Smart Consumer Tips to Help Control ELCA Health Costs

photo by CTrillo via morguefile.com
photo by CTrillo via morguefile.com

Choosing the right place to get health care can make a big difference in quality and cost. As part of the wellness reformation, Portico offers this growing series of tips to help members shop for health care wisely. If you’re a plan member, see how many you can try! You’ll spend less out-of-pocket — and make a dent in the amount that sponsoring organizations need to contribute next year.

NEW: Skip the Pharmacy, Save Time and Money With Home Delivery

Some things make sense to buy locally — like fresh produce, or prescriptions for an infection. But for many medications taken on an ongoing basis, it’s tough to beat the cost and convenience of Express Scripts home delivery service. Consider simvastatin, a generic high cholesterol drug used by about 1,350 ELCA-Primary plan members. In 2016, a member with Gold+ or Platinum+* could either:

  • Make 12 trips to the local pharmacy and spend $120 out-of-pocket, or
  • Receive 4 shipments via home delivery and spend $80 out-of-pocket

*Costs for the ELCA-Primary Bronze+ or Silver+ option may vary.

Today, ELCA-Primary members and their families use home delivery for 50% of all prescriptions — a decrease from 61% in 2012. We know some bumps in the road caused some folks to drop the service. But the good news is, home delivery is worth a fresh look. Thanks to recent improvements, Express Scripts has made ordering prescriptions easier, with more frequent status updates and faster delivery. And Express Scripts says it’s making a difference, citing an increase in overall customer satisfaction this year.

Smart Consumer Tip: If you take medication on an ongoing basis, make the switch to home delivery. You’ll get a 90-day supply instead of 31 days from the pharmacy — and save money for yourself and the ELCA Health Plan. It’s easy to get started. Visit the Prescription Drugs page on myPortico and go to Express Scripts, then go to Manage Prescriptions >Transfer to Home Delivery. Or, call Express Scripts at800.575.8090.

Potential Savings: Even small savings add up quickly, considering ELCA-Primary households purchased about 301,600 prescriptions last year. If we could fill 61% instead of 50% of those through home delivery, members could save nearly $160,000 in out-of-pocket costs, and reduce costs for the plan by nearly $180,000 this year.

More Tips to Try