(HealthyResearch.com) – Prescription drug prices can be insane, making some chronic conditions a source of grief, or even extreme poverty, for people who might otherwise enjoy a stable financial future. What do you do when you need a particular medication, but the price tag is breaking your bank? These strategies might help you survive the crisis.
The High Price of Prescription Drugs
If you don’t have prescription drug coverage or your insurance doesn’t cover a certain medication, the out-of-pocket costs can add up fast — and denied insurance coverage isn’t a rare occurrence. According to a recent NPR report, 3 in 10 people have seen coverage denials for medications prescribed by their doctors. Many of those people wind up opting not to fill their prescriptions due to the costs.
And you might be in a similar boat if your insurance does cover your medication, but just not enough of it, or if you have a high deductible that hasn’t been met. Some medications, like insulin, can have an insanely high markup, leaving people with all levels of insurance coverage scrambling every month to pay for their prescriptions.
Reducing Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Prescription drug prices can be outrageous, but you can reduce your monthly balance by combining one or more of these seven strategies:
- Shop around. Not all pharmacies sell their drugs at the same prices, so you might be able to find a good deal if you comparison shop. RxSaver will let you know if there are any lower prices in your area. Another option is GoodRx, which offers discounts to those who don’t have — or opt to not use — their insurance.
- Try generic. You could pay up to 95% less on some generic medications. These alternatives have the same active ingredients as brand-name drugs, but they sometimes have differences in inactive ingredients that can affect some people.
- Seek assistance. Check for patient assistance programs through RxAssist. If you’re on Medicare, Medicaid or SSI, you may qualify for programs that significantly limit your prescription drug costs. Check with the manufacturer as well, because some also offer assistance programs.
- Request Samples. Manufacturers will often distribute samples of medications to doctors to give out for free. This isn’t a long-term solution, but it might get you by while you’re searching for other options.
- Go online. Some people save big by filling their prescriptions through an online pharmacy. Scammers also abound, so do your homework first if you decide to go this route. You can look up accredited online pharmacies by going to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
- Try a Canadian pharmacy. Sometimes Canadian retailers can offer better prescription prices than US pharmacies. Make sure a pharmacy is legit before giving any of your info. The Canadian International Pharmacy Association can help you out.
- Get Creative. There’s more than one way to outsmart greedy pharmaceutical companies. Ask your doctor to prescribe a higher dose for pills you can cut, for example, to turn a 1-month supply into a 2-month one. Or talk with your doctor to see if there are similar, less-expensive medications that will work just as well for you. Think outside the box, and you might find an unexpected break.
Prescription drug prices can be enough to destroy the bank, but with some creativity and a little footwork, you might be able to reduce your monthly costs. You deserve to keep more of your hard-earned money. Which strategy will you try first?
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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