An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

News | Feb. 8, 2022

5 Reasons to Check Your Prescription on the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool

By TRICARE Communications

Do you have questions about your prescription drug? Maybe you don’t know where you can fill your new prescription, or how much it will cost. TRICARE and its pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts, provides an online tool where you can search for information on specific drugs to see whether they’re available through the TRICARE pharmacy benefit. It’s called the TRICARE Formulary Search Tool.
 
“The TRICARE Formulary Search Tool is a convenient way to learn about your prescription drugs, so you know your options when managing your medications,” said U.S. Public Health Service Cmdr. Teisha Robertson, a pharmacist with the Defense Health Agency’s Pharmacy Operations Division. “Both you and your doctor can use this pharmacy tool to answer questions about your drug coverage, where you can fill your prescriptions, and any applicable copayments.”
 
Here are five ways the search tool can keep you informed about your prescriptions.
 
1. Formulary status (drug category)
The TRICARE pharmacy benefit covers several types of drugs. If you aren’t sure if TRICARE covers your prescription drug, you can look it up. The type of drug you get will determine how much you pay, as costs may vary depending on the drug’s category. As outlined in the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Overview, TRICARE groups prescription drugs into four categories: Your pharmacy will generally fill your covered prescription with a generic drug. But a provider can prescribe a brand-name drug for you if the provider completes an approval process.
 
2. Where your prescription can be filled and any applicable copayments
The search tool can show you your TRICARE pharmacy options for filling your prescription. And it shows you costs based on your beneficiary category and the type of drug you’re prescribed. Your options may include:  The search tool doesn’t show drug information for non-network pharmacies. If you use a non-network pharmacy, you’ll have to pay full price for your covered prescription drug and file a claim for reimbursement. Reimbursements are subject to annual deductibles, out-of-network cost-shares, and copayments.
 
If you live overseas and fill your prescription at a non-network pharmacy outside the U.S. and U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands), you’ll also have to pay the full price of your prescription at the pharmacy and file a claim for reimbursement. You’ll need to file your claim with the TRICARE Overseas Program claims processor. All deductibles must be met before any reimbursement can be made.
 
If you’re an active duty service member, you have no copayments for covered drugs when you use military pharmacies, home delivery, or retail network pharmacies. For others, refer to the search tool and TRICARE Compare Cost Tool to see how much you’ll pay out of pocket. Keep in mind, you may have to meet your annual deductible before copayments or cost-shares apply for certain pharmacy types.
 
3. Coverage details and limitations
Some drugs require pre-authorization or medical necessity forms to be filled out by your doctor before your prescription can be filled. You can find these forms with your prescription drug’s information in the search tool. TRICARE requires pre-authorization for some drugs to make sure they’re safe, effective, medically necessary, and cost-effective. Also, there are times when a doctor may say a non-formulary drug is a medical necessity. If your non-formulary drug meets certain criteria, you can get it at the lower formulary cost.
 
You can learn more about coverage rules and requirements in the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Handbook.  
 
4. Drug information
Want to know more about the drug you’re taking? The search tool shows you side effects, quantity limits, or restrictions that may apply to your drug. You can also click on the “About this drug” link for alternate drug names and frequently asked questions.
 
5. Other drug options
If TRICARE doesn’t cover your prescribed drug, you or your doctor can see if there’s an alternative drug that’s covered. You can also check the search tool to see if there are generic equivalents.

The TRICARE Formulary Search Tool is easy to use, so get started learning about your prescriptions today. And visit the TRICARE website to learn more about your pharmacy benefit. If you have questions, you can contact Express Scripts.
Air Force emergency medical technician stands in front of the back of an ambulance

How TRICARE Covers Ambulance Services

News
Jan. 17, 2024

In some emergencies, an ambulance could be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, your TRICARE...
Read More
Air Force dental technician aims a hand-held x-ray machine at a service member's cheek.

Mental Health Is Health: Depression and Oral Health

News
Jan. 11, 2024

Depression can cause you to neglect your oral health if you aren’t able to motivate yourself to do daily tasks...
Read More
Maj. Marcie Hart, 15th Wing Medical Group family nurse practitioner, provides patient care at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, May 12, 2021. Family nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings at Air Force bases all over the world ensuring everyone has access to wellness and the treatment they need. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Makensie Cooper)

What To Know Before Getting Care With Your TRICA...

News
Jan. 09, 2024

Did you or a family member recently enroll in a TRICARE health plan or change plans? Now is a good time to...
Read More
Going cold turkey trotting…With temperatures hovering in the high 30s and low 40s, the weather accentuated Naval Hospital Bremerton’s annual Turkey Trot 5K run/walk held in conjunction with the Great American Smoke Out, Nov. 16, 2023. That event helped raise awareness – and heart rates - on the hidden dangers associated with using tobacco products. “The GASO Turkey Trot is symbolic in that smoking impairs capacity to engage in aerobic fitness and impedes the ability to meet the Navy’s periodic health assessment goals and expectations. Quitting improves all of that! In fact, quitting and running a 5K [3.1 miles] produce a double benefit from continued tobacco use,” said Patrick Graves, NHB Tobacco Cessation Counselor (Official Navy photo by Douglas H Stutz, NHB/NMRTC Bremerton public affairs officer).

Ready To Quit Tobacco? TRICARE Has You Covered

News
Jan. 04, 2024

Although quitting tobacco can be difficult, saying good-bye to cigarettes and chewing tobacco has many health...
Read More
A soldier hugs a smiling child.

TRICARE 2023 Year in Review: Digital Tools, Demo...

News
Dec. 27, 2023

2023 was a big year for TRICARE. Digital tools, demonstrations, and a strong TRICARE Open Season were just a...
Read More
Spc. Becca Nikolas of the Minnesota National Guard and her husband hold their infant daughter.

What Are My TRICARE Health Care Provider Options?

News
Dec. 21, 2023

Are you looking for a new doctor for yourself or your family? In your search, you may see terms like...
Read More
Retired World War II veteran sitting in his home

Q&A: How Does TRICARE For Life Work With Medicare?

News
Dec. 14, 2023

Will you be eligible for Medicare soon? You may have questions about the different parts of Medicare and how...
Read More
PHOTO OF GMCM JESSICA HARRISON POSING WITH TWO SONS

5 Things To Consider When Choosing a TRICARE Hea...

News
Dec. 07, 2023

It’s important to understand your TRICARE health plan options so you can choose the right coverage for your...
Read More

Jan. 17, 2024

How TRICARE Covers Ambulance Services

In some emergencies, an ambulance could be the difference between life and death. Fortunately, your TRICARE plan covers ambulance services in these situations.

Jan. 11, 2024

Mental Health Is Health: Depression and Oral Health

Depression can cause you to neglect your oral health if you aren’t able to motivate yourself to do daily tasks like brushing your teeth and flossing. See how TRICARE can help your mental and oral health.

Jan. 9, 2024

What To Know Before Getting Care With Your TRICARE Plan

Did you or a family member recently enroll in a TRICARE health plan or change plans? Now is a good time to review how to get care with your plan.

Jan. 4, 2024

Ready To Quit Tobacco? TRICARE Has You Covered

Although quitting tobacco can be difficult, saying good-bye to cigarettes and chewing tobacco has many health benefits. If you’ve decided to kick the habit, TRICARE covers products and services to help you become tobacco-free.

Dec. 27, 2023

TRICARE 2023 Year in Review: Digital Tools, Demonstration Projects, New Benefits, and More

2023 was a big year for TRICARE. Digital tools, demonstrations, and a strong TRICARE Open Season were just a few of the major stories.

Dec. 21, 2023

What Are My TRICARE Health Care Provider Options?

Are you looking for a new doctor for yourself or your family? In your search, you may see terms like “TRICARE-authorized provider,” “network provider,” and “non-network provider.” Knowing what these terms mean can help you choose which provider you see.

Dec. 14, 2023

Q&A: How Does TRICARE For Life Work With Medicare?

Will you be eligible for Medicare soon? You may have questions about the different parts of Medicare and how they interact with TRICARE For Life.

Dec. 7, 2023

5 Things To Consider When Choosing a TRICARE Health Plan

It’s important to understand your TRICARE health plan options so you can choose the right coverage for your family. Here are some things to consider when you research your options.

Dec. 5, 2023

TRICARE Open Season Ends Dec. 12: Review Your Coverage for 2024

Have you reviewed your TRICARE coverage for 2024? Now is the time, because TRICARE Open Season ends Dec. 12. Open season may be your only chance to enroll in TRICARE coverage or change your health plan for 2024.

Nov. 29, 2023

Holiday Resilience: How TRICARE Supports Your Mental Health

For many people, the holiday season brings expectations of joy. But for some, the holidays may be a time of stress, sadness, or isolation. Life events like the deployment of a spouse, the loss of a loved one, and complex family dynamics can affect how we feel during the holiday season.