Like most other tangible things in America today, the drugs have become borderline outrageous. Because of the rapidly increasing costs of prescription drugs, some of the population may find getting the medication that they need an uphill battle – particularly if you are living on a budget or fixed income. If you are one of the many Americans today who finds themselves scrimping and saving for your next bottle of medication, these six money-saving tips can help.
No. 1: Know your formulary
If you are fortunate enough to have insurance coverage, you need to get acquainted with your formulary. The formulary is the list of medications your insurance provider covers under their plan – as well as what it does not cover -, and it is (in most cases) remarkably easy to access.
In fact, most insurance providers give their policyholders formulary access by way of a searchable online database. If your insurance doesn’t cover the medication you need, talk to your doctor about alternative medication that is covered by your formulary or discuss less expensive, alternative treatment methods.
Hint: Most online databases also provide lists of medications covered under their formulary alongside prescribed drugs that are not covered, making it easy to ask your doctor about specific medications you know are covered under your plan. If you have questions about your formulary or your coverage, call your insurance provider before heading to the pharmacy.
No. 2: Ask about generics
Just about 80 percent of all FDA-approved drugs have alternatives. Opting for the generic pills can save you up to four times the cost of brand name medications.
No. 3: Buy in bulk
Some pharmacies offer in-house discounts on pills purchased in a 90-day supply versus 30 or 60-day dosage. Shop the pricing plans from different pharmacies in order to get the best deal. You can also comparison shop different pharmacy pricing online ahead of time using the DestinationRx website.
No. 4: Split dosing
In some cases, you can buy pills that are double your prescribed dose you and divide them in half at home, leading to significant cost savings. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if this is the right option for you.
No. 5: Patient assistance programs
Visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance site to find out if you are eligible for prescription assistance programs. These programs are sponsored by health care providers, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and are designed to help reduce your out of pocket costs. Depending on your individual financial needs (assessed by the program providers and sponsors), you may be able to get your medications at a bargain basement price or even free of charge.
While the high cost of prescription medications can sometimes feel overwhelming, knowing that you have options to help you save your hard-earned cash can help. The next time you leave your physician’s office with a new prescription in hand, review your options with your insurance company and health care provider first. The savings will be worth it.