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October 22, 2001

Generic equivalents save in drug costs

Wynell Lauver is communications consultant for Human Resources.


If you are buying your maintenance prescriptions from your local pharmacy, you can get more than a 30-day supply (if your refills allow), but you must pay one co-pay for each 30-day supply. Make sure your pharmacist is aware of this.

Remember, you can save money by using mail order for your maintenance prescriptions; you can get a 90-day supply for the cost of one co-pay. This saves you time and in the long run helps keep Emory’s health insurance costs down.

You can also save money by choosing generic drugs. While they may look different than the brand-name drugs you may have taken in the past, you should know that the Food and Drug Administration requires the generic to be a duplicate of the original with respect to the active ingredients, but not look or color.

Trademark laws prevent generics from looking exactly the same as the brand-name drug. The generic drug is also usually given a special name (usually a chemical or scientific name). For instance, the name for the generic equivalent of the pain reliever Motrin is ibuprofen.

Generic drugs have a long history of safety and effectiveness. They contain the identical amounts of active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts. They are not inferior medications; in fact, they are essentially copies of the original brand-name drug. The FDA approves all generic drugs using the same strict standards as they use for approving brand-name drugs. What may surprise you most is that the brand-name companies manufacture the majority of all generic drugs.

If you would like to take advantage of the lower generic co-payments, ask your doctor if a generic medication is right for you, then ask your pharmacist to fill your next prescription with the generic.

If you have questions about how your pharmacy benefits, including how co-payments for brand and generic differ, please contact Member Services at the toll-free number on your insurance card.

Dental Choice replaces PreSelect
Emory is changing administrators for its Dental DHMO plan. Effective Jan. 1, 2002, Aetna will administer Dental Choice, which replaces PreSelect. The number of dentists in the network will essentially be the same; the major difference is that Aetna will be handling your claims. For more information, contact your benefits specialist.

Mark your calendar
This year’s Open Enrollement period will be Monday, Oct. 29, through Wednesday, Nov. 14. This will be your only opportunity to enroll in or make changes to health, dental, vision and flexible spending accounts for 2002. This year you can enroll online at (click on Open Enrollment).

If you are enrolled in health, traditional dental, dental access, and/or vision and want to keep that exact coverage, you do not need to re-enroll. If you have PreSelect Dental, you must make a new dental selection since PreSelect is being replaced by Dental Choice. To participate in the flexible spending accounts, you must enroll annually.

The major changes for this year include:
• Co-pay for third-tier prescription drugs (non-formulary brand name) will be raised from $30 to $35 for both health plans.

• Maintenance drugs will only be available through mail order for one co-pay for a 90-day supply, for Emory Care and Emory Choice. Prescriptions filled at a retail store will cost one co-pay for each 30-day supply.

• EmoryCare co-insurance for non-Emory hospitals will be increased to 20 percent. Co-insurance for Emory and HCA hospitals will be 10 percent (no longer paid at 100 percent).

• Medical flexible spending account limit will be increased to $5,000.

• Aetna will be the new vendor for Traditional Dental and Dental Choice (replacing PreSelect).

If you have questions, contact your benefits specialist.

Manage your lifestyle with Intervent
Are you ready to make a change from knowing what to do about your health to doing something about it? Now there is a program to help you. It’s called Intervent , a new lifestyle-management and cardiovascular risk-reduction program from Emory Healthcare.

Intervent uses state-of the-art behavior-change techniques to provide you with a comprehensive program that includes exercise training, correct nutrition, weight management, stress management and, if applicable, smoking cessation. You work one-on-one with an Intervent mentor to implement an individualized plan that addresses your specific goals, preferences and circumstances.

For more information, contact Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777 or visit


Back to Emory Report October 22, 2001