There are a lot of ways to save money such as clipping coupons for grocery or getting rid of cable TV, but did you know that there are ways for you to save money on your medications. What about getting them for FREE?
Yup…that’s right. Some medications you can even get for free.
Don’t we all just love free things?
PIN IT FOR LATER!
Before I get started with the list, I need to make a disclaimer that I am in no way, shape or form giving out medical advice. This is just a list of possible ways to save money on medications. I don’t think I need to do a disclaimer for this, but just in case 🙂
1.Walmart $4 List
- The Walmart $4 list has been around since 2006 with an extensive list of medications you can get for $4 per 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply. You can obtain the list from their website or at the pharmacy.
- This is available to everybody. No insurance? No Problem! If it’s on the list, it’s $4. If you have insurance and your co-pay is higher than $4, then just opt out to pay cash for $4.
- Most other pharmacies will price match, but you have to ask for it.
2. Rx Discount Card
- If you do not have insurance and your medication is not on the $4 list, ask the pharmacy about the free prescription discount card. Depending on the medication, sometimes it doesn’t help at all and sometimes it can take up to 75% off.
3. Prior Authorization – Tier cost reduction/exception
- Did you know that you can also call your insurance company to request for a tier cost reduction? For example (I’m making up some random numbers) – your medication is a tier 3 with the co-pay of $100. You request for a tier cost reduction and it’s approved to tier 1, you now pay $20 for the co-pay.
- This does NOT apply to every single medication and every single healthcare plan is different. Doesn’t hurt to ask right?
4. Mail Order Pharmacy
- The same medication would cost my mom $10-copay for a 30-day supply at a traditional brick and mortar pharmacy vs. less than $9 for a 90-day supply for mail order.
- The benefit of this is that you don’t have to worry about filling your medication monthly and they ship it to your home. You get to save money and no hassle waiting at the pharmacy.
- Drug companies often will offer a free 30-day trial or a coupon for a discount. You can get this from the manufacturer’s website, doctor’s office or the pharmacy. But your best bet is to search it online to see if it’s available. This usually applies to newer, more expensive medications.
6. Split the pills
- DO NOT do this without talking to your doctor first because some drugs cannot and should not be split. The way this works is that you’d need to get a prescription for a higher strength of the same medication and cut it in half. This is especially helpful if you pay cash for your medications. So instead of getting 30 pills for 30 days, you get 15 pills of the double strength and split it in half to get your dosage.
- I learned this when I was a hospital intern. It was a way for the hospital to save cost since the cost was per pill.
7. Check your formulary
- Formulary is a list of medications that are covered by your insurance. It can change yearly, sometimes even in the middle of the year. The co-payments for two similar drugs in the same drug class can be very different. Make sure you let your provider know the cheaper options to see if it might be for you.
- If the medication you are taking doesn’t have generic available, ask your doctor if there is something in the same class of medication that you can try instead. There is no reason to try a brand name, more expensive medication if there is something similar you can take. Unless, of course, you’re unable to take it.
9. Ask for samples
- Ask your doctor for free samples. I went to an urgent care once and the doctor gave me 2 bags of free samples and I didn’t even ask! It saved me money and a trip to the pharmacy.
- Some pharmacies give out certain free drugs – no purchase necessary. My mom was getting her cholesterol medication for free at Meijer pharmacy.
- Publix also offers some free high blood pressure, allergy, diabetes and some selected antibiotics medications. Check with your local pharmacies.
Have you used any of the methods above to save on your medications? You never know unless you ask.