Cutting Prescription Costs

  • The expense of prescriptions can be outrageous these days. There are many people who end up trying to choose between their prescription medications and food. Thankfully there are a few things you can do to help budget for these expenses that might help.

     

    First, ask for samples. Especially if you are trying a new medication. There is nothing worse than buying a full prescription of something and then finding that you can not take that medication for whatever reason. At least with samples you will know before you buy the full prescription. Sometimes the physician can also write an expensive prescription for ½ a prescription for the same reasons. Be careful to check with your pharmacy if you have insurance coverage. Sometimes the copay can be the same for full or half of a prescription.

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    Check with your prescription's manufacturer. Many pharmaceutical companies have printable coupons that you can use toward your copay or prescription costs. These can vary from a one time only to coupons you can print every month. If you can't afford your medication many of these companies have programs to help you pay for it so check t hat out as well. Doing a little research can save a lot of money.

     

    Take advantage of any flexible spending accounts offered by your employer. Many of these can be used on your prescription medications and are taken from your income before taxes. In the long run these account can save you thousands when used for things like medical copays or medications. Be sure you know all of the "rules" associated with your account before you sign on the dotted line.

     

    Go generic whenever possible. Many prescriptions are offered in generic form. In most cases the generics work just as well as the brand name prescription. Tell your doctor or pharmacy that you would like the generic whenever possible. Be honest with your doctor if you really can not afford your medication. Don't just fail to fill or quit taking your medicine. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication at a lower cost.

     

    Budget and save money elsewhere so your prescription costs don't sneak up on you. Sitting down and figuring out exactly where your money is going and exactly what you spend on prescriptions can be eye opening. You may find that there are several non-essentials that you could scratch from your budget. For instance, most people can save a significant amount of money by cooking dinners at home instead of eating out. Dave Ramsey has some wonderful tools for getting your finances in order!

     

    Speaking as someone who spends $250/month in prescriptions keeping my children well (and that's after the insurance pays its' 80%) I know what you are dealing with. It can be hard. Thankfully with a little planning things can be manageable.

Published On: August 05, 2011