It is possible to save money on prescription drugs
By Denise Nape The Shopper September 20, 2012 12:32PM
Saving money is a necessity across the board but when it comes to prescription costs, you want to ensure that you’re cutting your costs wisely without running around to a half dozen stores each and every month. Or worse, taking unnecessary risks by ordering meds from unscrupulous and unknown sources. There are a number of ways to save on your prescriptions. LiveFabuless.com has outlined some ways for us to save.
Price Shop: If you pay cash for your prescriptions, you can and should price shop for your prescriptions at your local stores. Even if you’re not a member of a warehouse store, you can still use their pharmacy. And some local and national pharmacies will even price match the lowest, local price that you’ve found so you might not even have to transfer your prescription in order to save money each and every month.
Store Prescription Programs: Many national drug stores and discount stores offer a multitude of generic drugs for as low as $4 for a 30 day supply or $10 for a 90 day supply. Bear in mind that some, but not all, of the pharmacies require that you pay an annual fee in order to use their low cost programs and not all pharmacies will allow you to partake in their discount programs if you are a Medicare recipient. So check around to determine which store will provide the best benefit and you can find most of the information online at each store’s website.
Mail Order: If you have insurance, your insurance company may charge you a lower co-pay if you fill your prescriptions through the insurance company’s mail order division rather than at your local pharmacy. In general, you will pay two months’ co-pay for three months’ worth of your prescription. So, it’s like buying two months and getting one month free. Just be sure to refill your prescriptions with enough time to allow your prescriptions to be shipped by the lowest price shipping method, waiting until the last minute will cost you additional shipping costs which will negate some of your savings.
Coupons/Discount Cards: Many drug companies are issuing coupons and discount cards to lower your out-of-pocket costs, if you pay cash or lower your co-pay, if you have insurance. Coupons can be found both at your doctor’s office as well as printed online. You can find a constantly updated list at www.internetdrugcoupons.com.
Many stores offer gift cards for new or transferred prescriptions. You can periodically find these coupons in the weekly fliers that come in the Sunday newspaper, as well as in store or mailed to your home. Many stores will accept a coupon from a competitor, too.
Medicare: If you are a Medicare recipient, you should make sure that the drug coverage plan that you’re choosing during the open enrollment period at the end of each calendar year is the most appropriate one for the prescriptions that you’re currently on. You can check whether your drugs are covered by checking each plan at medicare.gov. Additionally, you can and should contact the Social Security administration to see whether you qualify for what’s called “Extra Help”, a sliding scale, income based program that provides additional funding to help cover your prescription drug costs. You can even determine whether you qualify by checking www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
PPARx.org: A group of drug companies has banded together to help those who need assistance in paying for their prescriptions. You can find details about prescription assistance at PPARX.org. If you cannot afford your prescriptions, it’s worthwhile to apply to receive discounted and possibly even free prescriptions directly from the manufacturers themselves.
Shopper’s tip: Regardless of which savings method you choose, let the pharmacist know about ALL of the medications, including over the counter medication, vitamins and supplements that you’re currently taking to ensure that they’ll be able to ward off any potential drug-to-drug interactions.