There’s no way around it—in America, the cost of prescription medication far surpasses inflation rates year over year.
Healthcare, as we know it today, remains a contentious issue, and for a good reason—these rapidly increasing prices means that even those who are insured will struggle to makes ends meet to get the medication they need to survive.
In many cases, switching to generic medications simply won’t solve the problem—as patients tend to report specific issues that only prescriptions can work towards solving.
So how do we work to lower our high prescription cost and get the medication we need without breaking the bank? Here are five of our best methods:
- Know How The Free Market Works
Knowledge is power, and coming to an understanding of how medications are priced and sold will reveal further opportunities to cut down on cost.
In America, prescription drug prices are deregulated, meaning that any pharmacy or distributor is free to sell prescription medication at whatever price they deem best for their bottom line.
Because of our free market system, you’ll find that different pharmacies can boast not-so-marginal discounts on most of their products.
While the market is deregulated, pharmacy chains tend not to be. By matching their prices across different stores and locations, pharmacies can offer lower prices for medication. That’s why switching to a local pharmacy might provide for the lowest overall price.
In short—shop around, and try to take advantage of the deregulation by finding the distributor that’s right for you.
- Reconsider Your Health Insurance Provider
Despite sounding like bad advice, dropping your health insurance provider or purchasing medications without their assistance can save hundreds of dollars a year on medicines.
Insurance companies work alongside pharmacies to determine your overall copay. While the name certainly implies you’re paying for a fraction of the total cost of the medication, this negotiated deal between companies often means that your copay is going to further profit margins for both companies.
Talk with your pharmacist and see what the cost of your medication would be—provided you purchased without insurance. While it may not be cheaper in every instance, you just might be surprised by the difference in price.
- Public Aid Programs
Governmental aid for pricey copays and other extraneous costs may be available to you depending on your current age and financial situation.
Most people are already aware of Medicaid and the type of aid you can expect when you come of age. Medicare and Medicaid both also include stipends and discounts for those below a certain yearly annual income as well, so the standard benefits may not be all that you’re entitled to.
In addition to federal aid, state aid may be available to those living below certain thresholds. Since these thresholds vary by state, we can’t give you a definitive number—but if you’re already struggling to make ends meet before you receive your prescription bills, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to qualify.
A little research into these programs can go a long way towards chipping away at rising healthcare costs and allowing you to focus on more important matters.
- Get Some Expert Help
Doctors are fully aware that medical costs can be prohibitive to some families—so be sure to meet with them to see if anything can be done.
Aside from switching to generic and over-the-counter medication, your doctor may be able to write you a prescription that’s more suitable to your everyday needs. In some cases, doctors will also prescribe double-strength medication that can be divided in half to help offset the monthly cost of prescriptions as well.
Whether or not your doctor can recommend a different medication or simply switch you to a cost-effective alternative will depend on your situation—but in either case, you might be able to lower your rates.
All you have to do is set up an appointment, explain your situation, and ask.
- Consider Pharmacy Cards
Finally, one of the most recommended pathways towards financial success in medication comes from the use and prevalence of pharmacy cards like SingleCare.
For those unfamiliar, pharmacy cards are a simple (and often free) solution to the problem of rising healthcare costs. Pharmacy cards work out individualized deals with pharmacies to reduce prices and incentivize customers using their stores over the competitions.
Simply present your pharmacy card at the counter during check out so that your pharmacist can apply the coupon. In certain cases, pharmacy cards can save customers 50% or more on medications commonly prescribed for chronic illnesses.
Certain cards offer better discounts on certain medications as well. For instance, if you or a loved one suffers from ADHD, a specific vyvanse discount card will allow you to pick up that medication at a reduced rate. Cards also work best with specific pharmacies, which further leverages the deregulated system to your advantage.
For the uninitiated, pharmacy cards may sound too good to be true. If you’re interested in purchasing one, we recommend searching online to discover whether or not a pharmacy card works best for your specific situation and for the drugs that you need to lead a long and healthy life.
If we’re planning on cutting down significantly on our monthly prescription medication costs, we’re going to need to get creative.
That’s why using just one of the above five methods isn’t going to be enough to counteract the rapidly rising cost of medication. Take some time out of your day to go through two or three methods—talking to a doctor while setting up a pharmacy card, or looking into Medicaid benefits while seeing if your provider is raising your prescription costs instead of lowering them.
Either way, offsetting the cost of your prescriptions will not be easy—but it’s not impossible either. Work efficiently, utilize as many of the above methods as you can, and we’re confident that your prescription medication cost can be lowered far more than you may have initially suspected.
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