We have a high deductible health insurance plan along with a health savings account. So I can’t just count on my insurance paying the majority of all medical expenses unless we spend a lot! Last week, I received news that one of my family members would need a medication, possibly long term, and the cost of the medication was $227.00 per month! So what should I do?
Can an over the counter medication be used instead?
In this case an over the counter medication would not be sufficient, a prescribed medication is necessary.
Can the doctor provide samples?
Medical doctors do have samples provided by the drug manufacturers. The amount of samples available will vary greatly, but can lead to some cost savings.
Is there a generic option?
In our situation there is not a generic option. Now we could choose another medication altogether that has a generic counterpart but it isn’t nearly as clean of a medication and we decided it was worthwhile to get the cleaner and most improved alternative.
Does your insurance provide a more economical mail service plan?
Some insurance providers do provide a mail order service. This can be especially helpful for prescriptions that need to be taken ongoing. Check your health insurance plan and see if this is an option.
If the prescription needs to be filled locally, is there a less expensive place to buy the medication?
I initially checked at our preferred local pharmacy. The price was $227.00 per month. So I then checked at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Costco (you don’t need a membership to use the Costco pharmacy). I would suggest checking at these as well if you have an expensive medication that will be needed ongoing. While this doesn’t take into consideration how your particular insurance will apply, a site (and app) that is helpful is GoodRX. It will list the regular price for the medication at nearby pharmacies. Sam’s Club is especially good to check as Plus Members have access to a number of medications that are provided free and many more are discounted substantially (you may see details and the list here). Costco is particularly good for those without insurance all together. In our situation though, the price was very similar at each location.
Are there coupons available?
Finally I found some cost savings. After several searches online I discovered that the manufacturer of the needed medication provides a coupon for $60.00 off the purchase cost and the coupon can be applied for the first 12 months the medication is used. Before this search, I had no idea such cost savings could be available via online coupons! Now I don’t know how frequently drug manufacturers make such cost savings available, but it is worth checking.
As a result of about 4 hours of work we found a way to save $60 per month for 12 months, or $720.00. $720.00 savings for 4 hours of work is definitely worth it as that is the same as earning $180 an hour, tax free. I will continue to see what cost saving strategies might help further, but for now, this savings will help significantly! In my ongoing search for ways to save money on prescriptions, what tips do you have?