In today’s economy, finding the money to make sure everyday necessities are covered can be a challenge, not to mention coming up with discretionary funds to be able to do the things we “want” to do. The last thing we should have to worry about is whether or not we will be able to maintain our health due to the cost of prescription drugs today. In addition to doctors’ fees, co-pays, and insurance premiums (if we’re lucky enough to have coverage) – prescription drug cost can be a real drain.
Here are 9 tips for saving on your prescription drug costs:
1. Go generic when possible. There are several brand-name medications that have generic substitutes, which are required by law to have the exact same ingredients as their brand-name counterparts. If available, ask your doctor to prescribe these off-brand medications for you, and you could save up to 80%!
2. Apply for Patient Assistance Programs. Some pharmaceutical companies provide PAPs for patients with low income or who don’t qualify for health insurance – these programs can provide assistance in the form of savings cards, co-payments or levies, or coupons that can be used to lower the cost of certain medications.
3. If possible, split higher-dosage pills. Usually, there is no significant price difference between pill dosages, so ask your pharmacist if you are able to buy the higher dosage pills in a smaller quantity and split them in half. Some pills are unsafe to split, so make sure you consult your pharmacist before trying this cost saving idea.
4. Let your doctor know what you can and cannot afford. If you can’t afford the medications your doctor is prescribing, let him or her know. They can try to find a suitable generic or alternative that better suits your financial needs while still properly maintaining your health.
5. Check your prescription’s formulary to make sure it is covered by your insurance. Sometimes insurance companies only cover the cost of specific drugs for certain conditions, and if your prescription doesn’t match that formulary, you will have a higher copay. Ask your doctor to prescribe an alternative medication for your condition that is on your insurance’s formulary chart.
6. Shop around. Check multiple pharmacies, mail order services, etc. when looking to fill your prescriptions, as prices can vary greatly. Oftentimes, pharmacies will offer discounts for larger quantities as well, so just be sure to ask about your options!
7. Ask your doctor for samples. Before paying for a full prescription, ask your doctor if he or she has any samples of the medicine that you can try to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction or other harmful side effects.
8. Look for coupons. The Internet, magazines, and newspapers often offer prescription-related coupons for various medicine and treatments. InternetDrugCoupons.com and NeedyMeds.com are two sources for these types of discount offers. You may also ask your doctor or the office receptionist if they have any know of any available coupons for your particular prescription drugs.
9. Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. By taking care of yourself you may be able to avoid the hefty prescription drug costs that are associated with poor health. Diabetes, for example, can often be treated by changing your diet and exercise routines, resulting in your body needing fewer medications to battle the disease. Always be sure to consult with your doctor right away if you notice anything wrong, because early treatment can save you a lot of time and money as well.
If you have any questions about these money-saving tips, please give us a call!