Almost 20% of America’s GDP goes towards health spending. That number is constantly ballooning as medical costs continue to go up unchecked.
If you’re feeling the burn of rising healthcare costs anywhere, it’s probably when you go to pick up your prescriptions.
Depending on your insurance, you might be spending hundreds of dollars per refill.
If your prescription drugs are sending you into financial jeopardy, this article is for you.
In it, our team shares 7 common-sense tips that’ll help you save money.
1. Double Check Your Insurance Options
We realize that this article’s title suggests that these savings tips are for people that don’t have insurance. If you’re truly uninsured though, chances are, you’re missing out on a low-cost opportunity to get insured.
The Affordable Care Act works to provide wider insurance options for low-income people. As a matter of fact, if you make below $17,000 per year, you may qualify for 100% free health insurance and prescriptions.
Go to healthcare.gov and see what options are available to you. Remember, if you’re not insured come tax time, you’ll be charged a penalty.
2. Always Buy Generic
Unless you have a diagnosed allergy to the generic version of a medication, you should always be buying generic. Generic drugs have the same effects on patients in almost all cases and are significantly cheaper than their name brand counterparts.
Not sure what the generic version of the drug you’re taking is? Ask your doctor.
If they won’t prescribe you a drug’s off-brand, get a second opinion.
3. Buy in Bulk
Many pharmacies offer significant discounts to patients that buy their prescription drugs in bulk. Bulk typically means a 3-month supply.
Depending on the drug you’re taking, bulk-buying may be illegal but for most drugs, you should be able to pre-buy and save.
CVS is a popular pharmacy that commonly gives out bulk deals. Costco also has deals for those that purchase medication in bulk so give them a look if you’re a member.
4. Try Mail Order
A growing number of pharmacies are not filling patient prescriptions through the mail. We love the idea of mail-order scripts for a couple of reasons.
For starters, getting your prescriptions filled by mail means that you get to spend less time, fuel and other resources on picking up your medication. That by itself will equal savings for you.
Also, there are some pharmacies that are trying to push their mail order system aggressively and, consequently, offer deals to people that are willing to try out the service.
See what options your local pharmacies are offering with mail order services and take them for a spin. Just be sure to only opt into free mail order services as not charging for prescription delivery is standard in the pharmaceutical industry.
5. Shop Around
You might think that all pharmacies sell drugs at the same price. Just like anything else that’s sold on the open market though, prices 100% vary.
There are many prescriptions that you might pick up from Kaiser, for example, that cost half of what the same prescription costs at CVS pharmacy.
In order to ensure that you’re getting the best deal in your area, shop around.
Many pharmacies can quote you drug prices online. Others send around circulars that advertise discounts on the drugs that they sell.
If all else fails, place a phone call to pharmacies that you’re interested in doing business with and have them quote you prices over the phone. Be sure to inquire about any discounts they offer so you can develop as clear a picture as possible of what you’re getting.
6. Clip Coupons
If you didn’t know that there were coupons out there for prescription drugs, now you do. Armed with that bit of information, you can save 10%, 20% or more on each of your refills.
Where can you find prescription drug coupons? In a lot of places!
Some pharmacies send around circulars that you can clip coupons from. Other websites offer up the occasional Strattera coupon, antibiotic coupon and other coupons for popular meds throughout the year.
The more vigilant you are when it comes to scouting out these couponing opportunities, the more money you’re likely to save!
7. Assess Your Prescription Needs Regularly
Let’s say that you spend $80.00 every time you refill the prescription for a medication that you use. While $80.00 per month might not seem life ending, think about how much your meds will cost you over the course of a lifetime…
We’re guessing tens of thousands of dollars.
While we understand that sometimes paying that money is a medical necessity, other times it isn’t.
To make sure that you’re not unnecessarily using prescription drugs, always talk to your doctor about what you can do to work your way off of your medications.
Can you exercise more? Can you start eating healthier?
Many people find that small lifestyle changes can replace their need for prescriptions and ultimately saves them a lot of money.
Our Final Thoughts on Saving on Prescription Drugs
Prescription drugs, for many, are a necessity to live. Unfortunately, that necessity can carry a steep price tag that can cause a lot of hardship.
Your first line of defense against over paying for drugs is to sign up for a health insurance policy. If that’s not feasible or if you need additional savings, we recommend trying to implement the rest of the tips that we’ve shared above.
You’re also welcome to browse more of the helpful health and lifestyle content that we have published on our website.