If you're like me, you feel nauseous every time you walk into the pharmacy. And I'm not talking about the feeling from being sick. It's because you never know how much money you're about to spend on the medicines that you need.
If you're not covered by insurance, you definitely want to locate the best available prescription prices. Even if you do have insurance, you might be able to find a lower price at a nearby pharmacy.
I've always wondered if there is another pharmacy out there with better prices. What if the prescription you're about to pay $80 for costs just $45 at another pharmacy a few blocks away? Price disparities like this happen quite often.
That's why we're going to share with you three great ways to save money on prescriptions.
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(PssT! Be sure to read this article all the way to the end, I'm adding a bonus tip.)
The GoodRx website is a quick and easy way to make sure you're not paying too much for prescriptions. The site can save you hundreds of dollars a month, even if you are covered by insurance or Medicare.
Most people are unaware that prescription prices can vary a great deal from pharmacy to pharmacy. GoodRx lets you compare prices from pharmacies in your area, so you know who offers the best price on each medication.
One example is the popular cholesterol-reducing medication, Lipitor. A search on GoodRx shows that the same Lipitor prescription ranges from $10.55 to $60.96, depending on which pharmacy you get it in the Phoenix, AZ area. Those huge savings will add up at the end of the year.
Not only does GoodRx allow you to compare prices, but it also offers coupons for certain medications...for free! Those coupons can save you up to 80 percent. You can print the coupons out or send them to your phone by email or text.
Then, simply show the coupon to your pharmacist when picking up a prescription. It's that easy.
Begin by clicking here to visit the GoodRx home page and start saving serious money for your necessary prescriptions. The service is also available as a free app for both Apple and Android gadgets.
LowestMed.com is another site that lets you compare prescription drug prices from local pharmacies. You can easily search and compare prices as well as get free coupons for instant savings on the medications that you need.
Coupons are available for all FDA approved drugs at pharmacies nationwide including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, Costco and more. Some of the prices found on the LowestMed site are lower than what you would pay through health insurance.
The site is super easy to use, just follow these steps:
- Enter a medication's name
- Compare prices at nearby pharmacies
- Take app to the lowest priced pharmacy
- Show LowestMed's Rx coupon to the pharmacist
- Enjoy the savings
An example of the savings you could find with LowestMed is with the highly prescribed blood thinner, Plavix. Prices at pharmacies for this medication in the Phoenix area range from $8.30 to $45.13.
Once you've found the best prices in your area you can either print the coupon directly from the LowestMed site or show it to the pharmacist on the app. The coupons are free to use and the app is available for free on both Apple and Android gadgets.
MedicareDrugSavings.org is a nonprofit created by Dr. Steven Cohen. It's intended to help people find Medicare insurance plans, which would help reduce the amount they pay for prescriptions.
These plans can lead to huge savings. It's estimated that the average person on a Medicare D plan could save $368 per year. But choosing the best Medicare D or Medicare Advantage plan for you can be difficult.
In some areas of the U.S., there are over 50 possible plans to choose from. That's where the MedicareDrugSavings site can help. Follow these easy steps to find the best plan for you:
- Watch the informational video - This is full of helpful tips that will guide you to finding the best plan for you. (The video will follow these steps)
- Print the guide - Click here to access the guide provided by MedicareDrugSavings. Then, click Open the Medicare Website Guide (PDF) to print.
- Click here to visit Medicare.gov
- Select the best plan for you
Here's a great example of potential savings for someone taking seven medicines (one for asthma, two for diabetes, two for cholesterol and two for high blood pressure - three brand and four generic medicines.) The estimated cost for someone with Medicare D is $2,426 per year. Without a Medicare D plan, the same medicines would cost an estimated $5,312 per year.
Most people are limited to when they can sign up for Medicare D or Advantage plans. The open enrollment dates are October 15 - December 7. There are some exceptions, for example when you turn 65. You can find important details related to enrollment by clicking here.
Click here to visit the MedicareDrugSavings home page to start saving on prescriptions today.
Medicare.gov is the official U.S. government site for Medicare. On this site you will find information on how to get drug coverage, what drug plans cover, costs for Medicare drug coverage and so much more.
Medicare offers prescription drug coverage to everyone with Medicare. If you decide not to get Medicare drug coverage when you're first eligible, you're subject to a late enrollment penalty.
To get Medicare drug coverage, you must join a plan operated by an insurance company or another private company approved by Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and drugs covered.
Here are the two ways to get drug coverage:
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) - These plans (sometimes called "PDPs") add drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plans.
- Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) (like an HMO or PPO) or other Medicare health plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage - You get all of your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage, and prescription drug coverage (Part D), through these plans. Medicare Advantage Plans with prescription drug coverage are sometimes called "MA-PDs." You must have Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
How to join a drug plan
After selecting your Medicare drug plan here's how to join:
- Enroll on the Medicare Plan Finder or on the plan's website
- Complete a paper enrollment form
- Call the plan at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
When enrolling in a Medicare drug plan, you'll need to provide your Medicare number and the date on your Part A and/or Part B coverage began. This info can be found on your Medicare card.
Click here to get started with Medicare.gov.