It seems every time you get your prescription filled, the price creeps up. Even if you have insurance, you are spending more and more to get your medication.
The cost of prescription drugs continues to increase. A study put together by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid predicts that the cost of medicines will increase by more than 6% per year through 2025. If you are on a budget, any increase to the cost of your life-saving medications can be a burden. And sadly, many Americans may be forced to choose not to take medications just so they can afford a roof and food.
It shouldn’t be that way. And, fortunately, it does not. By using a few money saving ideas, you can pay less for your prescriptions.
EASY WAYS TO PAY LESS FOR PRESCRIPTIONS
1. Buy Generic
These days, many medications have a less expensive, generic alternative. Many times, generic medicines sell for as much as 80% less than their name-brand counterparts. For some reason, however, many people think that generic means less quality.
Generic prescriptions must meet the same stringent FDA requirements as those with the brand label on them. They are not less effective and work in the exact same way as the more expensive ones do. Ask your pharmacist if there is a generic medication you can use — and of course, run this by your physician before you make the switch.
2. Fill for 90 vs. 30
If you are on regular medicines, you will often fill it once a month. However, if you get a 90-day prescription, you can often pay less. Not only does this keep more money in your pocket, but you also are not making as many visits to the pharmacy to get your medications refilled.
3. Use a discount card
Some organizations, such as AARP, offer prescription medication discounts. These may be perks for your paid membership or could be part of a free service to which you belong.
You can also find other programs that offer discount cards to use towards your medications. Using something like SingleCare, can help save you money on every prescription needed.
A simple search for the medication you need will share the rates at the pharmacies close to you. There are also often pharmacy coupons you can use as well, which can lower your costs. Sometimes, you will pay less with the app than you even can if you use your insurance card.
4. Visit the manufacturer’s website
Sometimes, manufacturers put savings offers for different medications directly on their website. A simple search and click can help you track one down so you can save.
There are even some who offer assistance programs. If your family makes less than an certain amount of money annually, you may qualify for reduced medications.
5. Skip Insurance
Believe it or not, using your insurance may not give you the best price. There are instances where cash customers can pay a lower rate than those who do so through their insurance. Ask your pharmacist about the price difference for cash vs paying with insurance.
6. Check with your drugstore
Believe it or not, drug stores also know medicines can be expensive. They are in the business. Check with your pharmacist about programs and services that may be available to lower your costs.
For example, Walgreens offers a Prescription Savings Club that you can join for free. You’ll receive instant discounts on more than 8,000 different medications.
You can also earn points and rewards on your prescriptions which you can use to pay for other things you need. The largest pharmacies each offer programs which allow you to accrue points on things you buy and those points are converted into savings.
- CVS offers Extra Care Rewards
- Walgreens has Balance Rewards
- RiteAid offers this through its Wellness Rewards Program
While you can’t save instantly at the register on your medications, you are saving on other things you need (such as toothpaste, shampoo, etc) and that can free up income to cover your expensive medications.
7. Talk to your doctor
Sadly, with the rising costs of prescription meds, many people are opting not to fill them. They simply can’t afford it. If you are in this situation make sure you talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to find a more affordable alternative or even have samples they can offer so you can take the medicines you need.
In addition, you may find that where you had to take two medications previously, you can now take one. It is important to always share every medication you take with your doctor. Not only does it ensure that you aren’t prescribed something that may cause issues, but that you are not taking something you no longer need.