Prescription medications are a big part of the national healthcare budget, yet many people can’t afford to pay for them. Whether you have insurance or not, there are some easy ways to cut back on your prescription costs.
The first step is to talk with your doctor about how your medication costs affect you. They can provide a cheaper alternative or a longer drug supply.
Switch to Generics
Regarding prescription medications, generics are a safe, effective option that saves money over brand-name options. Generics are also often covered by insurance.
Talk to your doctor and pharmacist about switching to generic drugs to get the best bang for your buck. You may have to go through a little trial and error to find the one that works best for you, but it’s worth it.
Look for Copay Assistance Programs
Copay assistance programs can be a great way to lower your out-of-pocket costs on your prescription medications. Typically, these programs require you to meet a certain income level and have a few restrictions, but they can be worth looking into.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers offer some programs, while nonprofits or foundations administer others. Either way, you can find a program that works for you and get the medication you need at a discounted price.
Shop Around Locally
Purchasing from local businesses benefits you and helps boost your community. Spending locally means more tax revenues go back into your local economy, which is used to improve parks and roads.
Supporting small, independent businesses is a great way to build relationships with your neighbors and ensure they continue to have jobs. Studies have shown that these businesses reinvest more money into the local economy than big chain stores.
Look for Pharmacy Discount Cards
Prescription costs can be a severe sticker shock, especially for the uninsured or between insurance plans. However, many ways to save on your medications without breaking the bank exist.
Most discount cards and coupons, like CVS coupons, work by knocking a percentage off the cash price of your prescription, which lowers your total cost. In some cases, these savings can exceed what your insurance pays.
Ask Your Doctor for a Long-Term Supply
If you have a prescription for a medicine that lasts more than three months, ask your doctor for a long-term supply. This can help you avoid high copays and save money in the long run.
Ensure you take the proper medications and don’t take too much at a time, as this can lead to side effects. Also, please keep all your medicines together in a central location so that you can easily find them.
Shop at a Superstore
Superstores are huge supermarkets that sell a wide variety of goods. They usually charge much less than smaller stores.
They’re also a one-stop shop for all types of merchandise and services, making them more convenient for consumers.
Drug prices vary widely from pharmacy to pharmacy, so call ahead to get a quote and ensure your copay discount card is accepted.
Look for Preferred Pharmacies
If you have Medicare or a health insurance plan that includes prescription drug coverage, your pharmacy network can make a difference in how much you pay for drugs. Generally, preferred pharmacies offer lower cost-sharing for your covered medications than non-preferred locations.
Preferred networks allow insurance companies to negotiate deeper discounts, lower dispensing fees and post-point-of-sale price concessions. They also help stabilize future premiums.
Check Your Insurance’s List of Covered Medications
One of the best ways to save money on prescription medications is to check your insurance’s list of covered drugs, also called a formulary. A committee of doctors and pharmacists chooses these to help you get the most value from your coverage.
Often, this will result in lower copays than if you use a brand-name drug. You can find this information by signing in to your member account.
Look for Manufacturer Coupons
Looking for manufacturer coupons can be a great way to save on your prescription medications. They can be found in your Sunday newspaper, sales flyers and, sometimes, online.
These can be printed off and redeemed in-store or at the checkout counter. The best part is that they usually give more significant discounts than drug discount cards at times.
These programs can help lower your copay or out-of-pocket costs for some time, but they come with some limitations and requirements. It’s important to understand these before signing up for any program.
Look for Patient Assistance Programs
Prescription medications are essential and lifesaving medicines but also a severe financial burden. That’s why many pharmaceutical companies sponsor patient assistance programs to help people without insurance or underinsured afford their meds.
These programs can help patients get low-cost or free prescriptions, supplies, and other resources. They’re often administered by nonprofits or by foundations created by drug manufacturers.