Your doctor’s writing a new prescription. Don’t leave the office before asking questions.

A senior woman consults her doctor while being prescribed a new medication.

More than 75% of doctor’s office visits involve providing, prescribing or continuing medication.* If this happens during your next visit, don’t leave before asking these vital questions.

Does this replace something I already take?

Keep a list of the medicines you take (including over-the-counter ones) with you at all times. Include why you use them, when you began and who prescribed them. When a doctor prescribes something new, show the list to the doctor and ask if the new medication replaces something else on your list. Confirm that there are no potentially bad interactions between the new medicine and drugs you’re already taking.

What could it cost? Is there a generic or lower-cost alternative?

Ask if a medication is on your plan’s formulary, or drug list, and if it’s covered. Drug lists are on your health plan’s website, and often you can use a mobile app to check them. Suggest looking it up together, while you’re still in the doctor’s office.

You can also ask if the doctor can prescribe a generic or other alternative that may cost less. Learn more tips from our video on how to avoid sticker shock at the pharmacy.

What are the possible side effects? What should I do if I get them?

Every new medication brings new potential side effects. Ask your doctor to review them with you in detail. Make sure you understand and feel comfortable with the information. If it helps, ask your doctor to write information down, along with instructions on taking the medication. (Always take your medication as prescribed by your doctor. This video shares some tips to help you remember to take your meds.)

At a hospital: Who do I ask if I have questions after I am discharged? Will you send a list of any new medications to my primary care provider (PCP)?

Take your drug list with you if you go into the hospital. Doctors there may change your medications. Before you are discharged, review and update your medication list. Don’t leave without the name and phone number of someone you can contact later if you have questions. Make sure the hospital will send information on your new medications to your PCP. Then, follow up with your PCP in a few days to confirm.

Resources for ConnectiCare members

Remember you can always give us a call or visit one of our five ConnectiCare centers with questions about your pharmacy benefit. Download the Express Scripts mobile app to sign up for home delivery, check drug prices, order refills and more. Visit express-scripts.com for more information.

Medicare Advantage members can visit the Pharmacy page on connecticare.com/medicare for information specific to those plans.

*National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2015 State and National Summary Tables. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ahcd/namcs_summary/2015_namcs_web_tables.pdf. Accessed on April 10, 2019.

ConnectiCare is an HMO/HMO-POS plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in ConnectiCare depends on contract renewal. ConnectiCare Insurance Company, Inc. is an HMO SNP plan with a Medicare contract and a contract with the Connecticut Medicaid Program. Enrollment in ConnectiCare depends on contract renewal.

About Jamie Reuter, PharmD, MBA, BCPS

Jamie Reuter, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, is vice president, enterprise pharmacy solutions. He is responsible for pharmacy services for members of EmblemHealth and ConnectiCare health plans. His experience spans practice in retail pharmacy, hospital, and critical care settings as well as teaching at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Jamie received his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Toledo and a Master’s in Business Administration from the Carey School of Business at The Johns Hopkins University.