As a new presidential administration starts, one of the top concerns for Americans is the cost of prescription medications. With drug costs on the rise and more insurance plans dropping certain medications from their list of covered drugs, families everywhere are trying to come up with the money to pay for their needed medications. These are some helpful ways to save on prescription costs.
Ask For Generic
Most pharmacies carry a generic version of some drugs. Certain medications that are patented or specialty drugs may not have generic versions.
Generic drugs can cost much less.
For example, one name-brand drug that costs over $50 in cash costs less than $10 as a generic. Also, some drugs have equivalents that are not the same substance but are similar and yield the same effect. For example, people who are prescribed Xarelto to treat blood clots but cannot afford it can ask for Warfarin, which is only a fraction of the cost and is similar.
Some pharmacies have much higher prices than others. This can also be true of generics. One pharmacy may charge $4 for a generic prescription, and another may charge $12 for the same substance. Also, there are tools for both saving money and comparing prices. GoodRx is a site that offers discounts to different pharmacies as well as a list of comparative prices.
Order By Mail
Certain online pharmacies offer lower prices when people sign up for regular monthly shipments. This saves gas and a trip to the pharmacy. Look for free shipping discounts as well. Most online pharmacies accept discount cards. This is the perfect solution for people who take monthly maintenance drugs.
Many pharmacies charge a certain amount per pill. When the costs are broken down, the cost of a pill that is 50 milligrams may be only slightly less than a pill of the same substance that is 100 milligrams. By asking the doctor for a higher dose, patients may save money. Some doctors will do this for certain non-narcotic medications. Pill cutters are easy to find and are usually less than $10.
Review Insurance Coverage
Most insurers provide a list of covered drugs. If a drug is not covered, look for an equivalent. During open enrollment, pay attention to which plans cover a certain drug. If a current plan is dropping one or more important drugs, compare prices and specifications of another plan that does offer it.
Switching plans can be a much better deal if the medication would otherwise be too expensive.
Compare the cost of paying for it upfront versus any premium difference to see if the switch is worth it.
Another good way to save on some specialty medications is to check with the manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer special hardship programs that give patients the drugs they need for free or for a lower cost. Ask physicians for samples or coupons for free trials as well. Pharmaceutical reps often leave these items with doctors, and many will provide them if they are available. To learn more about ways to save, give us a call to speak with a licensed agent.