Even as drug prices rise, your solution could be as simple as scheduling a visit with your doctor or tapping free prescription programs.
According to a recent New York Times report, “more than 8 percent of all Americans between 18 and 64 have not taken medication as prescribed because of the cost to them.” Among adults 55 and older, that number is even higher at nearly 17 percent.
As drug prices rise, keep in mind that splitting pills, skipping doses, waiting to fill a prescription, or even stopping treatment entirely could lead to more serious (and costly) outcomes down the road. Increased emergency room visits, hospitalization, and new or worsening symptoms are not uncommon.
When faced with sticker shock at the pharmacy counter, take a beat before making any drastic changes to your treatment plan. To safely save on your medication, follow these tips:
Get meds for free. Many independent pharmacies and large grocery chains offer select medications free of charge with a valid prescription. These range from diabetes and high blood pressure drugs to antibiotics and prenatal vitamins.
Talk with your doctor. Your physician or healthcare provider may recommend a switch to a more affordable generic equivalent. Filling a 90-day supply of a medication may also reduce your copay, depending on your health plan.
Ask for the cash price at the pharmacy. Even if you have prescription drug coverage, the cash price (or retail price) could be less than your insurance copay. To boost savings even further, compare that price with the ones at Blink and go with what’s lower.
For brand drugs, use a savings program. If you need to stick with a brand name medication (typically more expensive), check the drug manufacturer’s website for available rebate offers and copay cards. You can also use NeedyMeds to find coupon cards or apply for a prescription assistance program (PAP).
Pro Tip: Coupon cards are only valid if you have private insurance. If you have a government-funded plan, you may be eligible for assistance based on annual income. Eligible Medicare Part D members can also apply for Low Income Subsidy (LIS) to help reduce medication costs.
Enlist your pharmacist’s help. Many insurance plans require prior authorizations to cover more expensive medications. If yours falls into this category, ask your pharmacy to help coordinate and submit the paperwork with your doctor. If the prior authorization request is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision by calling your insurance and asking for the steps needed to submit an appeal.
This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.
Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 536 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10012, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com.