Spending Smart

Spending smart doesn’t mean denying yourself care. It means understanding how your UMS benefits work so you can get the maximum value from those benefits. (For more information, visit the benefits page.) Here’s how to get the most for your dollar.

24-Hour NurseLine

Lack of self-care is one of the biggest contributors to rising costs. Call the NurseLine for advice on appropriate treatments and health care at 1-800-244-6224. The nurse line may help you save by eliminating unnecessary medical services like weekend visits to the emergency room for non-life-threatening ailments.

Health Care Flexible Spending Account (FSA)

The Health Care FSA lets you pay out-of-pocket health care expenses, such as copays and deductibles, with pretax dollars. Since funds are deducted from your paycheck before taxes are taken out, your taxable income is reduced, and you save on taxes. For more information, read the FSA brochure.

Mail Order Prescription Drug Service

The mail order prescription drug benefit can help you save money and time when purchasing maintenance medications. The program allows you to order a three-month supply of maintenance medications for the cost of a two-month supply. Your prescriptions are delivered right to your home. If you take prescription drugs for a long-term condition, such as high blood pressure or asthma, ask your doctor to write your prescription for a 90-day supply with up to three refills (as appropriate). After you submit the initial prescription by mail, you can save time by ordering refills over the phone or online.

All medical plan enrollees can use the mail order prescription program. If you have questions, call CIGNA at 1-800-564-7642.

Choose Generics When Possible

Generic drugs offer you a great value: their cost is typically 30% to 80% less than brand name drugs, yet they meet the same effectiveness and safety standards. After a manufacturer’s exclusive rights to a brand name drug expire, a generic drug then can be manufactured and distributed without the initial advertising and research costs. Generic drugs have the same active ingredients as brand name drugs, and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulates generic drugs to make sure they are safe and effective. If your doctor agrees a generic medication could serve you well, the Drug List on Cigna’s site will let you know if a generic equivalent is available for a brand name drug you’re taking. You also can check drug class and tier assignments, find alternative drugs, check drug-to-drug interactions and view any pre-authorization requirements and quantity limits.

Local Pharmacy Discounts

Certain pharmacies in Maine that participate in the Anthem network will allow you to purchase a 90-day supply of maintenance medications for the price of two copays. That’s getting 30 days of your medication for free! And, you’ll make fewer trips to the pharmacy. Maintenance medications are prescription drugs that you take for a long-term condition such as high blood pressure or asthma.

Click here for a list of participating pharmacies.