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Prescription medications can be extremely costly, and with many basic health insurance plans not covering them it’s time to figure out how to save the most possible. Here are 5 tips to saving on prescription drugs:
1. Ask for Generics and Talk to Your Doctor
If you don’t have prescription drug coverage with your health insurance your doctor needs to know this (and be reminded as needed). There are many medications out that have the same effects, your doctor can make wise choices that will save you a ton. Why pay $25 when a free antibiotic from Publix can do the job? I’m not saying that you tell them what to prescribe, just make sure they are aware. Also you’ll find that many offices have free samples of top medications. Asking if they have any samples of something prescribed never hurts.
2. Find a Discount Card or Coupon
Once you leave the doctor with a prescription hop online and see if you can find a coupon or discount for that specific medication. Google the brand name and you’ll find lots of discounts. A friend of ours did this recently and found a coupon for $100 off her next allergy medication refill! Two other sites to search as well is MyRxCoupons.com or HelpRX.
3. Price Match (Do Your Homework)
The next step is to see what store may offer the best price. Many pharmacies post to their websites lists of what medications are always discounted. Walmart, Target, Kroger, Bi-lo and many others offer lists of hundred of generic medications for $4. If your medication is on the list… perfect. If it’s not, then call them and ask them how much it would cost to fill it in their pharmacy. You’ll find many times that local pharmacies actually have better prices on brand name medications than the big box stores. Also ask if that store will price match other pharmacy prices (Kroger does). If you have a medication that you take every day, doing this bit of homework just once can save you a ton over the course of a year!
4. Loyalty Programs
One thing to think about when you are comparing different deals and stores is their loyalty reward for filling your medications. For example if Walmart has a $4 medication that Kroger also offers for $4, you have to factor in their fuel rewards. Kroger is going to give you 10¢ off a gallon of gas for every 2 prescriptions you fill. That’s basically $1.75 in savings for each prescription.
CVS – Earn $1 ExtraCare Rewards for every (2) prescriptions
Walgreens – Earn 500 Balance Rewards for every prescription
Bi-Lo – Earn 5¢ in Fuelperks for every prescription
Winn Dixie – Earn 5¢ in Fuelperks for every prescription
Kroger – Earn 50 Fuelpoints for every prescription
5. Transfer Prescriptions
This option is limited to offers that are available, but from time to time pharmacies will run promotions for transferred prescriptions. Many times they offer $10-$25 gift cards for transferred medications. This doesn’t count usually for new prescriptions, but is great for any medication you take regularly. Ask around to see if any local stores are running offers, and also check for coupons around the pharmacy waiting areas.
Note: If you are on a number of medications keeping them together at one pharmacy is a safety measure to catch medication interactions.
Do you have any other tips for saving on medications?