TWU - Prescription Drug Coverage

When you enroll in any Columbia medical plan, you are automatically enrolled in Columbia University’s Prescription Drug Plan. OptumRx administers the Prescription Drug benefits plan for the University.

To find participating pharmacies or enroll in the OptumRx mail-order program, log in to and click "Manage Your Prescriptions," then "Go to OptumRx." You may also call 
800-232-9357 for assistance.

Using Your Prescription Drug Benefit

After you enroll in medical benefits, you will receive a Medical ID card which will include your medical and prescription drug plan information. 

You will need to present your ID card at the pharmacy the first time you fill a prescription. You can have up to a 30-day supply of your prescription when filled at a retail pharmacy.
  • In New York, New Jersey and certain other states, the pharmacy is required by law to substitute a brand name drug with a generic. Your copay will be $10. If the cost of the generic drug is less than $10, you will only pay the cost of  the drug.
  • If your physician prescribes the brand-name drug instead of the generic, then you will pay the highest copay, $45. Your physician must request the pharmacist “Dispense as Written” to receive the brand-name drug.
  • If no generic is available for your prescription, then your drug is a single-source prescription. Your copay will be $25.
Mail-order copays are for up to a 90-day supply. If you take medication on a regular basis for conditions such as high blood pressure or asthma, the mail-order option will be less expensive than the retail option.
After you have enrolled in the OptumRx mail-order program, you can refill prescriptions easily, either online or over the phone.
Specialty Medications
Specialty medications must be purchased via mail-order from BriovaRx, an OptumRx specialty pharmacy. BriovaRx will mail your prescription to you at the address of your choice. For your privacy, the package is delivered in a non-labeled box. Call 855-427-4682 to speak to a patient care representative. Typically, you will receive a 30-day supply of the prescription at the retail pharmacy copay. 
Note: If you use a pharmacy other than BriovaRx, you will be subject to the full cost of the medication instead of copays.
Prescription Drug Costs
The cost of your prescriptions depends on a number of factors, including whether you buy your medication through a retail pharmacy or through the mail-order program and whether the drug is a single-source or multi-source drug.


All prescription drugs are subject to a copay, and that copay accumulates towards your out-of-pocket maximum for your medical plan. Once you reach the annual out-of-pocket maximum, the Plan pays 100% of the cost of prescription drugs.

Copay Options
Retail Pharmacy
(up to 30-day supply)

(up to 90-day supply)


• $10 generic

• $25 single-source

• $45 multi-source

• $15 generic

• $50 single-source

• $90 multi-source



   • If no generic is available, this is a single-source drug. 

   • If both a generic and brand name prescription are available, this is a multi-source drug.

To find out if a drug is single-source or multi-source, ask your pharmacist or contact OptumRx at 800-232-9357 or

Keep in mind that your prescription may move from “single-source” to “multi-source” during the year due to periodic reviews or if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a generic equivalent drug.