Creative Ways to Save Money on Meds

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New Employee Healthcare Benefits - January 2020
New Employee Healthcare Benefits - January 2020

(FinancialHealth.net) – When it comes to doctor visits, one thing many people have in the back of their mind is how they’re going to pay for prescriptions. Name brands are expensive and even more costly if there’s no prescription coverage.

The good news is, there’s more than one way to pay for a pricey script. Adjusting quantities, contacting the manufacturer and getting samples from the doctor are just a few suggestions.

Ask the Doctor for Samples

Have an expensive medication that isn’t in the budget? This can be stressful and make it hard to choose how to pay for it. Rationing pills or putting off taking them all together can make a health condition worse.

One solution is to ask the healthcare provider for samples. Pharmaceutical representatives offer medications to doctors offices for free or at a discounted price to help promote the drug. If your doctor has an excess supply of samples, you may be able to get some to help offset your cost at the drug store.

Contact the Drug Manufacturer

Contacting the drug manufacturer directly is another way to get meds for free or at a discount. This is a good solution for those without prescription coverage or individuals who pay a large amount out-of-pocket. Contacting them often results in getting the necessary medications shipped right to your doorstep.

Ask to Change the Quantity

Insurance companies don’t always look at the number of pills or dosage in a prescription when billing, they look at frequency. This is why it may be beneficial to have the prescription changed to a 60 or 90-day supply. For those with a copay, it will cost less because they’re not paying every 30 days.

Some pills can also be safely broken in half and are even scored down the middle for that reason. Talk to your doctor about whether this option is right for you and maybe instead of 30 tablets for a month, you get 15 that are twice the dosage and break them in half. Since prices are often similar for different strengths, this can save you quite a bit.

Important safety note, this definitely won’t work for capsules and possibly not for some tablets, but you won’t know unless you ask.

Sign up for Discount Accounts

Having multiple savings methods is key in getting the most bang for your buck with prescription medications. Try these tactics:

  • Shop for the best prices, different stores have different prices (Costco and Walmart, for example, often have significantly lower cash prices)
  • Take advantage of pharmacy store cards and their reward programs
  • Watch pharmacy receipts for free points and coupons on future purchases
  • Sign up for a prescription savings card online for free
  • Inquire about supplemental or gap insurance for prescriptions
  • Check retailers and pharmacies for free prescription transfers and savings for new customers
  • Ask the doctor to switch from name brand medications to generic
  • Price check online pharmacies to see if meds are cheaper

Medications still not in the affordable range? Check out Medicare.gov for help.

While medications can cost a lot, don’t get discouraged from taking charge of pressing health issues. A little bit of help goes a long way, and there are ways to make sure you get the medications you need at a cost you can afford.

~Here’s to Your Financial Health!

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