OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- About a week into January of 2007, I received a letter from United Health Care that they would no longer cover long-term medicines that were bought at any pharmacy other than Medco by Mail. This letter included instructions on how to make purchases from that company. I gave the fax number of Medco, along with my relevant insurance information, to my doctor's office and asked them to send my wife's prescriptions.
A week later we received the prescriptions, but there were problems. First, one of the medicines was incorrect. My wife needs Metformin Extended Release, but she received plain Metformin. Secondly, the amounts on two of the prescriptions was incorrect. Rather than a 90-day supply, we were sent 90 pills. On one of the drugs this would last 45 days, on another of them it would only last 15 days.
The customer service representative of Medco was supremely unhelpful, claiming that they filled exactly what the prescriptions called for, and disavowed any responsibility to make things right. My doctor's office has agreed to cover the cost of the incorrect prescription, but if they had not stepped forward I would have been obliged to pay for medicines which we could not use.
I have occasionally experienced similar situations with Walgreens, but have never had to accept the wrong medicines, nor incorrect amounts. They always corrected mistakes on the spot. To make matters worse, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to daytime telephone calls from Medco. They will either call about every inconsequential step of filling the prescription, or they will not call at all. "Only call if I am needed to authorize something" does not seem to be an option. As a 3rd-shift worker, I find this completely unacceptable.
The company I work for has taken away all choice of medical coverage with the exception of United Health Care (or "none," which is of course not a viable option in today's world). And UHC has taken away all choice of pharmacy other than Medco. When you add to this the fact that the pharmacy from which I am being forced to buy pills is costing more than I was paying before, this amounts to yet another effective pay cut for me, and very likely many other employees. This is certainly not what I expected after "upgrading" to a UHC policy with premiums more than twice the levels of the plan I previously had.
Early in April I had to re-order medicines from Medco. When they arrived I learned that two of them had been replaced with generics without my permission. The accompanying letter stated that the change had been authorized by my wife's doctor.
The doctor's office told a different story. They remembered the call from Medco. The office staff spoke to the Medco caller, and deferred the decision to the patient (my wife). No one from Medco ever spoke to my wife about this, nor to her doctor, nor to me. If they had, then they would have learned that my wife has had serious side-effects from past attempts to substitute another medicine for that which was prescribed.
Once again, resolution of the problem proved to be difficult. Medco claimed that they could only replace one prescription at a time. Pending payment, blaming the cost of the pills for this decision. After much debate and negotiation, my wife decided, against my advice, to try the generic brands, on the condition that they would be replaced should any problems ensue.
I remember when this company offered multiple choices for health care coverage. It was part of the cafeteria plan which was touted as an excellent employee benefit at the time. I also remember that each different plan carried a different level of employee contribution.
When I was forced to choose between United Health Care or no group health coverage at all, my personal contribution to health insurance premiums increased dramatically as level of service decreased reciprocally, although the company claims that lower costs for employees was the reason for the change. Perhaps the company is saving money, but with my costs increasing fourfold, I hope to be forgiven if I am skeptical that this change in employee benefits was in the best interest of the employees.
In any case, lower costs mean nothing if the level of service is worth nothing. If Medco cannot be trusted to gain proper authorization before making changes to prescriptions, then they cannot be trusted to fill prescriptions at all. Lack of competition - and regulation - has made these providers lax and uncaring. Because we cannot take our business elsewhere, Medco feels no pressure to improve customer service.
Where do I start. I have had the unfortunate opportunity to have Medco as my prescriptions provider for years. As with many of the other reviewers, I have had my fair share of BAD experiences with the company. Lost prescriptions, incorrect prescriptions, prescriptions that just don't ever get filled. I'm still reeling from the last one.
I had my doctor fax a refill (as they did just 90 days earlier). Medco online showed that they received the fax and that the prescription was in process. After about a week, I checked back STUPIDLY thinking that the prescription would be "in the mail". The notes indicated that they were in contact with the doctor's office and waiting for more information.
Rather than bother my already overloaded doctor, I called Medco. The first IDIOT told me that they weren't allowed to tell me what information they were waiting on the doctor to provide. After asking "for a supervisor", I was told that there was an issue with the quantity and that they had contacted the doctor's office (they even gave me dates that they had left messages).
When I spoke with the nurse at my doctor's office, she was surprised. She had NO messages from Medco. Funny, but I believe her! When she called them, they admitted to her that they had not really tried to contact her. The issue with the quantity was that she put 90 instead of ninety on the Rx. While she was on the phone, they agreed to go ahead and fill the Rx.
TWO days later, I called Medco back STUPIDLY thinking that it was being processed (whatever that means). The first line IDIOT told me that according to the status, they were waiting on the doctor to MAIL the prescription as they could not accept a fax for this particular pill (Ambien CR). I informed her that this was the first that I had heard this and asked "to speak to a supervisor". After 30 minutes and elevated blood pressure, they finally agreed to overnight my medication!
I ask the question WHY? WHY does it have to be so difficult? Like others, I have been informed that I must use Medco for any medications that I take over 90 days. I have issues with Walgreens too, but gees! At least I have a choice to use them. IDIOTS like Michael Moore and Hilary Clinton want socialized medicine. Obviously, they have not had the pleasure of MEDCO! Thanks, I feel better...
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- My first experience with Medco has been nothing but unpleasant. I wish that I had read all of the reviews out there before I made the decision to utilize Medco's mail-in prescription services. My doctor wrote my birth control prescription and I mailed it into Medco along with all the correct forms.
I waited over 3 weeks for the prescription. I checked the status of the order online as well as called in to Medco in search of a delivery date. The prescription was delivered 5 days later than the stated date. In the meantime, I had to go to the local pharmacy in order to receive a one-month prescription because I was out of my birth control and they had to deal with Medco via phone to have permission to give me the prescription.
When my prescription did arrive in the mail, it was completely incorrect. I called Customer Service and they were absolutely AWFUL! After a lot of searching he came back on the line to tell me that Medco was not responsible if the prescription was incorrect. My doctor had not written "brand only" next to the prescription so they chose to give me the generic brand of the drug.
I asked if I could speak with his supervisor and after being put on hold for ten minutes I hung up and called back to get someone different. This gentleman was at least more understanding, but still could not help the situation. He called the pharmacist and had the pharmacist speak with me. The pharmacist stated the same answer...no "brand only" written on the prescription. I asked her how she, as a pharmacist, could change someone's birth control prescription without the person's, or their doctor's, permission.
Bottom line...I have to pay for three months worth of a prescription that I will never use AND I am STILL waiting for the correct prescription in the mail (over a week and counting thus far). Medco should think about either taking responsibility for issues like this or notify the doctor/patient of these policies (IN LARGE PRINT or VIA PHONE). We'll see if I stick with using Medco's mail-order method after this experience. AND, I've talked with others who have had nightmares with mail-ordering prescriptions.
COVINGTON, LOUISIANA -- Medco Health is a RIP OFF & a bunch of liars! I was “forced” to use them via my health plan, but will drop both Medco & Benefit Management Services. My doc gave me a script for 10 pills @ 25 mg each, but these people would only give me 6 pills one month & 4 the next. When asked why, I was told they only give out 150 mg a month.
I had a bad reaction to this med so my doc gave me something else - 30 pills @ 5 mg each (or 150mg total). Medco would only give me 15 pills & DENIED ever stating a 150 mg rule. Told me to get the other 15 pills in 15 days. On day 16 I returned to get the rest of the pills as I was told to do but these lying ** at Medco told me that I could not get the rest of the pills for 30 days & denied the 15 pills per 15 day rule and said that I could only get 15 pills every 30 days or 30 pills every 60 days!
To top it off, these crooks change that right in the middle of the conversation to 15 pills every 60 days or 30 pills every 120 days! Needless to say I told Medco to stick it where the sun doesn't shine & stopped ALL payments to them! If your health provider is forcing you to use Medco drop them NOW because these people will take your money & deny you the service that YOU paid for & when you really need it, they will let you die!
NATIONWIDE, NEW JERSEY -- I am an employee of Medco Health, and where most of the reviews I have read are the error of the user, the overall idea they generate is correct. The company is not a nonprofit organization, they are in business for the profit. However, somewhere in the process of trying to increase profit the management sold the moral compass of the company.
I am a customer service rep, and have been with the company over seven years and I am disgusted by the procedures that we are given to deal with members calling in. They tell us to say we understand, and be compassionate but the procedures are not. It is all about profit.
I would suggest to anyone reading this if your company is thinking about contracting with Medco Health, oppose this. I have had coverage with Express Scripts and they are much more caring, and customer-friendly. If you are in the situation where your coverage is already through Medco and need to call in, the process is give the rep your ID number to access your account.
When they have it, ask for a sup. When the person comes on, they are not a sup, just senior rep, so ask for a sup again. Have them help you, you may have to hold, but in the long run it will help fix the problem. To those looking for a job, don't, the company treats its employees as bad as members. I stay to pay the bills.
NORTH CAROLINA -- I mailed in a prescription for a brand-name drug. A few weeks later, I received the generic in the mail. I called Medco and asked what it would take for me to get the brand-name version. The pharmacist said to get a new prescription from my doctor with her signature on the "dispense as written" line. (I was told I couldn't return the unwanted generic medication for a refund -- I was stuck with a huge supply of unused pills).
I jumped through the hoops, got the new prescription, and mailed it off. They received it, were processing it, then one day I checked the order status and noticed that it had been switched BACK to the generic AGAIN and was going to take ten days to process. I called them AGAIN and was told that because my insurance has a lower co-pay with the generic, they switched AFTER my doctor and I requested brand-name as being medically necessary.
Finally after 45 minutes on the phone, five different customer service representatives, and 20 minutes on hold. I think I might actually get what I requested over a month ago -- but I'm not assuming anything until the brand-name medication arrives at my door. (Also, the one helpful person I spoke to also contradicted my earlier phone call and said that I COULD send back the unused medication for a refund.) It's worth the extra money to simply drive to a local pharmacist -- don't waste your time with Medco.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- Medco sucks. I work there, I know. I call to get a prescription fax sent to my doctor, and I go through 3 reps, all of whom tell me Medco can't send the fax because the drug is "controlled." But it is a C3, and so it can be faxed. I send faxes for all controlled meds other than C1 and C2, unless state law forbids it. And 2 of the 3 I spoke with hardly spoke English.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I went to my doctor and received 3 prescriptions refills for my asthma medications (Singulair, Flovent and Proventil HFA). They are for 90-day supplies and it will cost over $250.00 for me to get these filled because they are "name brand." The kicker, there are no generics for these three so I have to pay the higher cost if I want them. I had switched one of my medications once from one I trusted to a different brand because of Medco.
SPOKANE,WA -- After waiting one week for my prescription to show up, I get a letter in the mail that they do not manage this benefit for me. This is after some two years of service with them! Well okay, I can find some other source but this is what pushed me over the top: they kept my $40.00 check and I had a zero balance on my account. Let this be a lesson, you can see where their priorties are and it is NOT your welfare! Just try and find an unautomated number to call for service. Stay away from these people, they will raise your blood pressure!