Prescription costs in the US tend to be expensive, that’s why most people are having a hard time affording their medications. Fortunately, there are ways to avail prescriptions without hurting your budget. Take your cue from the following.
Lowering Prescription Costs
Several ways can help lower your medication costs. This includes using an rx card with savings up to 80%, copays, or considering generics. To know more, here are some tips you can apply to save money on your medications:
Generics tend to cost less than brand-name drugs. In fact, it can cost about 30% to 80% less. Moreover, generics are composed of the same active ingredients incorporated in brand-name drugs. This means they also have the same therapeutic effects.
It is vital to note that not all brand-name drugs have a generic equivalent. If this is the case, it might be best to ask your doctor for a cheaper alternative. That way, your doctor can provide you with other options that are easier on the pocket.
When it comes to generic drugs, it would be best to be forthright about it. Don’t wait until you arrive at a pharmacy to ask for a generic drug. Instead, tell your doctor you prefer taking a generic drug before they start writing on the prescription.
Several medications are now available in generics and over-the-counter (OTC). These are usually the drug products that are popular and previously expensive. They are the following:
- Cholesterol-lowering statins
- Non-sedating antihistamines
- Heartburn medications
- Specific type 2 diabetes drugs (metformin, for example)
Know About Medication Copays
It would be best to research copays or coinsurance. For example, you can learn more about your “tier copay.” Simply give your insurance provider a call or input your data on your insurance website to do this.
Copay tiers for medications may vary on different factors. Several plans have $10 to $20 copays intended for generic drugs (1st tier) or “preferred drugs” (2nd tier). Moreover, other plans might go up to $35, $50, or $100 copays on non-formulary, brand-name, or non-preferred drugs (3rd tier).
It is essential to know that your pharmacist can also help you determine your copay. He/she can also suggest some alternatives you might consider if you can’t afford to buy your medications. Moreover, don’t hesitate to call your doctor and ask for a cheaper drug to be written on your prescription to help you out.
Talk To Your Healthcare Provider
It will help if you will be honest with your healthcare provider concerning the costs. Communication is key to work this one through. Hence, it is best to let your doctor and pharmacist know that you prefer generics or lower copay drugs. That way, they can work with you in finding an affordable treatment without risking your health.
Get To Know The Medicare Prescription Outpatient Drug Coverage
If you are 65 years or older, you might want to use the Medicare prescription outpatient drug coverage or also known as the Medicare Part D. According to the Food and Drug Administration, 5 out of 6 people at 65 years old and older take at least one medication. Moreover, almost 50% of all seniors take about three or more medications.
The number of medications senior citizens take regularly can certainly add up quickly. By the use of Medicare, seniors can lower these prescription costs. Medicare is a national health insurance program designed for US citizens 65 years and older. Moreover, under this program, copays are usually $5 or $10.
If you don’t use copay, it would be best to compare drug prices. Drug prices in pharmacies tend to vary based on the volume of prescriptions and location. Furthermore, you can check for the lowest price by calling the pharmacies near you or searching the internet.
It will also help if you talk to your local pharmacists. He/she might be able to find a way to reduce the cost of your medication. Moreover, your pharmacists can help you maintain your prescriptions and check for drug side effects, interactions, and allergies. Hence, it is best to keep all of your prescriptions in one pharmacy as possible.
Patient Assistance Program
Pharmaceutical companies usually run patient assistance programs. These programs can help you get free or low-cost medications. However, you need to apply first before you can avail of their offers.
You can search for patient assistance programs online. Most pharmacies list this program on their website. Moreover, you can also check with RxAssist.org, PatientHelpNetwork.org, or NeedyMeds.org.
Use Discount Coupons
It would be best to look for discount cards and coupon codes. There are many available online. However, you should make sure that these coupons are reliable.
Once you have a discount card or code, simply go to the pharmacy and show it. However, it is essential to know that not all pharmacies accept discount cards. Hence, you might want to call first before you go over.
Some pharmacies might not accept coupons for controlled substances. This includes anxiety medications and opioid pain medications. If you don’t have any discount coupons, it might help if you ask for a discount at your local pharmacy’s counter. This is because many pharmacies tend to have an in-house medication discount.
Ask For Free Prescription Samples
You might want to ask your doctor if he/she has free drug samples. Most of the time, doctors receive many drug samples from manufacturers. If your doctor can give you the supply you need, you will surely save a lot of money.
Most doctors have drug samples in stock, especially for maintenance medications. This includes blood pressure medications and asthma inhalers. Furthermore, these products might be brand-name drugs that don’t have any generic equivalent. Hence, it might be best to ask your doctor if there is any other alternative if you run out of free samples.
To Wrap It All Up
As we all know, “health is wealth.” That is why it is vital to take good care of your health by not skipping your medications just because you can’t afford them. Moreover, the tips enumerated above can help lower your prescription drug costs and save you some extra cash in the long run.