Saving Money: One Prescription at a Time

By December 6, 2018February 17th, 2020Health Insurance
Senior talking to pharmacist about generic prescription drugs

If you think about it, we’re surrounded by opportunities to save money. Our mail is filled with sales flyers and postcards; stores offer us loyalty cards, “insider” savings clubs, and discounts for buying in bulk; and the Sunday paper is loaded with coupons. But when it comes to saving money on prescriptions, the savings aren’t so easy to find — unless you know where to look.

Switch to Generics

Switching to generics is my go-to suggestion for anyone who wants to lower the cost of their prescriptions — and it’s usually the easiest and most straightforward thing to do.

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all the prescriptions you take and discuss if lower-cost generic versions of your medications could be right for you.
  • For prescriptions that do not have generic versions, ask if there are lower-cost therapeutic alternatives available.

You can see how much you could save by referring to your health plan’s drug-pricing tool to compare costs for generic, brand-name versions, and therapeutic alternatives. Members can find the drug pricing tool on ibxpress.com.

Look for Discounts at Network Pharmacies

In addition to mail-order pharmacies, some health plans work with certain area pharmacies to offer lower costs to their plan members. At Independence, these are called Preferred Pharmacies, and members can get a three-month supply of formulary tier 1 or tier 2 drugs for only a two-month copay. Learn more about our network pharmacies.

Use Mail-Order Pharmacies

The cost of every-day maintenance medications can add up quickly but using a mail-order pharmacy can help manage expenses.

Mail-order pharmacies typically offer 90-day prescriptions for the price of 60-days, and they’ll deliver your prescriptions right to your door! This buy two, get one free deal can reduce your costs by a third and is worth looking into. Find out if your plan offers mail order. If they do, talk to your doctor about whether it’s right for you.

Apply for Help

Anyone with a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) who has limited resources and income may also be able to get Extra Help from Medicare as well as help from their State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program to pay for the costs related to their medications, including monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription copays.

Worth the Effort

It may take some legwork on your part to take advantage of these Part D prescription savings, but it will be worth it in the end. If you’d like some help, you can call your health plan, your State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program, or Medicare.

This blog was originally published on LinkedIn.

 

Harshal Amin

About Harshal Amin

I manage aspects of Independence’s Medicare Part D benefit and support clinical and quality improvement efforts. My goal is to help enhance the health and well-being of the communities that Independence serves.