We wanted to share with you several ways to save money on prescription medications. We recognize Suze Orman for the first set of tips. (Read her full article here.)
Suze shares 4 main ideas on how to get your prescriptions for cheaper:
- Ask for generic drugs at the pharmacy. Also ask your doctor if there is a cheaper medication that would work for you.
- Use mail order for new prescriptions and refills when possible. This method will usually allow you to get 3 months of prescriptions for the amount of 2 co-pays.
- Shop around. Check different pharmacy prices. Download the OneRx app (iOS and Android) for price comparisons of local pharmacies. Keep in mind you can use the Costco pharmacy without being a Costco member. (I have found one prescription I like is $11 at my local pharmacy and as much as $30 at a bigger pharmacy.)
- Use your FSA or flex spending plan to buy prescriptions with your pre-tax money.
Our 5 additional suggestions are specifically for psychiatric medications:
- Ask about an injection. Some medications (especially anti-psychotics) are being prescribed in an injection that is a one time fee and lasts for a month to three months.
- Ask for samples, especially if your prescriber is trying something new to you or a newer medication. Many medications can be used as a sample before you have to pay for the on-going costs. Also, if you run out of your prescription and can’t get in to see the doctor quickly, you can often ask for the office to give you a sample to get you by until you can see the doctor again.
- Check the manufacturer of your medication for discounts. Google the name of the medication and see who manufactures the medication. The manufacturer will often have coupons on their website for free medications or very low cost.
- If you can’t afford your medications, check the manufacturer web site again and look for anything that says “Help paying for my meds” or something to that effect. Many manufacturers have programs where you can complete an application or write a letter explaining your situation and they will provide a year’s worth of the medication for free or for a lower cost. For example, here’s Pfizer’s program for medication assistance: http://www.pfizerrxpathways.com/ You never know unless you ask!
- As a final suggestion: during open enrollment, look for the medications that you currently use and make sure that your insurance covers the those prescriptions, or look for another plan that does. Sometimes you can pay a little more for a better-coverage plan with good psychiatric medication coverage. The extra $20 or $30 a month may dramatically decrease your prescription co-pays.
We hope these tips for saving money on prescription medications are helpful for you and your family!
Photo credit: TaxRebate.org.uk