As many of us look for new ways to cut costs and budget better in the New Year, prescription medication costs, and the possibility of raising prices, can be an area of concern.
Your BBB® would like to share with consumers some tips found online to help consumers gain savings, or better costs safely, on their prescription medications.
1. Before you fill your prescription – Ask your doctor if they can provide a couple of different options for the medication and consider calling your health insurance provider before filling, to find out the cost and the coverage on each. If a medication prescribed is a name brand, ask if there is a generic or if another medication in the same drug category might also be an option. Make sure to discuss all options with your physician to make sure that one is recommended over another for your specific health needs and ask if a sample might be available to try before committing to long term dosages.
2. Be sure to shop around – Due to variations in cost, the standard out-of-pocket cost may sometimes be less than your designated health insurance co-pay. It’s always worth checking into these costs before making your purchase. You may also want to compare the price of several pharmacies too, as prices can vary widely.
3. Ask about available discounts – Whether by offered loyalty programs, contracted relationships with health insurance providers or patient assistance programs offered by manufacturers, it’s always wise to ask if discounts are available. Some pharmacies may even have the ability to adjust their medication pricing. You can check with your doctor’s office, pharmacist, medication manufacturer and health insurance provider to determine best costs and methods for medication purchases.
4. Keep in mind your out-of-pocket maximums and deductibles – Consumers will need to weigh the benefits of savings, if they bypass using their insurance benefit. Costs may no longer count towards your out-of-pocket maximums or deductibles, if purchased outside your insurance plan.
5. Check the pricing on longer term prescriptions – For medications taken long term, larger quantity prescriptions may be cheaper than filling month-to-month. It may also be helpful to see if your health insurance provider has a preferred pharmacy or mail order service that provides discounts to their clients.
6. Periodically ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medications – As your health needs and medications change, some medications may no longer be needed or may be duplicates of ones you already take. Checking with these professionals may not only save you money, but provide additional safety for your health.
For more information you can trust, contact your Tri-State BBB at 812-473-0202.