How the hell do I pay my Express Scripts bill?

My job now makes us use Express Scripts instead of going to pharmacies, because the HR department hates us and wants to make us suffer it saves the agency money that they can then spend on the people we serve. OK, so having my drugs mailed to my office in a Tyvek™ bag is annoying, but not annoying enough to be worth a blog post. However, not being able to figure out how to freakin' pay the people is annoying enough to warrant one.

The bills show up at my home address, saying I can pay online or send them a check. I don't use checks (other than the ING orange virtual check thingies), because it's not 1940, but I'm happy to pay them online. Only I can't figure out how. When I log into my account, there's an option for setting up my debit card to automagically pay my bills. Which, uh, no. I'm fine having autopay on stuff like Netflix and Speakeasy where I know it's going to be the same amount around the same time each month, but not cool with the fake internet pharmacy billing my card for whatever amount they choose whenever they decide to send me a med. Which, let me tell you, doesn't necessarily correlate with when said med would run out based on taking it according to the schedule on the label. Also, they seem to enjoy contacting my doctors and refilling my PRN drugs when I have plenty left and haven't asked them to do so. So no, not about to let them charge my card whenever they feel like it.

But I can't figure out how to pay the amount that I already owe online. They don't respond to e-mails, and they don't have a phone number. Well, they do have a well-hidden one that can be obtained by googling "Express Scripts phone number," but it's answered by a robot with no options other than pressing buttons to make the robot self-destruct attempt to pronounce the names of some of these drugs refill prescriptions.

Oh, while I'm bitching about Express Scripts, they don't have a means of using the service entirely by mail and/or phone, which means that employees without internet access at home have to type their drug labels into the puter at work or at a library or whatnot. (Remember that most of the employees of human services agencies aren't people like me, but rather are doing the really important work like giving people showers and cooking dinner -- very common especially for older staff to not be computer users.) I personally wouldn't give a rat's ass if anyone saw me ordering meds, but I think it's disrespectful for that to be people's only option, especially for people from cultures where they aren't as down with letting random people know what meds they take.


19 comments:

Jodie said...

Maybe pay by money order to the check address, to avoid them screwing with your credit?

Sigh. I still have a "30 days past due" on my credit report from a company that did their "online payment" by electronic check a few years ago- and didn't bother notifying me until after my payment was past due that I had entered my routing number wrong. I hate places that can't set up proper online payment systems.

Ron Newman said...

Aren't you a Wainwright customer? Their online banking system lets you pay any bill you want online, by just entering the payee's address and phone number. Also, Express Scripts takes credit cards, or at least did when I used to get my prescriptions through them.

eeka said...

Right -- part of why I want to make a specific one-time payment, not set up recurring things.

Ron, I'm reluctant to do the billpay thing, since Express Scripts has 4703247893 different addresses and doesn't make their phone number easily available. They do take credit cards, but the only place I can find to do any sort of payment thing on their site is to set up my card so they can charge it automatically, which, no. Is it that hard for them to have a one-time payment thing on their site like every other business I deal with?

Brian said...

Anti-Mail-Order Rx Mill Pharmacist here:

Ever wonder WHY you're forced to use mail-order?
Look in to it. Ask your ex-local-pharmacist. He/She will be out of business in a decade only b/c of forced mail-order mandates.

eeka said...

We're forced to use mail order because it's cheaper. I agree that it puts local pharmacies out of business, but I don't think that's why the agency did it.

Also, speaking of pharmacists, it pisses me off that Express Scripts doesn't have actual pharmacists. I mean, I imagine there have to be pharmacists supervising the controlled counts and things, but there's not a pharmacist who I can call and ask if an OTC med will interact with one of my script meds, or what I should do if I missed a dose. I'm giving them my money same as if I would be I were allowed to fill my scripts at a pharmacy, but I don't get access to a pharmacist in return. And what's really unfortunate is that pharmacists are generally do-gooders and don't make you prove that you're a customer in order to answer a question you call them with.

Anonymous said...

I work at Express Scripts as a entry-level grunt--not a pharmacist.

ESI does have a way to enter a credit card as a 'one-time only' charge--I do this all the time for folks.

Also, they do have pharmacists on staff--lots of them. I work in an office building--no actual drugs in our building--and we cannot even enter the room unless there is a pharmacist in there first. And if you call them and ask to speak to a pharmacist, one should call you back to discuss interactions. I sit next to 2 pharmacists every day who do nothing by interaction calls.

Try calling this number--1-800-304-5060. It's a generic number but should get you an actual person who will transfer you to a 'patient care advocate', ie. customer service.

good luck!

eeka said...

Hey Express Scripts employee! Thanks for your post. Very cool!

From what they told me, I'd have to call them to do the one-time payment thing, right? That kind of means that "pay your bill online" still isn't actually possible, right? Or is there a way to enter the one-time payment on the website that I'm just not finding?

I work 12-hour days most days, so can't usually make phone calls during business hours. It's irritating that in 2010, I have to call them to make a payment or else allow them to charge my credit card without authorizing each specific charge.

Same thing with the pharmacists -- I was aware that they have pharmacists of a sort, but I had to dig really hard to even find this out, and then I found out that they require customers to leave a message. So if I call, the pharmacist is going to call me back and won't be able to talk to me since I'll be with clients.

So what I end up doing is to call or go to a local pharmacy that serves people immediately and is open until midnight or all night. You know, a pharmacy that isn't getting my business since my employer requires me to use Express Scripts, which is a really unhelpful and unaccessible business model!

Vince Flotta said...

Well, misery loves company, so I was happy to find your blog. I see all the comments were posted in 2010. I am writing this in 2011 and Express Scripts still sucks and does not have a pay one time online. I googled them and see multi complaints. I owe them 30 dollars and have emailed them several times to no avail. I do not see why they will not add this option to their site.

Anonymous said...

Great seeing your blog here. It is Aug 2012 and I still can't find a way to pay a bill online(one-time) at express scripts. How can we even trust our prescriptions with such a company!! Unbelievable.

Denise Kelleher said...

I can't figue out how to pay it, either. And I did sign up for their "Preferred Payment Method" but they didn't take the money out for the bills like they were supposed to. Now I can't get my prescriptions until they process the payment I sent from my bank LAST WEEK! I've been dealing with this issue since November 25, which is when I initially requested the prescriptions! Now I am out and they told me to have my pharmacy call them and request the prescription. But, that too will cost me money, apparently. What a nightmare. This was supposed to be convenient, but each time I have to renew a script, I get headaches. I'm done with them.

Anonymous said...

It still goes on.. They still have no obvious way to post a single payment, or any sort of "pay your bill" link online..
Tedious. (2013 now.. )

Anonymous said...

Still no way to pay as of June 2013. This is the worst run company I've ever seen. I've been using Express Scripts for years, only because they are less expensive than getting the meds at the local pharmacy but as they say "you get what you pay for". They are incredibly slow (so slow that I've had meds run out while trying for weeks to get scripts filled". But this bill pay thing is infuriating. Just waisted about 30 minutes trying to find it on line since the bill says on it "To pay your bill online visit us at: www.express-scripts.com ..." but unfortunately it appears that is not possible!

2RZ said...

Great post--I can't figure out how to pay express-scripts except by mailing in a form. How 1940s! #expressscriptsFail

Anonymous said...

July 17, 2013 and STILL no online bill pay. Until recently, we had Medco, which was fine. Now we have E-S and I hate them with a passion. They refused to transfer our prescriptions from Medco even though they own Medco!

I really, really hate Express-Scripts.

Anonymous said...

I have been fed up with Express Scripts for a long, long time. My husband's company has also decided that we must order our medication through these fly-by-night idiots. I have been trying to resolve a balance issue (that has supposedly been there for 2 years - what??). They won't let us try to do what they want and order the medication through the stupid mail because they won't fix their error. I have pages and pages and pages of notes from April 2013 until today with times/names and all information and I still don't have any answers. They asked me today to put a credit card on file with them for future orders.......um, I can't place any orders because of ES clerical error nor would I EVER give them a credit card number! We have begged my husband's company to get rid of the mail order to no avail. I want to be able to discuss prescriptions with my pharmacists and have NEVER been able to call and speak to a pharmacist. Needless to say I have no use for Express Scripts

Anonymous said...

I am glad to see I am not the only one to deal with this.

I too was annoyed that I can't use the pharmacy that is 0.4 miles from my apartment that I had been using just fine on my Tufts plan.

The weird thing is that I could have sworn I was set up for auto-pay, but they relentlessly sent me bills (literally 4 days apart) so I checked and lo and behold: my bill didn't pay (despite having my correct card info on file). I had to use a phone number and do a payment through the non-human system.

I called and apparently Blue Cross Massachusetts forbids online payment (per the rep I was transferred to).

Bob said...

I had the same problem. I couldn't find a way to make a one time payment on their website, despite the invoice saying you can pay your bill online. It's October 2013. I'll be going with the preferred payment option, but only because my one prescription is inexpensive. Unfortunately, I ended up mailing a check, which is annoying in the year 2013.

Anonymous said...

Almost 2014 and still no way to pay on-line......

And here's a new one - I moved and changed the address on my express scripts acct. My prescriptions come to my new house, but my Bills to go the old house.

simi said...

simi-I am on my 11th phone call over one order. They actually sent a check back to me because it "didn't have enough member identification" on it. I called asked if they needed a blood drop or something. I reissued a check and AFTER receiving it took them over a week to post it. After they called me and I called them a few more times there was an order they wouldn't send because it exceeded the amount of CREDIT they would allow. Really CREDIT? So I just told the lady tell the me entire amount owed and I will send another check for the amount. I gave her the exact date it would arrive. I told her for future shipments I would put my card in and just use it because it was futile to mail a payment. They took my card charged it and got the checks. Still fighting with them to get the amounts correct. Of course with AMex I don't have to worry about not getting my money, but speaking with so many incompetent idiots is more than I can take. They just merged with a larger company as if they weren't bad enough they really suck now.. I am almost willing to let Walgreen fill the 90 day and pay more to save my sanity than deal with the idiot land of Express Scripts. OH and when I called AMex the lady sighed and said OH I saw the ES I should have known it was express scripts you were calling about, so this is a huge problem.