MedStar Family Choice Formulary 

The MedStar Family Choice Formulary* (medication) is the list of drugs that has been approved by our pharmacy committee. The list has a very wide selection in order to ensure that we can meet the many healthcare needs of our members. The formulary is reviewed and approved by the Maryland Department of Health to make sure that it covers all classes of drugs.

Click here to learn about specialty drugs.

If you are currently taking a medication that is not covered by MedStar Family Choice, you should speak with your doctor about changing to a similar medication that is on the formulary. If your medication is not on the formulary and your doctor believes it is medically necessary, he or she will need to call our Care Management Department for approval. If you would like us to consider your non-formulary medication, please click herePlease note: MFC will not consider online exception requests for narcotic/controlled substances.

Pre-authorization process

Some medicines on the formulary require approval from MedStar Family Choice before they can be filled. Your doctor has a list of the medicines that require approval.

If the pharmacy is unable to fill the medication because there is no approval from MedStar Family Choice, you should call your doctor and have him or her contact our Member Services Department at 888-404-3549. If you already know that the medicine you are taking requires approval from MedStar Family Choice and you need a refill, you should contact your doctor during normal business hours and let him/her know that you will need a refill and it requires approval from MedStar Family Choice.

We recommend that you make the call to your doctor and make sure that the approval has been given before you make a trip to the pharmacy. This will ensure that your medication is ready when you are ready to pick it up.

Over-the-counter medications

MedStar Family Choice does pay for some over-the-counter medications. In order to receive these medications, your doctor must write a prescription or call a prescription in to your pharmacy. 

Your doctor can include a limited number of refills on the prescription so that you do not have to call your doctor each time you run out of one of these medications. These medications are available as generics (not name brand).

Condoms are available without a prescription at the pharmacy counter. 


Co-pays and other insurance

Beginning on May 1, 2024, MedStar Family Choice is required by the Maryland Department of Health to have a copay (cost) for most prescription medicines.

  • For most formulary (covered) brand name or generic medicines there is a copay (cost) of $1.00
  • Some formulary (covered) brand medicines will have a copay (cost) of $3.00, these are marked as “Tier 2” on the formulary
  • For HIV/AIDS medicine you will have a copay (cost) of $1.00.
  • There is NO cost for family planning options (condoms, IUD, birth control pills, etc.).
  • For non-formulary (non-covered) brand name medicines you will have a copay (cost) of $3.00.

Please note that the following MedStar Family Choice members will not have a copay for their medicine.


  • Members under the age of 21
  • Members who are pregnant people
  • Members who are in hospice care (programs that give special care to people who are near the end of life and have stopped treatment to cure or control their illness/disease).
  • Members who are Native Americans

If you are taking a medicine for mental health or certain seizure medicines, that coverage is not through MedStar Family choice, but through the State of Maryland. These medicines are not paid for by MedStar Family Choice; the State of Maryland decides which medicines are covered and any costs for those prescriptions. Please review the Maryland Department of Health preferred drug list for the listing of covered medications.


MedStar Family Choice is always your secondary insurance. You should tell your doctor you have two types of insurance so they can make sure the medicine prescribed is approved by both of your insurance companies. If you have other insurance, please give both cards to the pharmacist. Your other insurance will pay for most of the costs and MedStar Family Choice will pay for the difference between the costs from your primary insurance and the amount of copay you would have from MedStar Family Choice.

Pharmacy network

Most large pharmacy chains and grocery stores are included in our network. For example, CVS, Ensign, Food Lion, Giant, K-Mart, NeighborCare, RiteAid, Safeway, Target, Walgreens, Walmart, and Weiss are included in our network. There are numerous other chains and independent pharmacies that are in our network as well. If you are out of town, keep in mind that numerous national chains are in our network. If you have a question about a specific pharmacy, please call Member Services at 888-404-3549.

To find the location of an in-network pharmacy online, please visit the Find a Provider website. The Find a Provider website enables users to find pharmacies by specifying their location and selecting Pharmacy under the Facility Type drop down menu.

Contacting MedStar Family Choice for pharmacy concerns

You can always call MedStar Family Choice Member Services for any pharmacy issues. We are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If your pharmacy has a problem filling your prescription, we encourage you to ask the pharmacist to call MedStar Family Choice Member Services at  888-404-3549. The pharmacist will be able to tell us what type of error is occurring.

If for some reason your pharmacy is unable to call us, it is very important that you get the actual reason that the prescription cannot be filled. The pharmacy will have an error message that describes the reason and can provide that to you.

Once you have this information you should call our Member Services Department for assistance. Also make sure that you have the name and phone number of the pharmacy, the name and phone number of the doctor prescribing your medicine, and the name of the medicine. This information is very important in ensuring that we provide you with the best possible service.

Information current as of: