With the rising costs of healthcare and prescriptions, it can be difficult for families to afford needed medicines on a trim budget.
If you have re-occurring prescriptions or have a one time need for expensive medicines for treatment, use the following tips to help curb your prescriptions costs:
Ask About Discount Programs: Your pharmacy may participate in state, local, or pharmacy sponsored discount programs. Ask your pharmacist if there are programs which you may be eligible for and sign up for savings.
Consider Generic Drugs: Generics typically cost 40- 70 percent less than name brand drugs and generally contain the exact same ingredients. Ask your pharmacist if there is a generic equivalent available for your prescription and ask about it’s effectiveness to decide whether the generic version is right for you.
Compare Pharmacies: Call around to check the prices of prescriptions at different pharmacies in your area. Prescription prices will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy for any number of reasons. Be sure you are filling your prescription at the pharmacy with the best pricing on your prescription.
Buy Prescriptions Quarterly: Ask your doctor to write a three month prescription to be filled if you regularly use a particular prescription, such as birth control pills. Typically, your co-pay will be less on a 3-month prescription than a monthly one, plus you’ll have the added benefit of saving trips to the pharmacy.
Double Your Dosage: Ask your doctor and pharmacist about whether your prescription is one in which the pill strength can be doubled and cut in half. Cutting the pills in half will allow you to fill one prescription to be used over a two month period, thereby cutting your yearly prescription costs in half, as well.
Set Aside Pre-Tax Dollars: Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) are plans that allow you to set aside a specified dollar amount each year for healthcare spending, including prescriptions. The plan contributions are taken out of your paycheck in small monthly amounts pre-tax, totaling up to the sum you elect each year. The nicest feature of this plan is that you may begin withdrawing reimbursements immediately by submitting your appropriate documentation (receipts.) Check to see if the FSA plan is available through your employer to take advantage of the tax savings.
Consider Mail-Order Services: Ask your insurance company if they have or recommend a mail order prescription service. Many mail order prescription services have lower prices than traditional pharmacies and may have bulk order options available too. Also check your local pharmacy to find out if they have mail order service plans. They may offer additional benefits and it will save you gas and time to have the prescription delivered to your doorstep.