The cost of prescription drugs continues to rise in the United States, and for many, it’s getting more and more expensive to go to the pharmacy. Depending on what type of health insurance you have, the cost of a prescription can vary wildly. If you don’t have insurance, medication can go from being a moderately affordable generic to a brand name drug that costs thousands of dollars according to the retail price. No matter what medication you take, you can usually find at least one way to get a discount before you purchase it. Whether you use a prescription discount card, a prescription assistance program, or just pay the co-pay to use health insurance, you should never be paying the sticker price for even brand name drugs. Let’s take a look at a few ways to get help paying for prescriptions.
Health insurance is the most obvious way people can avoid paying the retail price for their prescription drugs. In the United States, most insurance is provided through an employer, but you can also be on the plan of a spouse or purchase your own through the ACA exchanges. Many people also use the government health programs Medicare and Medicaid. Your average savings will vary but there’s no doubt that if you need an expensive prescription regularly, it’s best to invest in health insurance if you can. If you’re not eligible for insurance via your employer and are living below the poverty line, look into Medicaid in your state.
Ask your Doctor
If you’re not on the brand name version of a particular medication, you could go to your doctor for medical advice. Ask if there’s any reason you can’t take the generic. They also might be able to switch you do a different brand entirely that’s more affordable. Sometimes they’ll even be able to help you with obtaining free samples. Doctors do have resources at their disposal to help patients who need their medications, so don’t be afraid to ask.
There are a lot of prescription assistance programs that patients can apply for if the cost is too significant for a particular prescription. The National Alliance on Mental Illness’s website provides a full list of companies that offer prescription assistance. Some of these programs are run by the government and the states, but others are run by the pharmaceutical companies themselves offering their own drugs at a reduced cost.
Prescription Discount Cards
For the average person who is uninsured, underinsured, or doesn’t have prescription drug coverage, prescription discount cards are a great solution. Websites like USARx can show you how to save money on your prescriptions next time you go to the pharmacy, they even have a mobile app so you can keep track of managing information about your medications on your phone. Even if you have an insurance plan, the discount price of a drug can sometimes be cheaper than the co-pay, and not every plan covers every medication. You can get coupons for individual medications or get a pharmacy discount card that you can use for all your regular prescriptions.
It can be challenging to figure out how to cover your healthcare costs. If you have an insurance plan, they often will cover the full cost of your prescriptions, but that’s not foolproof either. Some medications cost less than the co-pay from your insurance plan if you use a discount, and sometimes your doctor will be able to switch you to the generic instead of one of the expensive brand name drugs. If you don’t have the ability to adjust the medication or don’t qualify for a prescription assistance program, you can look into websites like USARx where you can obtain a pharmacy discount card to use for your medications. The costs of healthcare are still climbing, but if you’re looking for help being able to get your medication, there are resources out there to help you.