Useful Tips on Using Your Benefits

Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses on Your Prescriptions

The cost of prescription drugs is rising faster than any other category of medical expense. Using your drug benefit wisely can save you money. The following tips can help to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs:

  1. Ask for generic drugs.
    Generic drugs save you money because they are typically a quarter of the cost of brand name drugs, and are just as safe and equally effective1. Always ask your physician if a generic drug is available for you, and to note that the generic form is acceptable on your prescription.
  2. When a generic drug is not available, ask for a "preferred brand."
    When a new drug is developed, the law prohibits the making of its generic equivalent for seven years. This is why not all brand name drugs have a generic counterpart. If you are on a drug that does not have a generic equivalent:
    • Ask your doctor if there is another drug for your condition that has a generic equivalent.
    • If not, ask your physician to prescribe a brand name drug that is on our Preferred Drug List2.
  3. Accept medication samples with a generic equivalent, or one that is on the UHA Preferred Drug List2.
    If your doctor starts you out on a sample brand name medication that works, you are likely to be given a prescription for that brand, which may be subject to a higher co-payment. When it comes to chronic problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, you will more than likely be on such medication for a long period of time. As a result, your higher co-payments will quickly add up. Always ask your doctor about generic equivalents when starting on a new medication.
  4. Switch all regularly taken medications to be refilled by mail order2.
    You can purchase maintenance medications through UHA's mail order services: PharmaCare Hawaii or Express Scripts. It's quick and convenient, and saves you money by allowing the purchase of a 60-day supply for most brand drugs or a 90-day supply for generic drugs. Medications can be sent to your home or office with free shipping.

Mail Order / Home Delivery

You can purchase maintenance medications through UHA's mail order services PharmaCare Hawaii or Express Scripts. It's quick and convenient, and may save you money by allowing the purchase of a 60-day supply for most brand drugs or a 90-day supply for generic drugs. Medications can be sent to your home or office with free shipping.


To enroll in Pharmacare's Mail Order Service:

Contact Pharmacare Hawaii
628-2881 (from Oahu)
1-855-624-5937 (toll free from the neighbor islands)
628-2882 (from Oahu)
1-855-624-5938 (toll free from the neighbor islands)
Mail Order
Ste G320
3375 Koapaka Street
Honolulu, HI 96819-9881

To enroll in Express Scripts Home Delivery:

Register online at or call (800) 462-6605 to create an account and manage your refills.

  • 24/7 access to a pharmacist in the privacy of your own home
  • Save up to 25% less than retail pharmacies
  • Free standard shipping

Extended Fill Through Network Retail Pharmacies

Members may obtain an extended supply of their maintenance medications at most UHA-participating retail pharmacies within the Express Scripts network. Find a participating pharmacy using our "Find a Provider" tool. Under "Choose Specialty" select "PHARMACY".

Find a Provider

This walk-in service allows members to purchase a 60-day supply (for most brand name drugs) or a 90-day supply (for generic drugs) for their prescription maintenance medication. To start the service, show your Member ID Card when picking up your prescription from the pharmacy, and ask if you are eligible for an extended fill.

Not sure if your prescription is on the preferred drug list?
  1. A preferred drug list helps keep healthcare costs down for everyone. It is a list of drugs that have been reviewed and approved for safety by doctors and pharmacists. This list is updated as new drugs become available.
  2. Controlled substances are available via mail order within Hawaii (30 day supply). For availability to other states, call PharmaCare Hawaii Mail Order at 808-628-2881 or 855-624-5937 (Toll Free) or call Express Scripts at 855-891-7978 (Toll Free).
  3. Note that certain drugs are excluded from your formulary and therefore not covered due to equally effective and safe alternatives being available. 
  4. UHA's drug plans cover most categories of prescription medications. However, some categories of drugs are not covered. These include:
    • Drugs that are not approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration)
    • Drugs available without a prescription ("over the counter").
    • Drugs for treating hair loss, sexual dysfunction, wrinkles, or weight loss
    • Injectable drugs except Insulin and anaphylaxis (Epinephrine) kits
    • Fertility agents
    • Drugs used for cosmetic purposes
    • Supplies, appliances and other non-drug items, except Diabetic Supplies
    • Drugs furnished to Hospital or Skilled Nursing Facility inpatients
    • Drugs for which Prior Authorization is required but has not been obtained
    • Drugs and/or Diabetic Supplies obtained by mail order from a Non-Participating Pharmacy