Don’t Let High Prescription Costs Make You Sick!

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Prescription medications, when covered by a good insurance plan, can be affordably priced so that their costs can be taken into account when budgeting. When they’re not covered by insurance, however, the price of prescriptions can blow a budget completely out of whack. The fact is, some medications are so expensive, that, without insurance, most patients simply cannot afford them, rendering them unable to adequately manage their health and wellbeing. Many people, unfortunately, are not among those fortunate enough to have prescription coverage offering affordable co-pays. These folks are at the mercy of drug pricing to determine whether they can afford the medications necessary to keep them and their families healthy.

Those who carry the burden of high-priced prescriptions may have:

  • no health insurance at all
  • a high deductible
  • been prescribed a drug that is not covered by insurance

While solutions are available to provide a bit of relief to those footing large – sometimes staggeringly expensive – prescription medication bills, it takes awareness, forethought, action, research and tenacity to procure more affordable prices.

Here’s some advice to help you avoid being snowed under by high prescription prices:

Talk frankly with your doctor – When being prescribed medication, ask your doctor about it’s approximate cost. If it’s prohibitively priced, ask if he or she can prescribe a generic equivalent or prescribe a similar medication from one of those pharmacy $4.00/month supply lists. Most doctors will be willing to do what they can to ensure that you are prescribed medication that you can actually afford to take.

Consider mail-order – Even if your prescription is covered, your insurance may offer a mail order option which can save you significantly; e.g., provide a three-month supply of your medication for the cost of filling it once at your local pharmacy. Such mail order prescription services can be conveniently managed online and send reminders when it’s time to refill or allow you to opt-in for automatic refill.

Compare pricing at several pharmacies – Some good ol’ price-shopping can help keep your wallet fat and healthy. You may be able to inquire as to the price before the prescription is filled. Be certain to check local warehouse clubs, like Costco, too. Their medication prices can be dramatically lower than “regular” pharmacies and you may not need to be a member of the club to use their pharmacy. You may also be able to receive your warehouse club prescriptions through the mail.

Look into discount drug programs – These are an extremely appealing choice for those without prescription coverage. These cards are completely free and use the “power in numbers” approach to get pharmacies to offer savings to members of their group. In general, you simply print out a card or some information, which you present at your pharmacy to receive your discount. You can search for your medication on their site by name, dosage and number of days. Choose your preferred pharmacy and it will quote the price you’ll be charged for the medication. Discount drug programs like these can be found in abundance online:

While they appear legitimate, confirm with the pharmacy about their acceptance of the plan and the savings you’ll receive before having your prescription filled.

Some pharmacies, like CVS and Walgreens, offer their own company discount programs. It’s worth investigating online or in person to learn what savings your local pharmacies offer on health care expenses.

It can be scary to find yourself in need of medication you’re unable to afford. These suggestions will help you find more affordable solutions.

How do you save on prescription medications?

Bonus Tip:

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