Are you finding the costs of prescription drugs, even with insurance, to be out of your price range? Are you sometimes splitting the pills to make them last longer? Do you find the costs ridiculously high even though you have health insurance or Medicare Part D?
Take a deep breath, there are ways around the high cost of many medications. Insurance companies rank prescription medications on a tier system. The lower the tier, the lower the cost to you. However, some medications (even if they have been out for years, and are generic) may be ranked on a higher tier, and you may have a deductible and may have to pay a higher co-pay.
Here is where the good news (and hard work) comes in.
There are many discount drug companies, among them,
Blink Health-mainly for home delivery
Anyone can use them, if you have a smart phone. You merely put in the name of the medication, the dosage and quantity, and your zip code, and you will see the prices of about 10 different local pharmacies. On one medication I checked, the range was from $12.60 all the way up to $136 for the same medication! You don’t even have to print a coupon, just bring your phone to the pharmacy, and show them the coupon.
I’m sure you are wondering how this works, and if this is so good, why do you need a prescription plan? It works because the pharmaceutical manufacturers work directly with the retail pharmacies to get you the lowest prices. You don’t use your insurance at all. Now, this does NOT MEAN that you should drop your Medicare part D, as it is not always the best deal, especially for expensive medications, but if you are willing to shop around you can save a lot of money.
There are times that you may need to go to Costco for one medication, and on to CVS for another, but I ended up saving $30 but doing that.
This takes time and work, but if you are willing to do it, it will pay off. If you are on multiple medications, you can enlist the help of a patient advocate to review your medications, and see where the best deals are. It will most likely save you money in the long run.
And don’t be afraid to ask your provider for samples or coupons. Drug coupons still do sample doctor offices, and frequently have coupons to use (for example, Eliquis has had $10 coupons for a month supply, up to one year, Humira has $5 coupons. If your provider doesn’t have it, call the pharmaceutical company (or again, enlist help.)
Do your homework! I open my Good RX ap right at the doctors office, and see the best price, and if too high, may even ask for an alternative that works as well, and is less expensive.
We can work around the high cost of drugs, and remain healthy while doing it. We can all make the effort, it will pay off!
About the Contributor. Myra Katz is a Board Certified Patient Advocate with more than thirty-five years of experience as a Physician Assistant specializing in oncology, chronic care, and hospital based medicine. She understand the medical community and offers her services to patients and families.
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Myra Katz, PA-C, BCPA, www.KatzAdvocate.com