Americans spend over $400 billion a year on prescription drugs. That’s a lot of money. And most people don’t think twice about where their prescriptions are filled or how they are processed. The problem is most Americans do not realize they are overpaying for prescriptions or that it can be prevented.
We have a few insider tips. Here's how to save money on prescriptions.
Ask your doctor if a generic medication is available instead of paying more for the name-brand. You aren’t questioning the doctor, you are just being an advocate for your health and your wallet! With a few exceptions, many generic medications are just as effective as the brand name. If a generic is available, you may be able to get it for as little as $4 if paying with cash (instead of your insurance).
If you know you will be on a medication for a long time, opt for a 90 day supply to save. For example, one customer found that a 90 day supply of blood pressure medication costs less than two 30 day supplies. Saving them $15 on the prescription and extra trips to the pharmacy!
Compare Costs: insurance v. cash v. discount card
I always wondered why the pharmacist asked me if I wanted to run my prescription through my insurance. Of course I do, I thought, why else would I have insurance? I assumed that using my insurance guaranteed me the best price on my prescriptions. Boy was I wrong! These days there are discount prescription cards and clubs you can utilize to save big on prescriptions.
My friend Brittany recently tried out the discount prescription plan offered to Take Command Members. The doctor prescribed two medications when her boys were sick. Brittany was floored when she found out she could save $70 on the prescriptions using a prescription discount card instead of her insurance card!
Aha! So this is why the pharmacist asks me if I want to run it through my insurance. It’s always a good idea to ask the pharmacist to compare prices for you; is it cheaper through your insurance, through a discount plan, or do they have a coupon that can be applied? Sometimes the discount prescription plan will be cheaper, sometimes the insurance will be cheaper. But it is always worth the ask. You could save big-time like Britney! It is important to note that the discount prescription plans cannot be used with your insurance plan, so your prescription costs will not be applied to your deductible if you use your discount card.
It may or may not come as a shock to you that the price of prescriptions vary by pharmacy. And shopping around to compare costs before you have your prescription filled is one way you can save money. One customer recently told us that one of her daily medications rose in price to $250 this year at her retail pharmacy. After researching, she realized she could get the medication through a mail order pharmacy for only $30. On-line and mail order pharmacies can save you a lot of money; just be sure you are still getting legitimate medication by finding one certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Below you can see a broad general overview of pharmacy costs:
Membership has its perks
Take Command knows how challenging it can be to find the lowest cost on your healthcare needs, which is why we offer our members a way to save on their prescriptions. We have two membership plans that include prescription discounts: one totally free, and one for a low monthly rate that includes extra perks such as: teladoc, dental discounts, vision discounts, and medical bill negotiation. We are striving to empower our members to become better health care consumers.
I wrote this blog because I love helping people decode confusing insurance jargon and understand the fine print. I'm a licensed health insurance professional and specialize in simplifying health insurance for individuals and small businesses. My QSEHRA articles have been featured regularly on Accounting Today, Accounting Web, HRWeb, and other industry publications. I'm also a member of Take Command Health's client success team and a full-time mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!