Prescription drug prices are heading up, just like almost anything else that we all depend on in our daily lives. While some insurance plans do cover popular drugs, but many people still pay hundreds, if not thousands, each month for their medicine. But with a little digging and a little work, there are many ways to save money on the drugs that you need!
- Go generic. This should be an obvious one, but there are millions of people paying for brand name drugs that are available in cheaper generic versions. Before you leave the doctor’s office, make sure he or she is giving you a script for generic drugs, and if he isn’t, ask why and request that he only give you generic prescriptions when he can.
- Get a prescription discount card. Although you will have to pay a yearly fee, you could save 20-30% on your prescriptions. There are many to choose from and I am sure some are better than others. Ask your plan manager for information about which one to choose.
- Get your medicine from the less expensive pharmacies. Wal-mart and Target now offer a lot of generic prescriptions for $4 or $5 dollars a month, and although I don’t shop at Wal-mart, I am glad they are helping out those who cannot afford their prescriptions.
- Ask for free samples from the doctor. When I was going through a bad bout with hives, my doctor gave me $500 worth of steroids…for free. They were a sample pack of something not available in generics yet, and they did their job. It never hurts to ask.
- Order your medicine through the mail. If possible and if your insurance plan covers it, ask your doctor for a 90 day prescription, and then check with your benefits manager at work as to where you can get scripts by mail. Take a look at prescription benefit managers online like Medco and Caremark.
- Take a trip to Mexico. I didn’t tell you to do it, but medicine is definitely cheaper down south.
- Stop taking them. This is, of course, not for those medicines that you NEED. I am talking about making lifestyle changes that could take you off the drugs. If your high blood pressure is from sitting on the couch each night eating Doritos, then maybe you could get some exercise and eat an apple. Just a thought – it’s much cheaper to exercise and eat right than it is to pay for medical care!
- Order them from Canada. Sure, the legality is questionable, but if I had to have a medicine that I could not afford here in the States, I would definitely either order it from a Canadian pharmacy or drive over the border to get it. There are even bus trips for seniors to get the drugs they need, which is just shameful that they even have to do that to afford them.
- Ask for assistance from pharmaceutical companies. Many companies have programs in place to help those with affording the medicines they need.
- Search for natural alternatives. There are many natural herbs and foods that do the same thing that some drugs do, so it might be worth it to check with a homeopathic doctor to see if there is one that will work for your condition.
- Have your doctor prescribe you higher-dosage pills and split them. That way, you get double the amount of medicine for the same price. If you require 100MG pills of something, ask if he or she can prescribe 200MG pills instead, and just cut them in half.
- Put some money in a flexible savings account, which is money put aside for medical expenses BEFORE taxes, saving you a little bit of cash for things you are going to have to buy anyway.
So what am I missing here? Anyone have any other ideas for saving money on prescriptions?