Your No-Sweat Guide to Getting Your First Prescription

New to this whole 'taking meds' thing? We've been there. Whether you're switching pharmacies or trying out medication for the first time, we're here to simplify the maze.

December 15, 2023
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Here's the Deal:

  • Picking up meds isn't just about popping into a pharmacy; it's about smart choices based on cost, insurance, and how you get your hands on those pills (or patches, or vials or... you get it).
  • Book a visit with your clinician if you ever have med questions; they’re here to help. Pro tip: FOLX offers easy-peasy telehealth chats from the comfort of your home to get you started.
  • Transgender, nonbinary, and gender diverse people can face specific challenges at pharmacies, but our Member Navigation team will advocate for you every step of the way.

Finding Your Pharmacy Soul-Mate

Pharmacies are like jeans - you gotta find the one that fits you best. Maybe it's the local pharmacy down the block, a new online option like Amazon Pharmacy, or even FOLX's own doorstep-delivery service. Think about what matters most to you - cost, convenience, prescription delivery, or the kind of privacy you want for your med pickup.

The Inside Scoop on FOLX’s Partner Pharmacy

Want prescriptions delivered right to your door without the awkward pharmacy conversations? FOLX has got you sorted with discreet, easy shipping on the most commonly used gender-affirming hormone therapy meds. (Yes, that includes testosterone and estrogen!)

Outside Pharmacy 101

Opted for a pharmacy in the wild? Cool. Just make sure to give your doc a heads-up in time, and consider calling the pharmacy to check if your meds are in stock. You can always change your pharmacy choice in your FOLX account.

Pharmacy Pro Tips

Ready for your pharmacy adventure? Once your prescription is sent to the pharmacy, you’ll need to call or go there to ask them to fill it. If you’re set up with the pharmacy, you’ll typically get notified, like via a text, when it’s ready. 

When going to the pharmacy, prepare yourself with your ID, insurance info, a way to pay, and maybe a list of podcasts to listen to for the inevitable wait. Your pharmacist can answer questions about your meds (but so can your care team, if you’d rather talk to us!)

Before leaving the pharmacy, be sure to check that you have the right prescription in the bag, including any and all supplies. Make that everything you’re expecting to have is there, including your needles and any supplies. Once you open a package, you cannot return the medication to the pharmacy.

Refill Rituals and Keeping in Touch

Running low on your medications? We’ll help you stay up to date on your refills, but remember to check your FOLX account regularly too. Staying in the loop with your health team ensures your med supply is steady and ready to go when you need it.

Decoding Your Prescription

Ever look at your prescription and go, 'Huh?' We'll help you crack the code so you know exactly what you're taking and how to take it like a boss. We have regular classes where our nurses teach how to do your injections, in case you want extra support.

When to Reach Out to Your Clinician

If you have a med question or you wanna discuss switching things up, loop in your clinician. They will most likely ask you to book a visit to discuss, but we can answer more straightforward questions via care team messages.

Sometimes, you may experience issues with a medicine and want to stop it sooner than prescribed. If you're going to stop early or change a dosage, check with a clinician first. This is especially important for antibiotics. Stopping antibiotics early can lead to antibiotic resistance and worsen a current infection if you don't finish the entire prescription.

Other reasons you may want to follow up with a clinician about your prescription include:

  • Medication is not working as expected.
  • Side effects. Sometimes there are side effects that are common but distressing enough to talk more with your clinician about stopping or changing the prescription.
  • Rare “adverse events.” These are more unusual and severe but uncommon situations that require more immediate attention.

Rare adverse events include allergic reactions that cause face, mouth, or airway swelling and trouble breathing. This is a medical emergency, and you should call 911. Please inform us if you have any allergies or experience any unexpected side effects such as rashes, nausea, dizziness, or other symptoms. This helps us keep you safe.

Let's Talk Money: Making Sense of Med Costs

Navigating the cost of prescriptions can be a headache. We break down the deets on insurance, copays, and why sometimes paying out-of-pocket at FOLX can be a wallet-friendly move. Our partner pharmacy costs are always transparent.

What else should you know about the wild world of insurance coverage, generics, and how to snag the best deals on your meds? Read on

Cost Factors: Medication costs can vary due to several factors like your insurance, the pharmacy you choose, and whether you opt for brand-name or generic drugs.

Insurance Coverage: Using insurance often means part of your medication cost is covered, but this depends on your specific plan. You'll usually pay a copay, which can change based on your insurance provider's policies. Also, some meds need a prior authorization (PA) before your insurance covers them.

No Insurance? No Problem: If insurance doesn't cover your prescription, check if a generic version is available - it's usually cheaper but just as effective. For discounts, GoodRx is a great resource. Also, prices can differ between pharmacies, so shop around to find the best deal.

Navigating Prior Authorization: Some insurance plans require a Prior Authorization for certain medications. Your FOLX Care Team can handle this process, which may take up to 14 days. If approved, your insurance will cover part or all of the cost. If denied, FOLX can appeal on your behalf, or you may need to explore other options.

Wrap-Up

Stepping into the prescription world can feel like a lot, but it gets easier. With a bit of know-how, you'll be rocking your med routine in no time. And remember, FOLX is always here to make your health journey as straightforward as possible. 

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FOLX Health is the first digital healthcare company designed by and for the LGBTQIA+ community. Our services include virtual primary care, gender-affirming hormone therapy including estrogen and testosterone (HRT), mental health care, sexual and reproductive health care, preventive care, and fertility consultations. FOLX memberships give you access to LGBTQIA+ expert clinicians, peer support, thousands of LGBTQIA+ resources, and more. Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, gender non-conforming, or nonbinary, you can find LGBTQIA+-specialized health care that helps you meet your wellness goals. FOLX Health is health care that's queer all year. Get all the benefits of becoming a FOLX member and sign up today!

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