Question: When did the Mail Order Prescription Benefit start?
Answer: January 1, 2001.
Question: Why does it say the best way to order maintenance drugs is by mail?
Answer: As you all know the cost of medicine is going up at an alarming rate
so we need to cut costs wherever possible. By ordering maintenance drugs through mail:
1. You save time, the cost of gasoline and have the convenience at any time of the day to just pick up your phone, use your computer or mail in your prescription;
2. Your Local 1014 Health and Welfare Plan saves money by purchasing the drugs at wholesale which holds down the cost and helps to hold down future premium increases.
Question: How can I be certain the Mail Order drugs are the same quality as drugs purchased from my local retail pharmacy?
Answer: The Mail Order program buys their drugs from the same pharmaceutical
companies as the retail pharmacies, but in greater volume so it is less expensive.
Question: The Mail Order program seems to be pushing "generic drugs" but are they as good as the drugs I get from my local retail pharmacy?
Answer: Federal law requires that "generic drugs: have the identical and absolutely the same active ingredients as the name brand drugs.
Question: Can anyone go on the Internet and find out what medicine I am taking if I use the Mail Order program?
Answer: NO!! The mail order program is a secure, "fire walled" program and your medication as well as your subscriber I.D. is in no way available to anyone anywhere!!
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE HAVING SURGERY
Are you among the millions of Americans facing prospect of surgery this year? Most operations are not emergencies, so you have time to ask your surgeon questions about the operation beforehand – and time to decide whether to have it, and if so, when and where.
Urging people contemplating surgery to become as well informed as possible, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists a number of specific questions that patients should ask their doctors before any operation:
What operation are you recommending? Ask your surgeon to explain the surgical procedure and why it is necessary. Ask why your surgeon wants to do operation one way over another.
Why do I need the operation? Get a clear understanding of the purpose, and how the proposed operation fits in with the diagnosis of you medical condition.
Are there alternatives to surgery? Sometimes, surgery is bit the only answer to a medical problem. That is, medicines or other non-surgical treatments might help you just as well or more. One alternative may be “watchful waiting,” in which your doctor and you check to see if your problem gets better or worse.
What are the benefits of having the operation? Ask how long the benefits are likely to last. Ask your doctor if there is any published information about the outcomes of the procedure.
What are the risks of having the operation? All operations carry some risk. Weigh the benefits of the operation against the risks. Ask your surgeon about the possible complications and side effects of the operation.
What if I don’t have this operation? Ask your surgeon what you will gain – or lose – by not having the operation now. Could you be in more pain? Could your condition get worse? Could the problem go away?
Where can I get a second opinion? Getting a second opinion is a very good way to make sure having the operations is the best alternative for you.
What has been your experience in doing the operation? One way to reduce the risks of surgery is to choose a surgeon who has been thoroughly trained to do the procedure and has plenty of experience doing it.
Where will the operation be done? Ask your doctor about the success rate for the operation in question, at that hospital.
What kind of anesthesia will I need? Ask the anesthesiologist about side effects and risks of anesthesia.
How long will it take me to recover? Your surgeon can tell you can tell you how you might feel and what you will be able to do or not do the first few days, weeks, or months after surgery.
How much will the operation cost? Before you have surgery, call your insurance company to find out how much of the various costs it will pay and how much you will have to pay yourself.
Finally, a word about surgeons’ qualifications:
Many surgeons have taken special training and passed exams given by a national board of surgeons. Ask if your surgeon is “Board Certified” in surgery. Some surgeons also have the letters F.A.C.S. after their names. This means that they are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, and have passed another review by surgeons of their surgical practices.