Soaring health care costs make affording daily prescription medications difficult. Even those fortunate enough to have insurance sometimes discover their coverage doesn’t include prescriptions unless they’ve met their deductibles. And, those deductibles seem to rise year-over-year. In short, everyone can use some tips to save money on prescription medications.
Recently, I found myself “between” insurance. Because I have high blood pressure and PVC’s, I take daily medication. On my last refill, I asked my doctor’s assistant if she had any recommendations for low-cost prescriptions. To my great surprise, she told me that one of my local pharmacies filled my medication for free!
Of course, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist for samples, but most people need more reliable methods to get their prescriptions at a reasonable price.
So, I researched to see what other ways we could save on prescription medications. Here’s some of what I came up with. Please be sure to comment below with any I missed so I can add them to the list.
Save money on prescriptions with low-cost pharmacy programs
Publix Free Medication Program: Lucky enough to live near a Publix? Their pharmacy fills select maintenance medications for high blood pressure, diabetes, and 14 days fills on antibiotics for free! My lisinopril was on the list!
Publix Next-Best-Thing-to-Free Program: If you need to save money on prescription drugs for many other things, including Alzheimer’s medications, men’s or women’s health, arthritis drugs, or something else, check out this program. Get a 90 day supply for just $7.50. That’s about $2.50 a month!
Walmart $4 Prescription list: Walmart offers a slew of medications for $4 on a 30 day supply, or $10 for a 90 day supply. Some drugs overlap with Publix’s offerings, and on those, Publix is cheaper. So, do your homework on this one.
Sam’s Club Free, $4 or $10 Medications: If you have a Sam’s Club membership, take advantage of deep savings on many prescriptions. They offer 5 different medications totally free, currently including generic versions of Abilify, Lexapro, Actos, Vitamin D, and Propecia. Additionally, Sam’s offers over 200 prescriptions available at $4 and over 400 prescriptions available at $10.
Join Pharmacy Discount Clubs to save on medications
CVS ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards: Earn credits for refilling prescriptions. Then, redeem those credits for ExtraBucks at CVS.
Walgreen’s Balance Rewards: Similar to the CVS ExtraCare Rewards. Each prescription earns points you can spend at Walgreen’s. I also like that I can link my Fitbit (or track other healthy activities to reap additional savings on prescription medications. (See some of my other favorite fitness-related apps)
Prescription Savings Cards
Many prescription savings cards exist. However, I only have experience with GoodRx. David recently had hernia surgery, finally. The VA covers his prescriptions if he fills them at the VA. However, the VA is over a 30-minute drive one-way. I don’t drive, and I didn’t want to ask someone else to make that one-hour round-trip trek, AND to navigate our VA’s extremely confusing pharmacy procedures. So, I opted to fill his post-op prescriptions at the hospital’s pharmacy. The pharmacy quoted us $48 at normal retail price. I used my GoodRx card, and it knocked that prescription down to $14! We saved over $34. The best part? GoodRx is free. I used their website to compare drug prices with and without their discounts.
Patient Assistance Programs
For eligible patients that still cannot afford medications, you can save money on prescription medications with patient assistance programs. Sometimes, you can even get your prescriptions for free. Most drug companies offer patient assistance programs, but it’s not always easy to know where to look. RxAssist and PPA both help locate deep savings or free resources. I used a PC for these examples. Your mileage on a mobile device may vary.
RxAssist maintains a list of current patient assistance programs (or PAPs). But they also have a search engine to help you find the right resource. Enter your drug name and click search. Some medication searches produce two lists – one at the top of the screen and one at the bottom of the screen. The list at the top of the screen contains links to the manufacturer’s PAPs. When you click the link, you see everything you need to qualify for the manufacturer’s PAP. The bottom lists links to low-cost pharmacy programs. I noticed that the list on the bottom didn’t include Publix, so that list isn’t complete, but it’s a great start. Not all medications produce a top and bottom screen, however. Some just create links to PAPs if no pharmacy includes them in their savings plans.
PPA makes it easy to find PAPs for multiple prescriptions. Enter your drug name. Then click “Add to my medicines.” Do this for each prescription. The next screen asks for personal information (but nothing personally identifiable) so they can match you with programs you qualify for. Select the programs you are eligible for and follow the directions to submit the applications. Like RxAssist, they also maintain a list of current PPAs if you don’t care to use their search function.
You can use most of these tips, even if you have insurance. However, the medication expense may no longer apply to your co-pays or deductibles. So, contact your insurance company with any questions or concerns you may have.
We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.
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