Nobody likes taking pills, but paying for them can be the hardest part to swallow. According to Health System Tracker, an organization run by Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation to track the wellbeing of the U.S. health system, branded drug prices almost doubled between 2008 and 2016. Factors such as a rise in expensive new drug brands contribute to high out-of-pocket prescription costs, which are predicted to rise over the next 7 years.
Why are prescription drug costs so high?
Generic prices have lowered, but branded medications in 2016 were almost twice the cost they were in 2008. Although 86% of the people Kaiser surveyed thought there should be legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies to release their pricing methods, there’s no guarantee that we will ever know how prices get so high.
These price increases are bad for everyone, but especially so for people suffering from medical debt. Piling the cost of medications on top of debt from expensive medical procedures is not a good treatment for people’s finances. In fact, the Kaiser survey also found approximately one in four people have trouble affording for prescription drugs. So, how can you cash in on prescription discounts?
As it so happens, there’s an app for that. Several, actually. Debt.com decided to review the top prescription drug discount apps, including GoodRx, Blink Health, and WellRx. These applications were developed with the need for discount prescriptions in mind.
Tips for Saving Money on Prescription Drugs
Before you look through our reviews, check out some of these basic rules for saving on medications:
Ask for generic drugs
Pharmaceutical companies often financially reward doctors if they prescribe their expensive drugs. For this reason, your doctor may try to prescribe you an expensive name-brand medication before offering a cheaper solution. Make sure to ask about generic options or alternatives. You can also just be honest with your doctor and explain your financial situation. This way, they can help you get the best treatment while working with your budget.
Find a preferred pharmacy
Ask your insurance company for a list of preferred pharmacies. Insurance companies often partner with certain pharmacy chains to get lower prices for the people they cover.
See if you can split pills
If it’s safe to do so with your specific medication, get a higher dosage and cut the pills in half. Buy a real pill cutter instead of attempting the cut with a knife, though. You don’t want your meds to fly all over the kitchen.
Ask your doctor for prescription drug coupons
Occasionally, pharmaceutical companies will offer coupons for their name brands. Ask your doctor if they can give you any. You could also find some prescription discounts by searching online.
Find a prescription assistance program
There are a few different nonprofit organizations that assist people with their medication costs. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, Patient Advocate Foundation, and NeedyMeds are all great options.
Call your insurance company
Different plans cover different medications. Talk to your insurance company and get an idea of the level of drugs you can afford. When in doubt about your coverage, call and ask. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Get medications by mail
When you order medications through the mail, you often get a few months of meds at a time with a discount. It’s convenient for you, and cheaper. Win-win! Some insurance companies have their own prescription mail services, as does Medicare. There are also plenty of independent companies that can help you get your medications through the mail.
Use prescription drug discount apps and cards
Prescription drug discount apps enable you to save big on your medications. Read our reviews to discover the pros and cons of each and decide which one is best for you.
GoodRx is helping American families save hundreds
This prescription discount app claims to save Americans up to 80 percent on their medications. Medical debt is a real issue, and this could help keep your costs down.
Discount Prescription Prices with Blink Health
Blink Health is another prescription drug discount app that provides coupons and savings cards to help you pay less for the medications you need.
Reduce Prescription Drug Costs with WellRx
The ScriptSave WellRx app enables you to do everything from comparing prescription costs at different pharmacies to keeping track of when you take your medications.
Article last modified on February 20, 2019. Published by Debt.com, LLC .