Questions regarding letters about drug prescriptions

New pharmacy benefit manager CVS Caremark will send out updated letters to members to replace the letters containing inaccurate information about their medications, according to Minnesota Management and Budget. Additionally, CVS will send out a welcome kit that includes membership cards for use beginning Jan. 1. Questions? Call CVS customer service for SEGIP members at 844-345-3234.

AFSCME members and their dependents have been receiving letters from CVS Caremark notifying them that important changes effecting their medications would take place starting Jan. 1, 2018. CVS Caremark will begin managing our employee and dependent prescription benefit plan Jan. 1.

The change indicates that medication(s) being taken by the letter recipient will be considered non-preferred under your new prescription benefit plan. This means that the medication is either going up in cost or is not being covered resulting in the employee or dependent paying 100 percent of the cost. The problem is, the letter does not distinguish between whether the coverage no longer exists, or the copay amount is changing. In some cases, there may not even be an increase in the cost of the prescription.

The letter encourages members to contact their doctors directly to determine if a preferred medication is available or to visit the CVS/Caremark website to assist in finding a preferred medication. Unfortunately, your doctor will not know what medications are preferred and covered, and your visit to the website will unlikely determine which medication you could switch to. There is also no way to indicate whether your current medication is going up in cost or not being covered without actually contacting CVS Caremark.

If you received this letter, we urge you to contact CVS Caremark’s SEGIP line at 1-844-345-3234 with all your questions. You will get a recorded greeting and then a pause. A trained staff will then answer the call and be able to assist you by looking you up by name and birthdate.

By having CVS Caremark as the state’s single pharmacy benefit manager, it is projected to save employees $30 million to $40 million per biennium in additional increases in employee out-of-pocket costs. We urge you to work with your doctor and CVS Caremark to find a covered prescription that will treat your condition and provide the best savings to you.