How to Save Money on Prescriptions: Your Guide
The cost of prescription drugs in the United States is 2.5 times higher than the price of similar drugs in other industrialized nations. The high cost may drain your pockets if youâ€™re among the 66% of American adults using prescription drugs.
Sometimes, the high prices may compel you to stop buying the drugs or skip them several times to save on cost. But did you know various strategies can help you save money on prescriptions?
Try the following tips to lower your medication costs before you put your health at risk by skipping prescriptions.
Buy Generic Versions of Your Prescriptions
Generic drugs are similar to branded medications in efficacy, intended use, safety, and quality. These drugs will cost you up to 85% less than brand-name drugs.
Be frank with your doctor and let them know you would like the generic version of the drug. You can also check with your pharmacist to see whether your prescription has a generic alternative. The pharmacist will give advice on the best generics since they know the best versions out there.
You can also take advantage of the $4 generics available in most grocery stores and large retailers. Make sure you have a list of these drugs and confirm whether thereâ€™s a drug that would work for you.
Leverage Prescription Discount
Look for prescription discount cards to help you purchase the drugs at a lower price. You can get the best discount cards from companies like GoodRX and SingleCare.
The mobile apps or websites of such companies will allow you to search for the lowest price of your drug in your local area. In other words, theyâ€™ll help you see which pharmacy is offering your medication at the lowest price.
You can use the discount cards or the coupons provided by these companies to buy drugs at the lowest price from designated pharmacies. You can even get the medications at an 80% discount.
If internet searching is not your thing, you can ask about the discounts offline. Start by asking your pharmacist or doctor if they have any coupons or information about prescription discounts.
Find Out If You Can Get Free Prescriptions
You may be lucky enough to find regional or national players who give free prescription medications. Most of these retailers use the free approach as a loss leader strategy to attract new customers.
Find out whether your area has such retailers offering the drugs you need. A retailer like Meijer will allow you to access some prenatal vitamins and antibiotics for free.
You can also get the free medication through Prescription Assistance Programs. You may qualify to get free drugs through the program, especially if you cannot afford them or you are underinsured.
Find Out Whatâ€™s Covered in Your Insurance Formulary
You should ask your health insurance provider for a drug formulary to know which drugs are covered. The drug formulary may be overwhelming. So, ask your doctor to help you explore it and choose cost-efficient and effective medications.
If your current insurance option does not cover most of the drugs you need, consider finding an alternative. Find an insurance option with broader prescription drug coverage.
You should start by comparing the cost of your current plan plus medication with the cost of an insurance plan that offers more medication coverage. Swap your insurance coverage to save a few bucks if the difference is significant.
Shop at Different Pharmacies
If you always pick up your prescriptions at a single pharmacy, you might be missing out on an opportunity to buy drugs at a lower price from another pharmacy. Shop around your local area and see whether there is a cheaper alternative.
You can call a few pharmacies and ask about the cost of the particular medication. You may be able to fill your prescription at a lower cost at another pharmacy. If you want to compare online pharmacies, you can check out Maple Leaf Medications to find out more about where to start.
While doing your research, check out whether there is a pharmacy with membership programs. Some chain pharmacies, like CVS, offer the programs as perks that help their customers save money at the pharmacy.
See whether you can sign up for such programs to pay less on prescriptions. Some signings will be as simple as giving out your details.
Others will ask you to pay a small membership fee. You can sign up as long as the membership program will help your bottom line in the long run.
Buy Prescriptions in Bulk
You can try and get medication that will last you 90 days instead of 30. This option is often available through mail-order prescription programs.
The main advantage of leveraging this program is that youâ€™ll get the drugs at a lower price than if you bought them from a pharmacy. Your health insurance plan may have lower copayments for the medications you obtain through mail-through. It will be a good deal if you use prescriptions all year round.
However, you should note that there are some drugs you canâ€™t access in bulk. An example is opiates or anything else the doctor would not want you to use for a long time. For such medications, youâ€™ll have to look for alternative cost-cutting options.
Take Advantage of Copayment Programs
Do a Google search to see whether there is any copayment assistance program related to your prescription. Youâ€™ll most likely find these programs if your prescriptions are expensive brand-name drugs.
You can also check Medicareâ€™s site for such programs. Here, youâ€™ll only enter your drugâ€™s name to see whether thereâ€™s a program attached to it.
Some pharmaceutical companies may also offer you co-pay assistance or rebates if youâ€™re using their brand-name drugs. Surf the web to see whether you can benefit from the manufacturerâ€™s rebates or co-pays.
Leverage These Tips to Save Money on Prescriptions
Prescription drugs can empty your pockets, especially if youâ€™re on long-term medication or using brand-name drugs with no generics. The good news is that you can save money on prescriptions by following a few tips.
Weâ€™ve laid down some of these tips to ensure that the high cost of prescriptions doesnâ€™t make you abandon or skip the medications. Leverage them, and donâ€™t let high drug prices be a reason for risking your health.
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