As you get older, your list of medications will likely grow. At ApexHealth, we understand this can be confusing and overwhelming, so we’d like to help. Not managing your prescriptions correctly can be harmful, so it’s important to take an active role in understanding your medication and managing your prescriptions correctly. Here are some tips to assist you.
1. Make a list of your medications
This includes all your prescription medications plus any over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and/ or supplements. This information is helpful for your next doctor’s visit because it will allow your provider to best identify any potential adverse effects or drug interactions. We offer a personal medication list to help you get started. Remember to regularly update this list.
2. Get into a routine with your medications
Use a pill box organizer for all of your medications. Did you know that as a member of ApexHealth, your OTC catalog has pill boxes and a medication lock box available to purchase with your OTC quarterly limits? Also, you should discard any discontinued, expired or unused medications to avoid any confusion. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “the best way to dispose of your expired, unwanted or unused medicines is through a drug take back program.” In addition to providing tips to do so, they recommend checking with your local law enforcement officials or your pharmacist to find a location where you can safely drop off expired, unwanted or unused medicines. The Department of Health and Human Services has more information on how to safely dispose of drugs.
You should also create reminders to take and refill your prescription medications. Create cues for yourself using calendars, charts, and reminder services. Also, most pharmacies have call or text reminder services that remind you to either refill or pick up your prescriptions. ApexHealth members, remember that ApexAssistants can help you out in many ways, including with your prescription drug needs. This includes reminding you to refill your prescriptions.
3. Use one pharmacy
Using one pharmacy helps both your doctor and pharmacist keep track of all your medications. Make sure you choose a pharmacy that is in your plan’s network. You may also consider participating in our mail-order program that allows you to get up to a three-month supply of your covered prescription drugs (or one-months’ supply of Tier-5 drugs) sent directly to your home.
ApexHealth members can search for pharmacies in our network by using our online search tool or by reaching out to your ApexAssistant for help.
4. Maximize your pharmacy benefit and everything your plan has to offer
It’s always smart to take advantage of all your Medicare Advantage plan has to offer! This includes your pharmacy benefit and the Medication Therapy Management Program (MTM) which you may be able to participate in if you are in a Medicare drug plan and you have complex health needs. This program is a service offered by ApexHealth at no additional cost to you, and it is required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), so it is not considered a benefit. The program helps you and your doctor make sure that your medications are working. It also helps us identify and reduce possible medication problems. ApexHealth members, we will send you a letter inviting you to participate in the program if you meet the criteria. If you take many medications for more than one chronic health condition, contact us at (844) 279-0508 (TTY: 711) to speak with an ApexAssistant to see if you’re eligible.
5. Consider generic drugs when possible
Generic drugs, aka medications created to be the same as an existing, approved brand-name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, effectiveness, stability, and quality, are often available at a lower cost and can help save you money. When you are prescribed medication by your doctor or other health care provider, ask if the drug is available in generic form and remember to check our Formulary (Drug List) for coverage.
If you need assistance in managing your prescriptions or if you have questions about any of this information, the ApexHealth team is always here! Our team of ApexAssistants are available at (844) 279-0508 (TTY 711). Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Apr. 1 through Sept. 30 and seven days a week 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. (local time) from Oct. 1 through Mar 31.