UIChoice Prescription Drug Coverage

The UIChoice Pharmacy plan has a tiered prescription benefit. This means for each prescription you will pay coinsurance, which will vary depending on the tier (or category) of the drug.

The co-insurance amounts are:

  • Tier 1:  0%     - Generic drugs are provided at no cost to the insured
  • Tier 2:  30%   - Wellmark name brand formulary drugs
  • Tier 3:  50%   - Wellmark non-formulary drugs

You can search the Wellmark drug list to determine which tier specific medications are in.  Our plan is BlueRX Complete.

Drugs available as over-the-counter medicines without a prescription are not covered under this plan.

Participating pharmacies are responsible for submitting your prescription claims electronically.

*New Specialty Pharmacy Requirement for 2019:

Effective January 1, 2019, UIChoice members are required to use the UI Health Care Specialty Pharmacy for all their specialty drug needs.

Why the Change?
UI Health Care Specialty Pharmacy has a personalized approach to assisting patients with specialty medication needs. This has resulted in above average medication adherence which can lead to higher patient satisfaction, avoidance of unwanted drug interactions, fewer hospitalizations, and better outcomes. UI Specialty Pharmacy also offers 24-hour pharmacy availability by phone and personalized assistance to patients in locating potential cost savings for specialty medications. 

What are Specialty Drugs?
Medications that are high-cost injectable, infused, oral or inhaled drugs for the ongoing treatment of a chronic condition. These drugs generally require close supervision and monitoring of the patient's drug therapy. Specialty drugs may be categorized within tiers on the formulary or as drugs covered under your medical benefit. 

These drugs would be used to treat conditions such as: cancer, HIV/AIDS, Huntington disease, infertility, inflammatory bowel disease, liver diseases including Hepatitis C, MS, organ transplants, cystic fibrosis, endocrine disorders, rheumatic diseases, skin disorders.

What if I don't know if I am on a specialty drug?
You can visit the BlueRx complete formulary list which applies to the UIChoice prescription coverage and look for the name of your drug you are taking for treatment.

What is a Formulary Drug List?
A formulary drug list is a list of drugs covered under your pharmacy benefit and developed to serve as a guide for physicians, pharmacists, healthcare professionals and members in the selection of cost-effective drug therapy.

The medications that would be required to be filled by the UIHC Specialty Pharmacy are those listed as specialty drugs in the Formulary Drug List. UIChoice uses the Blue Rx Complete 3 Tier formulary. 
Those drugs listed as SP-P and SP-NP would be specialty drugs that would be required to be filled by the UIHC Specialty Pharmacy beginning 01/01/2019.

A small group of medications are covered under the medical portion of your UIChoice benefits rather than the pharmacy portion. These are labeled as "SP-M" on the BlueRx Complete Formulary. To help you determine what to do, the following rules are helpful:

  • If you currently receive or will receive your "SP-M" medication at your doctor appointment or an infusion center, you will not have to make any changes.
  • If you give or will give your (SP-M) medication to yourself without any assistance, it will need to be filled through UIHC Specialty Pharmacy.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the UIHC Specialty Pharmacy (319-384-6909) for assistance.

Where is the Specialty Pharmacy located at UIHC?
If you are taking specialty medications, you can choose any of the UIHC locations within the hospital to pick up your prescription or have it mailed to your home. 
UI Health Care pharmacy locations include:

  • General Hospital
  • Discharge Pharmacy
  • Clinical Cancer Center
  • Pomerantz Level 2 or Pomerantz Lower Level
  • Iowa River Landing (IRL) Pharmacy
  • River Crossing Pharmacy, located in Riverside, IA 

What to Expect?
Wellmark will send all UIChoice members on specialty medicines a letter to their home mid-to-late October 2018 concerning how to transfer their scripts. Find more information about the UI Health Care Specialty Pharmacy

If you do not take specialty drugs, you will not need to do anything further. You do not need to transfer your prescriptions to UIHC pharmacies.

The OPM expense provision for prescription drugs is separate from the medical OPM. The insured is responsible for paying co-insurance on prescriptions (as described above) up to $1,100 for individuals or $2,200 for family in prescription drug cost. Once the OPM has been met, the plan pays 100% of covered expenses incurred during the rest of the calendar year for drugs.

If you purchase a brand name drug when an FDA-approved “A”-rated generic equivalent is available, you are responsible for your co-insurance, plus any difference between the billed charge for the brand name drug and the billed charge for the generic. This can result in you paying substantially higher costs than if you had chosen the generic drug.

If your physician feels it is important for you to have the brand name drug, they can write the prescription for the brand name drug with the direction “Dispense as written” on the prescription. In this situation, you will not be responsible for the difference between the billed charge for the brand name drug and the billed charge for the generic drug.

Certain drugs are limited per month, benefit period, or lifetime by drug-specific quantity limitations, or by step therapy requirements or prior authorization.  The limitations are determined by Wellmark based on medical necessity. For a list of drugs subject to limitations, visit the Wellmark website or check with your pharmacist or physician.

The information presented on our website describes only the highlights of the plans and does not constitute official plan documents. Additional terms and conditions may apply. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained herein and the official plan documents, the plan documents will govern. For more detailed information you may contact Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield at toll-free number 800-524-9242 (TTY: 888-781-4262), Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Central Time). For more efficient service, please have your member ID number handy - it can be found on the front of your card.

Contact Information

University Benefits

Campus Address
120 USB
Mailing Address

120 University Services Building
Iowa City, IA 52242-1911
United States

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.