Common Prescription drugs/Rx in the US

Common Prescription Drugs/Rx in the US

Prescription Drug blog banner/featured image

During the flu season, major and minor illnesses can easily follow each other.

While studying abroad, there are always times when you have to go to the hospital for headaches, abdominal pains, colds, etc., Complicated doctor notes, tedious doctor visits, and a brand-new healthcare system, often leading to confusion…… What is the difference between prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs? What is the process for picking up prescriptions? How to refill your prescription drugs? Which pharmacies should you choose?


1. Different Types of Drugs

1. Different Types of Drugs

The distinction between prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs in the United States are divided into the following two types:

🔍 Over-The-Counter (OTC)

Over-the-counter drugs are available in stores, without a physician’s prescription or health insurance.

🔍 Prescription Drugs (Rx)

Prescription drugs must be purchased with a valid prescription issued by a qualified medical staff.

In some circumstances, OTC drugs need to be purchased at their own expense, and insurance will pay for only prescription drugs. Students must identify the type of medication in order to assess if it satisfies the criteria for insurance claims.

Prescription drugs are divided into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3.

Tier 1 refers to general drugs, also known as generic drugs. (e.g. birth control pills).

Tier 2 refers to branded drugs, and the cost will be greater than that of Tier 1 drugs.

Tier 3 refers to special drugs for special diseases.

*SM’s Choice/Prime/Elite/Supreme plans include in-network prescription drugs.

2. How to pick-up prescription drugs?

2. How to pick-up prescription drugs?

01. Obtain a doctor’s order/prescription

If the medicine prescribed by your doctor is a prescription drug, students can obtain specific drug information and dosage from the prescription.

Rx 1

By:Sandra Benavides

Prescriptions can be electronically delivered by doctors to pharmacists. When seeing a doctor, students only need to look for the closest network pharmacy and ask for the prescription to be sent there. Students can also ask the doctor to write a physical prescription and then locate the closest network pharmacy to pick up the medication if the doctor cannot give an electronic prescription or if they have not contacted the pharmacy in advance.

02.Find in-network pharmacies

In order to pick up the medication, Student Medicover users simply need to provide their insurance card, prescription slip, and ID. Common pharmacies in the network include CVS and Walgreens. Students can sign up for OptumRX to locate the closest pharmacy in the network if they want a second confirmation or if they want to find out more information. For a detailed OptumRX registration process, see Part 6 of this article.

P.S. If students seek medical treatment at the school hospital, they can also ask for a prescription directly from the school hospital, and take the prescription and insurance card to the pharmacy in the network to get the medicine.

03. Take the prescription and insurance card to the corresponding pharmacy to pick up the medicine

After visiting a doctor, students can pick up their medication at a network pharmacy by bringing their insurance card, personal ID, and prescription (if an electronic prescription has been received, no physical prescription is necessary – but copay is required upon pickup).

3. Prescription drug Inquiry

3. Prescription drug Inquiry

❖ Prescription Drugs List

Discounts for Tier 1/2/3 prescription drugs in the network are all included in Student Medicover’s Supreme, Elite, Prime, and Choice plans. Students can check the link to see whether the medication is a prescription drug after receiving the doctor’s prescription.

*The list of prescription drugs will change at any time, students can also call UHC’s customer service number to confirm whether your medicine is currently a prescription drug.


UHC Toll-free Number:


4. Insurance Claims & Deductibles for Prescription Drugs

4. Insurance Claims & Deductibles for Prescription Drugs

Students can determine how much they need to pay when picking up their prescription medications based on the claim ratio and deductible for the insurance plan they choose. 

Rx Prescription drugs

**For in-network pharmacies

Only the actual drug expenses should be paid by students if the price of prescription medications is less than the Tier 1 minimum copay.

5. Prescription drug refills and special requests

5. Prescription drug refills and special requests

❖ Drug Refill

After getting the prescription and logging in to use it on OptumRX, OptumRX will automatically record the prescription information, which is convenient for students to refill the medicine. 

There are two shortcuts for refills with OptumRX, which require 21 days notice to order.

Method 1: After signing onto your account, go to the My Medicine Cabinet page, fill out the necessary information, and then pay the copay.

Method 2: Call the customer service hotline (1-800-356-3477) to refill the medicine.

❖ Special needs

Due to their conditions, some students require high quantities of medication, which cannot be obtained through a 3-month prescription. In order to receive a mail order prescription or doctor’s order, students should always remind the doctor to send the paperwork to OptumRX (UHC Pharmacy), OptumRX will ship the medication to the student’s address afterward.

Students can also sign up for an OptumRX account and submit the application for taking medication on their own if the doctor is unable to deliver the mail order immediately. After consulting with your doctor to confirm the prescription, OptumRX will send the medication to your registered address.

P.S. Each Mail order must not exceed a 90-day dosage.

6. OptumRX registration & Orders

6. OptumRX registration & Orders

❖ What is OptumRX?

As the largest health insurance company in the United States and United Healthcare’s official drug company, which ranks among the top 10 in the world’s top 500, all functions of OptumRX will be free for users of Student Medicover.

Using the OptumRX platform, students can:

  • Inquire about pharmacies in the network and various prescription drug information anytime, including drug lists, classification, and price, etc.
  • Using online services, you can order prescription drugs at home and have them delivered directly to your address.
  • Order high-dose medicines for up to 90 days and conduct free prescription reviews to avoid the irrational use of medicines.

❖ OptumRX registration process

1.Log in to the OptumRX website,Click Register


2.Enter your information accordingly

step2-1 step2-2

3.Select the authentication method


OptumRX Mail Order

1.Log in to the OptumRX Website,Click My prescription, and Click Request a prescription


2. Enter the name of drugs and the dose you need

Fill in the doctor (provider) information


Once you have entered your prescription information, OptumRX will recommend the appropriate pickup method based on your region and type of medication. Once you have made your selection, you can click on REQUEST to proceed to the next step.

3.Fill in the doctor (provider) information


OptumRX will send the medication request to the doctor for confirmation and request a prescription form, and then send the medication directly to the corresponding address after verification.

In conclusion

Student Medicover hopes that all students will be healthy and safe in 2023, but if you do have an illness, don’t be afraid to take medication and contact a doctor. We’ll do everything we can to address your medical issues.

Please feel free to get in touch with our customer service staff by clicking the link below if you still have questions about prescription drugs or the procedure for taking medication.



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