10 Tips to be Medication Savvy


Whether you occasionally wake up with a headache or you’re managing a chronic condition, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications play a big role in our day-to-day health and wellness. Use the following tips to safely stay on top of your medications and make the most of your prescription drug benefits.

  1. Organize your medications in a pill box – By keeping your medications organized, it’s easy to keep track of what you’re taking and when.
  2. Set refill reminders – Use a calendar, electronic reminders, or set up auto-refill for your medications to help you keep track of when you’re due for a refill. You can also take it one step further and set up regular reminders for when to take your medications.
  3. Save money with generic drugs – Generics are tested to make sure the active ingredients are the same as the brand. You’ll get the same treatment quality at a more affordable price.
  4. Take advantage of prescription mail-order opportunities – Having your maintenance medications delivered directly to your home will save you time—and often, money.
  5. Check formularies for preferred medications – Preferred medications can be pretty spendy, but formularies can help you keep the cost in check. Share the information with your provider for an opportunity to pay lower co-pays. You can find complete drug lists and prior authorization criteria on our website at PacificSource.com/drug-list.
  6. Use caution when choosing a new over-the-counter medication – Read the drug facts label, and ask your provider or pharmacist if the medication is right—and safe—for you.
  7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking – It’s important to provide this information every time you see your doctor. Remember to include over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
  8. Talk to your pharmacist – Your pharmacist is the expert and can answer questions you may have about side effects, drug interactions, and more.
  9. Take advantage of health services provided by your healthcare plan – Pharmacies offer flu shots and other immunizations, some of which may be covered by your plan at no cost to you.
  10. Read your explanation of benefits (EOB) – Your prescription medications are included on your EOB statements, which can help you understand your healthcare coverage and get the most value from your plan.

Tips to Avoid Getting Stuffed this Holiday

It’s easy to overeat any time of the year, but the holidays can be especially challenging. Try one or all of these tools to keep from overindulging this holiday season:

  1. Gauge Your Hunger/Fullness The Hunger Meter infographic
  2. Keep a Record
    The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics published a study reviewing the evidence-based effects of self-monitoring in weight loss. The review found weight loss was strongly associated with tracking food intake, exercise, and weekly weight check-ins. During the holidays, use a food journal to keep yourself aware, honest, and to avoid over-indulgences by planning ahead.There are several free online food and exercise tracking systems. There are also multiple apps available for your mobile device. A good place to start is ChooseMyPlate.gov to find out approximately how many calories you need each day, and track your intake using the SuperTracker.
  3. Fill Your Plate with Low-calorie Fruits and Veggies – Research shows that we tend to eat a certain volume (weight) of food consistently. So by choosing more low-calorie, highwater weight foods (fruits, vegetables, and cooked beans), you will eat fewer calories each day (Nutrition Action Health Letter. March 2012. Don’t Be Dense – Trim calories per bite to trim pounds).Make sure at least half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables. Enjoy high-fat foods in smaller amounts as seasoning rather than main ingredients.

3 Broken Excuses for skipping Mammograms

Happy woman and kids having fun indoorsHave you or a loved one been making excuses for not scheduling your mammogram? Stop making excuses, it’s time to set an appointment…

Don’t have time? Yes, you do! The mammogram will take about ten minutes. You’ll be in and out in 30 minutes.
Think it’ll hurt? Think again! Mammograms have gotten better, faster, and more comfortable.
Can’t afford it? Yes, you can! Your health plan covers the cost of this preventive service.
No more excuses! Early detection through regular mammography screening can save your life.