The majority of us have to take some sort of prescription medication at some point, perhaps even on a regular basis which means that the cost of taking these drugs can soon add up to a considerable amount of money. There are some ways to brings those costs down as low as possible, including asking your doctor some pertinent questions.
Getting your pharmacist and doctor to help you save money
You should not feel concerned or intimidated when it comes to asking your doctor or pharmacist some questions about your medication and options, especially when you consider that the answers you receive might just lead to some worthwhile cost savings.
It is not only relevant to ask some detailed questions about your prescribed medication, so that you fully understand what the drugs are intended to do for you, and whether there are any side-effects you need to be aware of, but also because there might be a generic alternative. Although not all drugs have a generic equivalent, there are a percentage of brand drugs that have a generic counterpart, which contain the same active ingredients, but can cost up to 80% less than the brand.
It is worth noting that FDA requirements state that generic drugs need to contain the same active ingredients as their brand name equivalent, so you should not find yourself compromising on the therapeutic effects, despite the noticeable price difference.
Getting a discount
There are some things that you tend to think of where there will be a discount available or where the price could be negotiated, but many of us don’t think that this is a scenario that applies to buying prescription medications.
Applying for a prescription discount card is one way of ensuring that you manage to get regular money off the costs of your meds. You could also ask the pharmacist whether they offer an in-house discount scheme, you might be pleasantly surprised by the response.
It is becoming far more acceptable to not only ask for a discount at your pharmacist, but for them to accept the use of discount cards and regular cost savings schemes. They are after all, competing for your business as a regular customer, so it is worth trying what you can in order to get a discount.
If you are a senior, it might be possible to sign up to the Medicare prescription outpatient drug coverage scheme, known as Medicare Part D.
This national health insurance program could prove useful in giving you access to a support group so that you can ask questions and even share opinions with others about a range of healthcare issues.
Check for duplication
Over half of all seniors take an average of three or more medications, which does raise the prospect that you might potentially be duplicating your coverage with some of the drugs that you are taking.
This can happen for example, when the hospital prescribes some drugs immediately after treatment and your doctor or pharmacist may have already recommended something similar.
It makes sense from a health as well as a cost perspective to ask your doctor or pharmacists to review your current drug intake, and check that everything you are currently taking is still appropriate.
Understanding your insurance
It is always a good idea to have regular communication with your healthcare insurance provider, if you have one, as if you have co-insurance for your prescription cost, you will want to keep those costs as low as possible.
One way of doing this would be to point out that you would prefer to opt for generic or a low-tiered preferred drug. As you are paying a percentage of the cost, choosing this option will bring the total cost down, and in turn, lower the co-insurance portion that you pay.
Keep it safe
Saving money on your medications may well be important in order to keep in control of your finances, but it is never a good idea to consider anything other than buying medications that you know are reliable and trustworthy.
Buying drugs from an unreliable or unverified source is a risk that is simply not worth taking, especially when you think about the potential health implications of taking a drug that either has the wrong identity, or has a level of potency that has not been adequately regulated.
There are plenty of other ways to save money on your medications that are much safer and more reliable.
Spencer Donnelly is always looking for new ways to save cash, he shares these ideas around the web. A frugal family man, Spencer had to undergo a harsh finance lesson after he was made redundant last year.