It seems that the cost of healthcare keeps going up and up, this also includes your prescription costs. I know a lot of people struggle just being able to afford their prescription medication. It can quickly add up. I’ve come up with a few ways to save on your prescriptions that you may not have thought of.
Prescription costs keep rising because people are living longer with chronic conditions. I have also noticed that patents aren’t expiring as quickly so that there aren’t generic options for some medications.
You may have to pay more out of pocket this year because employers are choosing to go with higher deductible healthcare plans to cut costs. Meaning you will have a bigger copay or deductible.
Use Preferred Pharmacies
Some healthcare plans will have preferred pharmacies listed. If you get your prescriptions filled at the listed pharmacy, you could save a lot of money. Some plans will prefer Walmart, Walgreens, or CVS.
If your plan has a preferred pharmacy, your copays will be a lot lower on generic prescriptions. Some medications that would cost you $10 will only cost you $1 or some that would cost you $20 now only cost $4.
You can even save on brand name medications as well. If you would normally pay 50% of the cost you may now only have to pay 35%.
Not all plans offer this but some do so if you have a preferred pharmacy, make sure to get all of your prescriptions filled there.
Ask for Alternatives
Whenever your doctor prescribes a new medication always ask if there is a generic option. If there isn’t a generic, ask about a different brand name that does the same thing as the brand that was going to be prescribed. There are usually several different brand names for the same type of medicine. Your insurance may cover one but not the other so always check.
Most health insurance plans offer online tools that you can use to compare the prices of different brand names. If you find a cheaper option, just call your doctor and ask if they can write you a new prescription for that brand.
Ask for Coupons
Most doctor’s offices will have free samples that they get from pharmaceutical reps. These samples usually come with coupon or rebate offers that you can take advantage of. Your doctor will probably be glad to give them to you, just ask.
If they don’t have any in the office, you can always try the manufacturer’s website. You will be surprised at how many are out there, you just have to look for them.
You can always check out GoodRX for coupons and saving tips for a particular drug. Sign up to get a free discount savings card or you can just download their app if you don’t want to keep up with the card. It is completely free and a great way to save on thousands of prescriptions.
Another similar program to checkout is FamilyWize.
See if the Prescription can be Filled Differently
Ask your doctor if you can take one pill at a higher dosage instead of two at a lower dosage. This can help save on your out of pocket costs. Not all medicine can be done this way but it never hurts to ask.
Also see if it is cheaper to get a 90 day supply instead of a 30 day. If this is a chronic condition and you plan on taking the medicine for a while, it is usually cheaper to get a 90 day supply instead of getting it filled every single month.
Some prescriptions are just too expensive for the average person. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if they can recommend some assistance groups that may help you with the cost. There are different advocacy groups for many illnesses that can help you bear the costs.
Some of the programs may be based on income or require the cost of the medication to be a percentage of your full income. You can check sites like needymeds.org or benefitscheckup.org (for Medicare)
I know that a lot of people don’t like asking for help but sometimes you just have to, especially when it comes to your health. You have people that love you and you need to take the medication that is prescribed to you.
The number one reason why people don’t fill their prescriptions is because they can’t afford it. Use some, or all, of these tips to help make your prescriptions more affordable. If you know of any other savings tips, let us know in the comments.
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