While it may appear that so much of health insurance coverage is out of the direct control of businesses and the employees and families they protect, one element does in fact offer a level of control available to just about everyone – the cost of prescription drugs.
These costs can be reduced significantly, and mostly by using the same purchasing strategies applied to how consumers shop for other goods and services. As more consumers comparison shop for drugs, more retailers will compete to win their business, which can drive costs lower.
Here are some tips on reducing the costs of prescription drugs:
- Compare prices – Drug prices are not uniform, so consumers can save by shopping around.
- Substitute drugs – When a doctor prescribes a drug, it pays to ask if a cheaper alternative can be used.
- Buy in bulk – Purchasing drugs in larger quantities or for a longer period of time generally reduces the per-dose cost.
- Use mail-order pharmacies – Mail-order or online pharmacies offer the best deals on prescription drugs, especially for patients with chronic conditions.
- Explore an OTC option – Asking the doctor if an over-the-counter (OTC) drug would work as well as a prescription can cut costs. Many OTC drugs had previously been available only by prescription at first.
- Insist on generic – Generic medications work the same as brand-name drugs and can cost from 20 percent to 80 percent less. This option applies to both prescription and OTC medications.
- Inquire about assistance programs – Drug manufacturers and state governments offer drug assistance programs for elderly, low-income, and patients with disabilities.
- Enroll in discount programs – National drug store chains and national insurance plans sometimes offer programs with additional discounts for a small monthly or annual fee.
Regardless of how one approaches efforts to reduce prescription drug costs, it remains important to never skip doses or stop taking medications based on financial issues. Sticking to a medication schedule helps avoid more costly and potentially more complicated health issues later.
Check with your benefits provider to see how the cost of prescription drugs can potentially be lowered within the scope of your coverage. The Benefits team at The Reschini Group can help in this regard.
Copyright 2019 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.