The cost of prescription medications has increased because of a combination of factors. Companies are raising the price of name-brand drugs that already exist as new generic medications enter the market. Inflation also contributes to higher costs. Some hospitals and doctors and incentivized to prescribe name-brand drugs because they negotiate a percentage rebate with the prescription drug insurance programs. Despite these challenges, there are ways that you can reduce the cost of your prescription medications.
Process your prescription without going through insurance.
- Several of the pharmacy retail chains and big-box stores offer common generic medications for a little as $4 for a 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply when patients are willing to pay out of pocket. The money spent on medications will not count towards your deductible, unless you submit your receipts manually to your insurance carrier. Check with your pharmacy to see their list of generic medications that are sold at the $4 cost.
Substitute the brand-name drug for a generic medication
- When discussing your medication needs with your doctor, request that the doctor prescribe the generic version of the drug instead of the brand-name. You can also check online resources such as GoodRX to find the fair price of generic drugs versus brand-name drugs, then compare them to the pharmacy’s listed prices.
Purchase medications in 90-day prescription increments
- When you purchase a 90-day supply, you only pay 1 co-pay versus 3 co-pays for the same amount of medication at the 30-day supply. This also saves you time by reducing your trip to the pharmacy once every three months instead of every month.
Open Flexible Spending (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
- FSA and HSA accounts are tax-free accounts that allow you to pay for your qualified medical expenses, like prescriptions, that occur during your plan benefit year. Cost savings are generated by using your tax-free dollars to pay for your prescriptions. Ask your employer about these benefit programs to see if they might be offered at your company.