Mail-Order Prescriptions: Better for Your Health and Budget


| 3 min read

Mail-Order Prescriptions: Better for Your Health and Budget
It seems like just about anything you want can be delivered straight to your home. Groceries, flowers and even a new car can all be ordered online and – within days – will appear on your doorstep (or in your driveway). The same goes for prescriptions: Medications can be ordered and delivered to you through the mail, without you ever having to step foot in a pharmacy. Here are just a few of the benefits of considering mail-order for your medications:
  • It can save you time and money. With mail-order prescription fulfillment, you no longer have to get in your car and drive to the pharmacy. You can simply fulfill first-time requests and refills online or over the phone. Most maintenance medications, which are used to treat chronic conditions or taken for an extended period, are available for mail order in a 90-day supply. That helps you reduce your out-of-pocket costs by up to a third compared to filling the prescription every month at a retail pharmacy.
  • Your health can benefit, too. Getting your prescriptions delivered can help you stick to your treatment plan. A study found that nearly 85 percent of the patients who received their prescription via mail followed the regimen recommended by their doctor, compared to about 77 percent of people who picked up their prescription from a retail pharmacy. Another study found those who opt for mail-order prescription fulfillment have fewer emergency room visits in part because they’re more likely to refill their prescriptions, as opposed to those who have to remember to make time for a trip to the pharmacy to do so.
  • Plenty of time to place your order. As with just about everything that’s delivered by mail, your prescription can be sent in only a few days. However, if there are delays with delivery, it can be especially problematic if your medication is for a potentially life-threatening condition. Before receiving your first 90-day supply in the mail, pick up a 30-day supply from your local pharmacy.
Always remember to make sure you’re receiving prescriptions from reputable online pharmacies that are in your network. If you don’t, you may risk receiving a drug that’s fake or that doesn’t contain the right amount of medication. Look for the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy seal of quality on the pharmacy’s website. While some retail pharmacies offer to mail your prescriptions, there is usually a fee for doing so. However, if you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network member with our pharmacy coverage, you can order your prescriptions through Express Scripts Home Delivery. Express Scripts is Blue Cross’ exclusive home delivery pharmacy for members with commercial pharmacy benefits and they will mail your prescriptions at no cost to you. As always, it’s important to check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if mail-ordering prescriptions is right for you. Find out more on mail-order and saving on drug costs with these additional resources:
Image Credit: Paul Sullivan
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association