Health Insurance, Healthcare, Prescription drugs, Saving on Health Insurance - Friday, April 26, 2019 16:32 - 0 Comments
There is no denying that prescription drugs can be one of the most expensive costs for health care.
With so many options available to help pay for prescriptions, it can seem like a daunting task figuring out the right solution for you. Luckily, with the revolution of digital technology it now pays to change the way you view prescription shopping. Think of it as an Amazon marketplace where the cheapest drug can be found through a variety of avenues.
In order to understand where to start, it’s important to break down your saving options into distinct categories:
- Discount Cards
- Manufacturer Assistance and Rebates
- Consider Generic Drugs
- Pharmacies Outside the U.S.
- Medicare Patients and Coupons
Even without insurance you can use pharmacy coupon search engines, like Good RX, which are simple to use. Visit the websites or download the app and enter the name of your drug, dosage, frequency and zip code. This allows the search engine to to calculate and pinpoint where you can find the least expensive cost for that drug with the coupon. Evaluate your options and then print, text, or display the coupon on your phone to give to the pharmacist.
Here’s a list of our recommended sites:
There are many free discount RX cards that you can download that offer up to 90% off the cost of your prescriptions. Start by searching for your drug on the internet and see what options are displayed for each of the drugs you are currently taking.
Most pharmacies will offer a discount card at a nominal fee or at no cost to you. When you pick up your prescription you will give the pharmacist your insurance and discount card. If possible, ask them to save your discount information.
It is important to note that discount cards work differently for each prescription, so pay attention before heading to your pharmacy.
Here is a handy list of the best prescription discount cards.
MANUFACTURER ASSISTANCE & REBATES
In the United States, pharmaceutical pricing lacks transparency, leading to a system with a range of prices for the same medication.
Most prescription manufacturers have rebates to help you with the cost of your medications. Rebates are a form of price concession paid by a pharmaceutical manufacturer to the health plan sponsor or the pharmacy benefit manager working on the plan’s behalf.
Some of these rebates are based upon income while others are acquired by simply filling out a form to obtain the rebate from the manufacturer. Additionally, there are nonprofit groups you can seek out that will help you with rebates for your medications.
But how do you use a rebate?
Here are four steps to follow for completing mail-in rebates:
- Find the mail-in rebates that will get you free and cheap products
- Purchase the product for the specific mail-in rebate
- Fill out the mail-in rebate form
- Verify you have the proper documentation in your envelope and send it to the manufacturer
CONSIDER GENERIC DRUGS
Most pharmacies will fill a prescription with the generic alternative by default unless your doctor specifically writes “dispense as written.” If this is the case, then your doctor does not want you to use the generic version of the drug.
Make sure to ask your physician if a generic version can be used for your medical conditions.
PHARMACIES OUTSIDE THE U.S.
Many people worry about purchasing prescriptions outside of the U.S. for a variety of reasons. Is it safe? Is it legal? Am I getting the same drug?
These are all valid concerns and a simple answer is that purchasing your drugs outside of the U.S. is a perfectly reasonable. Canadian pharmacies are popular alternatives to state side prescription options.
We recommend checking out Marks Marine Pharmacy
It is important to know that if you choose to purchase prescriptions from Canada your insurance will not cover the cost.
Here are a few useful resources:
- “Buying Medicine from Outside the United States”
- “Can You Save Money Buying Drugs From Canadian Pharmacies?”
MEDICARE PATIENTS AND COUPONS
For 12 of the 20 most commonly prescribed drugs, patients overpaid by more than 33 percent. But this doesn’t mean that people with Medicare drug coverage are destined to overpay for prescriptions.
Under a little-known Medicare rule, you are allowed to pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using your insurance.
For Medicare beneficiaries, you cannot use your RX plan and a discount plan at the same time. If the coupon or discount is less than your copay, you will need to be “cash pay” for the particular medication and not run it through your RX plan.
Feeling overwhelmed and ready to throw in the towel? Don’t worry, here are a few key takeaways to help you make the right decision:
- Ask if the medication has a generic alternative
- Find your favorite drug discount engine like Good RX
- Research the medication to see if there is a rebate from the manufacturer
- Search outside the U.S. for the medication at a lower cost than the alternatives above
Want to know more?
Here are a few more helpful resources for figuring out your prescription drug costs:
If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to us and we will take care of you!
1-866-405-7226 (Toll Free)
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