Have you ever felt like you’re the only person in the world struggling to pay for your prescription medications? It can be isolating to feel worried and anxious each time you step up to the pharmacy counter to get your medication, not knowing if you can afford the ever-rising prices. Many people believe that if you don’t have good health insurance, you’re simply out of luck when it comes to finding prescription savings. Fortunately for the 80 million Americans who are uninsured or underinsured, that’s just a myth; it’s possible to save money on your prescriptions regardless of your insured status. If you’re looking for prescription savings, let us let you in on four secrets you probably don’t know about affording your medication.
Secret #1: You Don’t Need Insurance to Save Money
It’s a common misconception that people need good health insurance to save money on prescriptions. Pharmacy discount card programs are available free of charge, and most have no eligibility requirements. These cards help people save money regardless of their insured status by negotiating directly with drug manufacturers to set prices at participating pharmacies. Savings offered by pharmacy discount card programs apply to all FDA-approved brand name and generic medications, and discounts typically range from 10 to 75 percent. No medical history is required, and all you need to provide is your name and basic contact information to start saving. Because some health insurance plans have high deductibles, coverage limits, and don’t cover certain medications, you may find that you save more using your pharmacy discount card than your health insurance, even if you are lucky enough to have good insurance.
Secret #2: You Can Save Significantly By Talking to Your Doctor
Prescription savings opportunities actually begin long before you reach the pharmacy counter; start by talking to your doctor about switching to generic medications. Generic medications use the same active ingredients as the brand name drug and are rigorously tested by the FDA to ensure they are safe and effective, but they cost less because they use different inactive ingredients and don’t benefit from the extensive marketing campaigns used for brand name drugs. While generic medications might not be right for every person and aren’t available for every medication, it’s worth talking to your doctor about whether you can safely make the switch to generic drugs.
Secret #3: There’s a Coupon for That
Did you know there are coupons that offer prescription savings? It’s true! While you’re not likely to find a coupon for your prescription in the Sunday newspaper, you may be able to find one online from the manufacturer’s website or by asking your doctor at your next appointment. Some coupons come with samples of the medication and are only given out by doctors, while others can be obtained with a quick internet search. Keep in mind that coupons usually aren’t available for generic medications, but if you take a brand name drug, they can be a helpful savings option.
Secret #4: Drug Manufacturers Want Your Business
Drug manufacturers are just like anyone else who makes a certain product – they want your business! In order to get more people to use their medications that would otherwise be unable to afford them, some manufacturers have developed patient assistance programs for their brand name medications. These programs help those who are low-income, uninsured, underinsured, or have other qualifications to afford the medication. If you have trouble affording your medication, it is worth checking to see if you might be eligible for a patient assistance program from the manufacturer. This information can be found right on their website.
Now that you know the secrets behind finding prescription savings, don’t keep them to yourself! Tell a friend or family member what you’ve learned and help them save, too. Some secrets are meant to be shared, and when it comes to finding prescription savings, everyone deserves the opportunity to make medications affordable.