Have you ever gone to the pharmacy to pick up your medication and ended up with sticker shock? Have you lowered the amount of your medication to make it last longer to try and save money? For many people, medication, even with insurance, is not affordable.
So, what can you do to save money and lower the cost of your medications? Here are five tips:
If you’re looking to buy an appliance, you don’t just go to the first store you see and buy it without pricing it out. Prescription medication is the same. Different carriers have different contracts with different pharmacies, so it’s important to shop pharmacies and find the best price. Some carriers may also offer a 90-day supply at an even deeper savings at specific pharmacies.
Find a Generic Alternative
One of the easiest ways to save money is to make sure you are opting for the generic medication if it is available. Generic medications have the same active ingredients as the name brand at a much lower cost. If you are not sure if you are using a generic medication, your pharmacy can confirm that for you.
What if your medication does not have a generic alternative? Many of the large pharmaceutical companies offer discounts on your medication in addition to your insurance coverage.
For example, let’s look at a medication called Trulicity made by Lilly Pharmaceuticals. This medication can run consumers about $1,800 a month. Even with medical insurance, it can be $300 or more, but the manufacturer has a prescription copay card that you can download from their website that lets you get the month supply for just a $25 copay.
The savings available through the manufacturer are astounding, but many people don’t know that they are out there.
So now you have a medication that is a generic, but it is still too high for your pocket book. There are many prescription discount cards out there that you can access for free. One of the most popular prescription discount programs is GoodRx.
Let’s look at Levalbuterol, which is a generic inhaler used for treatment of asthma. With some insurance coverages, the medication is $55 to $65, but if you use Good Rx you can get the same medication through Walgreens for $32.39 using a coupon. It’s important to note that GoodRx works on its own and you can’t use both your insurance plan and GoodRx. However, many carriers are allowing you to submit prescriptions not obtained through your insurance coverage to be applied towards either your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum. Reach out to your specific carrier to find out the process.
Reach Out to Member Services
If you are still having trouble affording your medication, call member services on the back of your insurance card. They can provide you with your drug formulary and alternative medicines that you can take to your doctor who can work with you to help you get more affordable medications.
It is important to take your medication as prescribed by your doctor and it may seem like a lot of work to find the best medication at the best price, but once you go through the process you will be an informed consumer who knows where to go and what to do to get the best price for your medication. Your representative at ARC Benefit Solutions can also help you sort out all the different pieces of the prescription drug puzzle.