Tips on Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs
Along with rising premiums and higher deductibles, out-of-pocket costs for required medications has risen sharply over the past several years. Three years in a row, the average cost of medications rose by nearly 10%, with many increasing by over 100% since 2012. When you require medication to maintain health, rising costs can become the difference between paying for essentials or buying medicines. Here are a few ways to lower costs.
- Partner with your pharmacy. Not all pharmacies charge the same amount for each prescription. Find one you trust and work with them to lower costs. Pharmacists often have access to coupons, rebates, or other discounts for your medication. Use apps such as GoodRX to find the least expensive pharmacy near you.
- Partner with your doctor. Medical professionals can help you save money in several ways. They can provide samples for 15 to 30 days when starting a new drug treatment or vary the strength sometimes allowing you to split pills, reducing the number of refills Doctors can prescribe generic brands or give you a 90-day prescription to save money on co-pays.
Insurance companies have a Formulary or list which determines coverage amounts for specific medications. Carrying this list of approved medications can help your doctor prescribe the least expensive option for your treatment.
- Participate in flexible spending or start an HSA account. Both accounts allow you to contribute pre-tax dollars earmarked for medical expenses. Employers operate Flexible Spending accounts, and HSA accounts are private. Both lower taxable income and can cover out-of-pocket costs you incur throughout the year for qualified health care, including prescription drug charges.
Being aware of insurance requirements, working with medical professionals, and finding suitable alternatives can save a significant amount in the rising costs of medicines.