Drug benefits - Cost saving features
To save money for you and your plan, Alberta Blue Cross individual health plans that provide prescription drug coverage pay according to the Least Cost Alternative (LCA) price where interchangeable products can be used. You receive the appropriate LCA automatically when you present your Alberta Blue Cross ID card to your pharmacist. LCAs mean you pay less out-of-pocket, while helping to keep plan costs down.
Be sure to show your Alberta Blue Cross ID card at pharmacies to take advantage of direct billing for prescriptions (if available on your specific plan), to receive LCAs and to ensure you are billed according to the terms of the Alberta Blue Cross Pharmacy Agreement.
You should also be aware that pharmacies charge a "dispensing fee" for every prescription filled. By comparing dispensing fees, you can get the best price on your prescription drug purchases—and pay less out-of-pocket. Pharmacies are free to charge whatever they wish for the service. For Alberta Blue Cross drug plan participants, Alberta pharmacies agree to certain maximums which are outlined in the Alberta Blue Cross Pharmacy Agreement. Within these maximums dispensing fees can vary greatly, from 99 cents to over $19 depending on the cost of the drug product and at which pharmacy you shop.
In some circumstances, having a prescription filled for 100 days' supply can also save on cost by reducing the number of times a dispensing fee is charged. If you or a family member are stabilized on a maintenance drug for long-term therapy, you may wish to request 100 days' supply from your doctor and pharmacist.
Even if you don't have prescription drug benefits through your plan—or you are purchasing products not covered by your plan, you can save money by requesting an LCA product when a prescription is required.