3 Ways to Save Money on Medication
No matter what kind of insurance or medical coverage you have, odds are one of the biggest expenses is the price of prescription medications. Whether it's a one-time antibiotic or an ongoing prescription refill for blood thinners or insulin, many people in the U.S. feel the monthly crunch when paying for medicine. In fact, it's estimated that 1 in 4 Americans can't afford their needed medicines. Luckily, with a little research and savvy, there are ways to get the best price on your much-needed medications. With that in mind, here are three of the best ways to get your prescriptions filled without breaking the bank every month.
1. Ask your doctor about generic alternatives.
When your doctor prescribes you a medication, they will most likely assign a brand-name drug. Unfortunately, recognizable brand-names usually command a higher price. A quick search of an online pharmacy, such as CheapoMeds, can demonstrate that there are numerous generic versions of almost every major prescription medication, all with the same active ingredients and available in similar packaging of the same quantity. During your next visit to the doctor's office, ask if your care team can write-out a prescription or refill for the generic medicine, instead of the pricier brand version. You'll be shocked how much money you can immediately save while getting the best price on the same medication.
2. Do some price shopping.
Most health coverage and insurance will help ease the burden of prescription costs, but don't be surprised if one pharmacy charges more or less than another pharmacy for the same medication. This isn't a scam, it's just business. Even in the health industry, pharmacies are a business, and, by knowing this, you can save a bundle of money by doing to some comparative price shopping. In an emergency, time is certainly of the essence; however, if you can afford to call a few places and ask the pharmacy staff their prices, you can fill your new prescription with whichever location offers you the most savings.
While you're at it, do yourself a favor and check out those online pharmacies to get an idea of the savings potential. Many reputable internet pharmacists not only have great customer service, but also provide local delivery, discount coupons, and refund offers. You'll need to provide personal information, such as your medical history and doctor's referral and prescription, but then you'll be all set. Many online pharmacies and mail-order pharmacies can even process your purchase by the end of the business day. If you happen to find a good online pharmacy that meets your needs, inquire about a loyalty program or discount card. If the company has such as program, you can actually couple those coupons and discounts with your insurance, getting double the savings on your refill requests.
3. Consider buying in bulk.
If you've been given a prescription for a one-time medication that only requires a 30-day supply, then it may make the most sense to bite the bullet and get the meds you need as soon as possible. However, if you require ongoing prescription drugs for a chronic condition, or any malady that could require a medication for more than three months, consider buying the drug in bulk. Ask your doctor if they would consider writing out a prescription for three-times the length (a 90-day supply) and, with prior authorization, ask your local pharmacy if they can order you that bigger amount. As long as your doctor is in agreement, this could be the safest way to renew a prescription while saving the most amount of money.
A retail pharmacy may be glad for the larger order and offer you wholesale prices, guaranteeing you'll get the absolute lowest price. In addition to saving money by buying in larger quantities, you'll also rack up the savings by filling the prescription less often, meaning less copays to your insurance company.
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