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Lyster helps TRICARE for Life beneficiaries move to pilot program

Spc. Amber Young, U.S. Army Aeromedical Center, refills pharmaceuticals at the Lyster Army Health Clinic Pharmacy last year. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Spc. Amber Young, U.S. Army Aeromedical Center, refills pharmaceuticals at the Lyster Army Health Clinic Pharmacy last year. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: March 6, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (March 6, 2014) -- Lyster Army Health Clinic’s pharmacy has taken steps within the last two years that will help make the newly-mandated TRICARE for Life pilot program easier on its beneficiaries.

Starting March 15, the program will require TFL beneficiaries to use TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery or a military pharmacy to fill prescriptions for select maintenance medications. This pilot was a provision of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

After the pilot starts, beneficiaries have two 30-day refills of their prescriptions covered at a retail pharmacy before they are responsible for 100 percent of the cost. Beneficiaries may call the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts, at 1-(877) 882-3335 to switch to home delivery or with questions about their medications.

Some individuals are exempt, including people with another prescription drug plan, or people living outside the 50 United States. People living in a nursing home may contact Express Scripts to request a waiver.

Since August 2011, all TFL beneficiaries at LAHC have been given the opportunity to fill their prescriptions at the clinic’s pharmacy. The increased workflow brought in by TFL beneficiaries has allowed the pharmacy to procure medications that are not normally stocked on the formulary, to include special-order non-formulary medication. 

“Our TFL beneficiaries are actually doing us a favor by bringing their prescriptions into the pharmacy,” said Lt. Col. Tai Bolaji, pharmacy chief. “We are always looking to expand, and enhance our pharmacy operations and services and the list of medications on hand, and our requests for special order non-formulary medications, normally come from our TFL beneficiaries.”

Another advantage to using the LAHC pharmacy is to help alleviate the cost of high co-pays that normally come with non-formulary medications, he said.

About 46 percent of the pharmacy’s prescription workload is paper prescriptions that come from the civilian primary care or specialty prescribers. LAHC’s pharmacy has fax capability in place that allows doctors’ offices to send beneficiaries’ prescriptions directly to the pharmacy.

“If your primary care doctor is not at Lyster or you are seen at a specialty doctor’s office, you can either request them to fax the prescriptions into Lyster’s pharmacy or you can hand carry them in,” Bolaji said.

TRICARE Pharmacy Home Delivery is another alternative for those who are not in close proximity to LAHC. Home delivery offers beneficiaries a 90-day supply of their brand-name medication for $13. Switching these prescriptions from a retail pharmacy to home delivery can save TRICARE beneficiaries up to $152 a year for each prescription. Beneficiaries can also save by asking their doctor to write them a prescription for a generic version of their medication.

“Home Delivery is a good option for beneficiaries who are far away from Lyster’s pharmacy and want to make sure they never run out of their medication,” Bolaji said.

TFL beneficiaries looking to transfer their prescriptions to LAHC’s pharmacy are encouraged to call ahead (334-255-7671) to ensure their prescription is available.

For the most recent information about the pilot or to sign up for e-alerts with the latest updates, go to

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