In this world of constantly rising prescription medication costs, taking a trip to the pharmacy can feel more unpleasant than having a root canal. After all, at least you know how much your root canal will cost before you get there! Whether you just got a new prescription and aren’t sure how much it will cost or you deal with constantly changing costs to your regular medications due to changes in your insurance coverage, knowing how much you owe before you get to the pharmacy counter is half the battle. Once you know the cost of your medication, the second question is whether or not you can actually afford it. No one should be in the position of worrying about affording the prescriptions they need to feel better, but for 80 million uninsured and underinsured Americans and many more people who struggle to cover the costs, this is reality. Fortunately, there are ways to get prescription savings without driving all over town to look for the best price, changing your insurance, and cutting back on your medication. You’ll save precious money, time, energy, and gas, all of which can add up to major savings on your prescription drugs. Try these options and see how prescription savings can save you a fortune.
Pharmacy Discount Cards
Regardless of your insured status, pharmacy discount cards offer prescription savings that can save you a bundle. Typical savings on prescriptions range from 10 to 75 percent, and some prescriptions cost less than they would with insurance coverage. Some cards cover all FDA-approved medications regardless of whether they are brand name or generic drugs, so you don’t have to worry about switching medications if you are currently taking one that works for you. Everyone is eligible to use the card, and they can be used at any participating pharmacy in the United States, so there’s no need to shop around to get the best price. Unlike insurance programs that require paperwork, pre-approvals, co-pays, premiums, deductibles, and more, pharmacy discount cards provide prescription savings by negotiating directly with drug companies to offer a discounted rate. You’ll simply pay the negotiated rate at the pharmacy counter.
Coupons and Rebates
If you take a brand name medication and don’t have the option of switching to a cheaper generic form of the drug, try looking for available coupons or rebates. Your doctor may be able to offer you a sample of the medication that includes a coupon code or discount that can be applied at the pharmacy, so be sure to ask the next time you visit the office. You can also check online and look at the manufacturer’s website to see if any offers or promotions are available. Some offers can be easily printed off directly from the website, while others may require registering online and activating a coupon card or completing a questionnaire.
Patient Assistance Programs
Patient assistance programs are offered by manufacturers to help those who are low-income, uninsured, or underinsured afford their medication. These programs usually have a strict set of criteria regarding which type of insurance you can have (Medicare and Medicaid patients are typically not eligible), and some may set income eligibility limits. Patients who qualify for patient assistance programs will receive their medications for free or at a low cost, and the programs can last for a set amount of time or for the life of the prescription. Some patient assistance programs also require patients to use the medication in a certain way and meet certain medical history criteria in order to be eligible. Information on patient assistance programs is usually available through the manufacturer’s website.