mail order to be completely satisfactory.
Raraculus
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Raraculus »

Does anyone have experience with schedule II medications and Rx Home Delivery? Typically, schedule II medications are dispensed on a 30 month basis.
User avatar
LiveSimple
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:55 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by LiveSimple »

In our area grocery store pharmacies do free home delivery. Just check in your area pharmacy.
User avatar
ResearchMed
Posts: 12088
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:25 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by ResearchMed »

Raraculus wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:49 pm Does anyone have experience with schedule II medications and Rx Home Delivery? Typically, schedule II medications are dispensed on a 30 month basis.
Yes.
Pre-Covid, it was apparently impossible to have those sent out, at least by USPS, and I don't think even personal courier, although I assume it could be arranged for someone truly unable to leave home with no one else (?).

But after some time with the Covid adjustments, those are just sent out like any other med, except it is still a 30-day supply, not the 90-day supply we get for other meds.
Surprisingly, there isn't even any need to sign for the package when it arrives. Yes, that makes us a bit nervous, but it's never (yet) gone astray...

Did you call your pharmacy provider to ask and get different information? If so, perhaps it is state specific as well as Federal?

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 6450
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, near Champa Bay !

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

ResearchMed wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:03 pm
Raraculus wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:49 pm Does anyone have experience with schedule II medications and Rx Home Delivery? Typically, schedule II medications are dispensed on a 30 month basis.
Yes.
Pre-Covid, it was apparently impossible to have those sent out, at least by USPS, and I don't think even personal courier, although I assume it could be arranged for someone truly unable to leave home with no one else (?).

But after some time with the Covid adjustments, those are just sent out like any other med, except it is still a 30-day supply, not the 90-day supply we get for other meds.
Surprisingly, there isn't even any need to sign for the package when it arrives. Yes, that makes us a bit nervous, but it's never (yet) gone astray...

Did you call your pharmacy provider to ask and get different information? If so, perhaps it is state specific as well as Federal?

RM

I have used Schedule II drugs for decades. I used to be able to receive 360 pills for 3 month supply, free. When all the restrictions started happening a couple of years ago, Humana started filling only for 30 days, 120 pills. Incidentally they also started charging me $10 co-pay. So I went from $0 dollars/year to $120/year. Total rip-off. Since I could get the same drugs for my co-pay of $10 locally, I started getting them at Publix Pharmacy. Publix has to order them as I'm the only person who buys them in that particular store, according to my pharmacist.

I have to be careful how I order, time wise. Once I had a great run with less pain and my supply lasted longer, Humana wanted to make me get re-approved. Fortunately my PCP was able to keep my refills coming.

Never had an issue receiving the drugs from Humana mail-order, and, I never signed for them either. Humana periodically tries to get me to order thru them, but there is no incentive for me to do so. All my other meds are set up to refill at earliest allowable date, but the Schedule II drug requires an RX every month.

I'm sorry people overdose, but this whole issue was a PITA for legit users when things started changing. Now they send me Narcan, also. At least it is free.

The only time I ever overdosed was with fentanyl, and that was administered by the hospital I was in when repairing my broken legs in 2017. Three days in IC when I stopped breathing for a bit.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
rockylou
Posts: 134
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:31 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by rockylou »

I switched from local CVS to Valisure (only pharmacy that chemically tests every batch of drugs before sending out) when several BP meds were recalled due to possible carcinogen. I don’t take anything that needs to be refrigerated but I have been very happy with them. I receive within 2 days at no charge and I actually am paying less than I was at CVS. They also have great customer service, much better than local CVS
friar1610
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: MA South Shore

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by friar1610 »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 6:29 am A few thoughts: Your insurance might specify only one mail order service and won't pay for others.

If your choice is Express Scripts, pass and stand in line for an hour. They'll get it wrong for every single delivery and you'll spend an hour and a half on the phone trying to fix it. (we were forced into them for some time)

We get some stuff mail order through CVS. Has always been correct.

So the point is, your mileage may vary, depending on who the mail order company is.

I use Express Scripts because they have the contract with Uncle Sam for the retired military prescription plan. Under this plan I get 90 days of “maintenance meds” for the same co-pay as a single (up to 30 days) scrip at the local drug store. I have 5 different maintenance meds and I have to say I have never had a problem getting my scrips on time (via USPS). (I don’t use any that require special handling such as keeping them refrigerated.)

Philosophically, I would rather get my meds from a local, independent pharmacy. But so far I’ve seen no compelling reason to pay triple co-pays to do so.

Now that I’ve gone on record with this, I’m sure my next order will be screwed up, late and billed incorrectly.
Friar1610
Raraculus
Posts: 118
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2019 10:43 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Raraculus »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:34 pmI'm sorry people overdose, but this whole issue was a PITA for legit users when things started changing.
A few years ago, we (me and my GF) could travel all over the U.S. We could fill Rx's for Schedule II medications in other states, other than the one we ordinarily live in.

The music stopped abruptly sometime in late 2018. We were in Louisiana and we could not fill a Rx there. We had to drive 300+ miles roundtrip to get the medication. A few months later, we travelled to Tennessee and we could not fill a schedule II Rx. The last few days of our Tennessee vacation were a little bit tense. :shock:

Then 2020 happened, and our travel plans were shelved. Now, we're looking forward to extensive travelling later this summer, but we have to plan it around Rx refill dates. Hence, my curiosity around Rx home delivery of schedule II Rx's.

I was wondering if a pharmacy could mail out schedule II Rx's to an address other than our home? For example, they could mail it to a FedEx center or hotel and we could pick it up.

If that's possible, then travel planning becomes easier, knowing that we can get a refill of medications that we need.
Broken Man 1999
Posts: 6450
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am
Location: West coast of Florida, near Champa Bay !

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Raraculus wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 7:35 pm
Broken Man 1999 wrote: Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:34 pmI'm sorry people overdose, but this whole issue was a PITA for legit users when things started changing.
A few years ago, we (me and my GF) could travel all over the U.S. We could fill Rx's for Schedule II medications in other states, other than the one we ordinarily live in.

The music stopped abruptly sometime in late 2018. We were in Louisiana and we could not fill a Rx there. We had to drive 300+ miles roundtrip to get the medication. A few months later, we travelled to Tennessee and we could not fill a schedule II Rx. The last few days of our Tennessee vacation were a little bit tense. :shock:

Then 2020 happened, and our travel plans were shelved. Now, we're looking forward to extensive travelling later this summer, but we have to plan it around Rx refill dates. Hence, my curiosity around Rx home delivery of schedule II Rx's.

I was wondering if a pharmacy could mail out schedule II Rx's to an address other than our home? For example, they could mail it to a FedEx center or hotel and we could pick it up.

If that's possible, then travel planning becomes easier, knowing that we can get a refill of medications that we need.
As legit as your need, I can't imagine anyone would mail to anywhere except your address on record.

What if you had an RX at a national drugstore chain, perhaps the drugstore where you might be at the time could pull it up and refill.

I would talk to a national chain drugstore where you live and see if they could fill it wherever you are.

There are folks who spend months in different locations, I'm sure some might need pain meds.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven then I shall not go." - Mark Twain
boglegirl
Posts: 449
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by boglegirl »

brian91480 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:58 am Everyone should look into Costco. Even if you are not a member, I think non-members have access to the pharmacy. I am stunned how much cheaper my prescriptions are at Costco compared to other places. (they have some common pet medications too)
Have you used their online pharmacy?

I'd rather take a beating than deal with the lines at my Costco's pharmacy.
User avatar
Toons
Posts: 14103
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:20 am
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Toons »

No need for refrigeration here
Part D Medicare
Humana Walmart Value Rx Plan PDP
17.20 a month
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
brian91480
Posts: 267
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 7:44 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by brian91480 »

boglegirl wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:05 am
brian91480 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:58 am Everyone should look into Costco. Even if you are not a member, I think non-members have access to the pharmacy. I am stunned how much cheaper my prescriptions are at Costco compared to other places. (they have some common pet medications too)
Have you used their online pharmacy?

I'd rather take a beating than deal with the lines at my Costco's pharmacy.
I went from paying $70/ month on a prescription... to $14 FOR 3 MONTHS. No exaggeration.

I live in a medium size city... population around 150k. My longest wait is 10 minutes... most of the time even less. I can live with that for the extreme savings.
hudson
Posts: 4185
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:15 am

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by hudson »

I use CVS for 4 ongoing and non-refrigerated prescriptions.
At the right time, every 90 days, I get a text saying that it's time.
I use the iPhone app to pay and request shipment.
I usually get the pills in one or two days by US Mail.
No issues.

My wife gets refrigerated meds from Humana Pharmacy every two weeks.
They call every time before they ship it.
It comes in a medium sized box with ice packs and insulation.
No issues.
User avatar
Picasso
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:19 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Picasso »

boglegirl wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:05 am
brian91480 wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:58 am Everyone should look into Costco. Even if you are not a member, I think non-members have access to the pharmacy. I am stunned how much cheaper my prescriptions are at Costco compared to other places. (they have some common pet medications too)
Have you used their online pharmacy?

I'd rather take a beating than deal with the lines at my Costco's pharmacy.
This also depends on pharmacy networks. If Costco is not in the preferred tier, drugs from there will not be covered or will have higher cost shares than preferred pharmacies.
Kompass
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:42 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Kompass »

I switched to independent pharmacies 15 years ago and never looked back. Three different states and insurances (not Medicare, PPO) all offered delivery in their own vehicle (or would mail it if I was traveling out of town) to surrounding areas, price competitive. The one I use now cannot deliver controlled substances but all others okay, it may have to do with being in Ca, I don't take any so it's fine but you should ask.
Rudy Tooty
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2020 11:39 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by Rudy Tooty »

I have an old dog with chronic arthritis who requires routine anti-inflammatory medications. Costco charges much less for the medication than my vet. Does anyone ever ask the vet to write a script that can be filled at an outside pharmacy, rather than buying it directly from the vet at a substantial markup? I know it's more difficult for a vet to make a buck than a human medical doctor. He has a staff to pay and he works darn hard to make a go of it in his practice that required many years of education. I want to support his practice. But his price for meds is over twice the amount I'd pay at Costco. How do other pet owners handle this situation?
egrets
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:56 pm

Re: Rx home delivery?

Post by egrets »

4nursebee wrote: Tue Jun 15, 2021 4:46 am I really do not like waiting in line, especially with people that might be sick. Pharmacies seem to take longer. I am somewhat aware that perhaps we could start doing business virtually and have medications delivered. Do any of you do this? What is the process like? Are meds properly refrigerated? Who do you suggest to use or avoid and why? What else is there to know? If it matters, nothing is controlled, one med needs not freeze or get too hot.
Thank you!
I use Walgreens curbside pickup. They have a reserved parking spot in the lot next door, you call in when you arrive, and they bring the prescriptions out to you. So you can wait in the car until you see them approaching, a good thing if you have arthritis, etc.
Post Reply