TRICARE’s over-the-counter (OTC) drug coverage is now here to stay. Formerly a demonstration program, the OTC benefit became a permanent part of the TRICARE pharmacy benefit on Feb. 1, 2016. Effective that date, TRICARE also made some changes to OTC coverage to bring it in line with other TRICARE pharmacy coverage.
Beneficiaries must now pay the usual generic copays for covered OTC drugs. OTC drug coverage will still require a prescription from a doctor. Female beneficiaries can still get Levonorgestrel (the Plan B one-step emergency contraceptive), without a copay or prescription at a network or military pharmacy.
Feb. 1 also brought a change to which drugs are available under the OTC benefit. The allergy medications Cetirizine and Loratadine were previously covered, but now the versions that contain pseudoephedrine are also covered. However, brand name Prilosec OTC is no longer covered. The generic version, Omeprazole, is still covered, as is the prescription version of Prilosec.
Visit the TRICARE Pharmacy page for more information on the TRICARE pharmacy benefit. If you have questions about whether or not one of your drugs is covered, you can always call the TRICARE pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts, at 1-877-363-1303.