Health First Colorado Pharmacy Benefits Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are over-the-counter (OTC) medications covered?

    Insulin and aspirin are covered without a prior authorization. All other over-the-counter (OTC) medications require a prior authorization before approval unless an OTC is a preferred product on the Preferred Drug List (PDL).

  • Can I get help to quit smoking?
    • Contact the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching and support.
    • Talk with your health care provider about the benefits and risks of taking smoking cessation medications while you are pregnant. Health Care Colorado covers two 90-day courses of smoking cessation medication with counseling to help you quit.
  • Can I get my medication early?

    Early refills are covered when there is an increase in dosage or if a client is going into or leaving a nursing home. Clients may receive up to a 100 day supply of maintenance medications and up to a 30 day supply of non-maintenance medications. If you run out of medication, contact your doctor and discuss adjusting your prescription to your current needs.

  • Can I get my medications early if I am going on vacation?

    Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) does not pay for vacation supplies.

  • Can I get the name brand medication when a generic is available?

    Through scientific testing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ensures that generic drugs are safe and effective, contain the same active ingredient and work the same way as the brand name. Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) can pay for a name brand drug if a generic is not available, if your doctor considers the name brand to be medically necessary or if the medication is excluded from the generic mandate (e.g., medications for mental illness, cancer, epilepsy and HIV/AIDS). In cases where your doctor would like you to have the brand name when a generic is available, a prior authorization will need to be completed by your doctor and the prior authorization must be approved by Health First Colorado before you will be allowed to receive the brand name.

  • Can I request an early refill if my medication was lost or stolen?

    Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) will cover lost, stolen or damaged medications once per lifetime for each member. Pharmacies must call for overrides for lost, stolen, or damaged prescriptions. Please call your pharmacy and they will need to call Magellan (1-800-424-5725) to request the replacement prescriptions. The replacement request and verification must be within 60 days of the last refill of the medication.

  • Does Health First Colorado cover smoking cessation products?

    Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) covers smoking cessation products (e.g. Chantix, nicotine patches and nicotine gum) with a prior authorization.

    Learn more about how to Quit Smoking.

  • How much should I be charged for my prescription medications?

    If your prescription is for a generic or brand name medication your co-pay will only be $3.00 per prescription. Clients 18 years of age and younger, clients in a nursing home, and clients in a maternity cycle or 60 days postpartum do not have a co-pay.

    Learn more about Health First Colorado Co-Pays.

  • I am covered by Medicare and Health First Colorado. Why is Health First Colorado not paying for my prescriptions?

    Once a Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) member is entitled to receive Medicare, Medicare Part D will cover most of your prescriptions. Health First Colorado will only pay for a few medications that are excluded by your Part D plan. If you need assistance to find and enroll on a Part D plan, please call 1-888-696-7213 or 303-894-2946.

  • Mail Order Prescriptions

    Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid program) members have the option to get prescription medications through the mail. Prescriptions that can be mailed include medications used to treat a chronic illness or symptom of a chronic illness. New or refill prescriptions for chronic conditions can be written for as much as a 100-day supply.

    Get your prescription by mail:

    • Ask your pharmacy if they provide mail delivery for your prescription. The delivery and mail order service is optional for each pharmacy.
    • If your pharmacy doesn’t do mail delivery, use the Find a Doctor tool to find a provider that is nearest to you and contact them to see if they offer the mail delivery service.

    Getting your prescription by mail helps save time and avoid lines, crowds and sick people at the pharmacy.

    If you need more information, please contact the Pharmacy Liaison at 303-866-3588.

  • My pharmacy told me my diabetic supplies are not covered. Is that true?

    Diabetic supplies such as test strips, lancets and syringes are a covered medical benefit and not a pharmacy benefit. Please ask the pharmacy to bill DME-Supplies. Pharmacies can call 1-800-237-0757 if they require additional assistance billing supplies.

  • My pharmacy told me my medication is denied because a prior authorization was needed. What should I do?

    Some medications require your doctor to file a prior authorization request before a medication will be covered. Please ask your doctor to contact Health First Colorado (Colorado’s Medicaid Program) at 1-800-424-5725 to request a prior authorization for your medication. Once the prior authorization is submitted, it will take up to 24 hours to process.

  • What are Health First Colorado’s opioid usage policies?

    See our Opioid Policy Update Frequently Asked Questions for Members.