Migraine Medications & the Drug Formulary
If you've ever received one of those thick, gray booklets from your insurance company labeled "Drug Formulary" and groaned either internally or aloud, this article is for you.
Becoming familiar with the drug formulary of a plan you're about to become a part of or renew your coverage with is a key to making sure you can get access to the medications that are essential to treatment and prevention of your migraine disease.
First things first, what is a drug formulary? A drug formulary is a list of prescription drugs that are preferred by your health insurance plan. It includes both generic and brand name medications. It tells you which drugs will be paid for by your plan and at what rate (copay).
Health insurance companies use drug formularies to encourage their customers to choose less costly medications for treatment of their health conditions. Drug formularies are developed by committees within the company comprised of physicians and pharmacists from a variety of specialties. They are typically updated each year. By looking through the booklet you can see at a glance whether a plan you're considering will cover the medications you use for treating and preventing your migraine attacks. You can also see whether a medication recommended by your doctor is covered by your current prescription drug insurance plan.
If you've already misplaced that cumbersome, chunky gray booklet, don't worry. I've got a great website recommendation for you. From my own experience I know how difficult it can be to find that information online. I've spent hours searching, which is ridiculous. Luckily a site called FingertipFormulary.com offers an easy way to look up a particular drug and find out whether your plan covers it. After you look up the individual drug, you choose your state. Plans are broken down into two groups within each state from there: Medicare plans and Non-Medicare plans. Choose the right category and look for your plan provider and plan name. The site also offers a free iPhone application, which I highly recommend for looking up your medications during doctors appointments and knowing instantly whether your plan will cover a new medication suggested by your doctor.
If you have questions about drug formularies please share them in the comments.
When was your last migraine check-up?