Pre-pandemic, the U.S. spends almost $4 trillion on healthcare costs. An estimated 10% of this spending went to prescription drugs. If you think the cost of prescription drugs are ridiculously high, you are not alone.
Around 70% of consumers expressed the same frustrations. Moreover, three in 10 people say they have not taken their medications as prescribed. The biggest question then is how can you save on prescription drugs to get the health benefits that you need? Following are some helpful strategies that can help you out.
- Pay with pre-tax dollars
It is possible to lower the cost of most prescriptions if you pay with pre-tax dollars through a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA). An HSA comes with a high-deductible insurance plan. You get to keep your HSA dollars if you do not have any health expenditures and you can use this to cover your prescription costs. Meanwhile, FSA is similar to HSA but you must your money in the year you earn it or forfeit.
- Ask for generic prescriptions.
Name brands are more expensive. Generics have the same effect but are up to 85% cheaper. Always ask for generic versions when you are filling out new prescriptions at the pharmacy counter.
- Buy in bulk.
Talk to your doctor and insurance company about getting a three-month supply of your medications or even longer to save money and trips to the pharmacy. If buying in bulk is not an option for your medication, ask your doctor if it is possible to prescribe you a higher dose and you can split the pills yourself.
- Compare prices.
It only makes sense to compare prices when buying prescription drugs. Figure out what your insurance company’s preferred pharmacy charges for your prescriptions and then shop around. You might find your medications cheaper elsewhere.
- Get assistance in buying prescriptions.
Check out the Medicine Assistance tool created by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Fill out the information about your medicines and insurance coverage to get connected to various assistance programs. This is a lot better than skipping your doses or taking them in half!