While the government seeks to make health insurance coverage more affordable for American households, one aspect that is often still a hindrance to those insurance and uninsured is affordable prescriptions. Whether the medication is for long or short term use, paying for such an expense can be enough to disturb anyone’s budget. In fact, the Health Cost Institute suggests that the average adult (19-44) can spend approximately $539 a year on prescription medications, with the potential to double as you age.
Medication is obviously something significant that cannot be avoided or replaced in any form, and as such, finding a means to make it more affordable is a must. Whether you’re employed, unemployed, or self-employed, the below methods are sure to help decrease the cost of your prescriptions annually.
1. Free Samples
The most affordable solution to obtaining prescription medications would be to request some free samples. Pharmaceutical companies are always providing doctors and medical professionals with samples as a form of marketing. Before taking your script to the pharmacy, ask your doctor if they can provide you with a few free samples. While they may not be able to give you a large supply of these medications, they can give you a decent amount which could decrease the amount of medication you need to purchase from the pharmacy.
2. Over the Counter Medications
The next best option would be to inquire about over the counter medications. For instance, if your doctor is prescribing you a pain medication for your migraines, patients can find out if there are over the counter medications that are equivalent to what is being prescribed. In many cases, there are medications that you can purchase from the local drug store that are just as effective for a lesser amount. It is important to talk with your doctor however to ensure that you’re using over the counter medications rationally to avoid overdose or addiction.
3. Generic Brands
Just as consumers sometimes purchase store brand products as opposed to name brand products, medications also have generic brands. Generic brand medications are often comprised of the same ingredients and are equally as effective as name brand medications. Generic brand medications can actually save patients as much as 20-80% on their prescription costs. Therefore, when your doctor provides you with a script you can ask for a generic version. Also, major companies such as Wal-Mart and Target have a list of generic brands that could cost as low as $4 for patients.
4. Mail Order
When you have medical conditions that require long term medication use, then it may be beneficial to order your prescriptions online and have them mailed to you when refills are necessary. Mail order services can save medical patients a decent amount of money and will also ensure they’ve always got the medications they need. Companies such as USHealth Group have partnered with pharmacies like CVS to ensure customers can take advantage of their prescription mail order services.
5. Drug Discount Cards
Have you ever received what appears to be an insurance card in the mail? These are often drug discount cards that are provided to the general public. Such discount cards will allow participants to save an allotted percentage on certain medications. All you’d have to do is take the discount card with you when picking up prescriptions and save. There are several discount cards for prescriptions and therefore, you’ll want to do a little comparison to see which card will provide you with the most benefits. You’ll also need to check to see that your chosen pharmacy accepts your discount card.
6. Affordable Healthcare Coverage
Another option that you might consider to get affordable prescriptions is to obtain affordable healthcare coverage. With new government laws in place, consumers now have an abundance of options to choose from that can fit within their medical needs and budgets. Additionally, USHealth Group insurance plans allow consumers to customize their policies. This can be beneficial for individuals who are unemployed or self employed but still want to have medical insurance coverage.
When it comes to your medication, avoiding the expense is not to your best advantage. However, by taking the time to do a little research, patients will find that there are more ways than one to get their prescriptions filled at a lower costs. Whether insured, uninsured, employed, self employed, or unemployed, the above six options are sure to help decrease the amount of out of pocket expense you have as it pertains to your medications.
Remember to always discuss any changes such as generic prescriptions or free samples with your doctor, and always do comparison research when choosing discount cards, or affordable healthcare coverage to ensure you’re getting the best overall value.