More than half of the American population relies on at least one prescription medication. If you’re in that group, then you know how expensive medications can get. But don’t lose hope.
You can save a lot of money on prescription drugs if you know what to do. Here are seven tips to help you do exactly that:
Skip Your Insurance Coverage
This tactic may seem to be counterintuitive. However, a statistical analysis posted by Consumer Reports revealed that a majority of retail stores and big box chains offer a decent variety of generic medications at very low prices.
The report indicates that a lot of these stores offer generic medication at costs as low as $3 or $4 for a 30-day supply of your prescriptions to people who are willing to pay for the medication out of their own pocket. They also offer costs as low as $10 for 90-day prescription supplies.
However, it is very important to understand that eligibility for these price cuts and discounts heavily depend on the type of prescription you receive and the type of health condition you are treating. There’s another caveat: Customers who choose to pay for medications out of their own pockets must understand that the amount will not be realized as a deductible.
Furthermore, these types of discounts are not available if you’re insured by Tricare, Medicaid or Medicare.
Approximately 88% of US drug prescriptions are for generic alternatives. However, doctors are not required to offer generic options if the patient does not inquire about it. So always be sure to ask if a generic version is available.
Technology has made just about everything convenient to access — so do some comparison shopping using your smartphone. You can shop online or try using applications like GoodRx, which is specifically designed to help people with prescriptions get information about where they can get the prices of their medications. And be sure to look for online pharmacies that offer hefty discounts on 30 or 90-day supplies.
The AARP website has a legitimate prescription discount service that offers money saving incentives on drugs approved the Federal Drug Administration — but only on drugs your Medicare Part D insurance doesn’t cover.
You can compare your prices and discounts on Vyvanse, for example, by visiting individual drug stores and mall and supermarket pharmacies; before doing so, make sure you do some in-depth research online. Jot down everything you find.
If you ultimately opt for ordering your prescription medications online when you see an attractive discount, it’s strongly recommended that you only do so via websites that are Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) Certified.
Ask for Help
Doctors typically know the price of the medications they prescribe. However, it’s critical to let your doctor know when you can’t afford them so they will prescribe generics instead, if they’re available.
Moreover, when you head to your pharmacist it’s important to see if they’re offering discount coupons or special price programs, as they may have info your doctor may not be privy to.
Look for Patient Assistance Programs
Many pharmaceutical organization offer assistance programs that are designed to help qualifying individuals afford prescription medications by providing drugs for half their original price — or even free. Your pharmacist can tell you more about these programs.
Splitting pills is a common method of saving on prescription medications. However, almost 8% of prescription drug users engage in pill splitting without their doctor’s consultation — and this can be dangerous!
Pill splitting is safe in some instances, depending on the kind of medications you are on and what you are treating.However, there are certain types of drugs that you must never split; Oxytocin, birth control medication, chemotherapy medications are just a few examples. It’s important that you ask your pharmacist or your physician before splitting any medicines.
Photo Credit: jamiesrabbits
Great ideas about saving money on medicine. But how can we define this even better?
Karen Kinnane says
You can get discount drug cards on the Internet which really work. My friend went on Otezla. Her insurance company offered it if she paid a monthly (yes, monthly) DEDUCTIBLE of $3,200. I went to the local Shop Rite Pharmacy and they quoted $900. or so per month if she paid cash out of pocket and less if she presented one of the discount cards off the Internet. Evidently some of the drug prices are jacked up so high if you have insurance that you can get a better deal just paying cash and flashing the drug discount card.
My Mother was quoted $95. for some medicine which was not covered by her insurance. At 96 years old she decided it was too much to pay. Then she remembered her discount drug card off the Internet, and she got the medication at Shop Rite pharmacy for $35. by showing the card. The cards are free and there are a couple of them with names like (can’t remember exactly!) Rx.com or Drugs. com. Just go on the web and hunt for “discount prescription card free” or “discount drug card free.”
Of course there is the doughnut hole business which I don’t fully understand and maybe a reader or Len can explain that to me.