We all know that choosing generic over brand name prescriptions can save us hundreds at the drugstore, but is there anything else we can do to cut costs?
The answer, unbeknownst to many, is yes! Apart from going generic, experts agree that these 5 simple steps can help reduce cost of prescriptions:
1. Ask if the prescription is necessary
There is no easier way to reduce costs than to speak up! Believe it or not, this question alone has been reported to save about 50% on drug costs. So before leaving the doctor’s office, make sure the prescription is necessary, that you’re not taking duplicate therapies and that the drug treatment you’re on has proven to be effective.
If the prescription is in fact essential, talk to your doctor about costs; according to the Consumer Reports survey, only 4% of those polled said they’d had this conversation.
2. Check your policy
Don’t expect to save on prescription drugs without a clear understanding of what your carrier covers, or your “formulary.” This is a list of prescription meds that your health-insurance plan covers, organized into tiers with different co-pays. Formularies vary from plan to plan, so print out a list and bring it to your doctor before opening your wallet.
In addition, using your Cake Health Benefits tab, hover over the colorful circles to find valuable information such as your prescription co-pay and total cost to know what you’ll be facing (see below):
3. Look into discount prescription cards
There are a number of discount cards that can help shed dollars off your prescriptions, such as RxSavingsPlus. This free discount card offers an average of 22% in savings on an array of prescriptions – just print it out and take it on your next pharmacy trip to reap the reward.
For more options, check out the following sites:
4. Make use of your flexible-spending plan (FSA)
An FSA provides you with tax-free money to pay for health costs and medications. Because these plans have a “use it or lose it” policy, you’ll need to estimate how much you will spend on prescriptions and use up the money before it’s gone. This step is a great way to get a tax break, as every $1000 you put in saves you $250 on taxes if you fall in the 25% federal tax bracket.
5. Buy online
Shopping for your prescriptions online is an easy way reduce costs. Don’t want to pay for shipping? Pick them up right from the store! In addition, stores such as Walmart, Walgreens and Target often give discounts to those who purchase their meds online. Check out the Walmart $4 Prescription Program to see if your drugs is covered and purchase a 30-day supply for the cost of an ice cream cone. Now that’s cool.
For more options, explore the following programs: