Did you know that there are ways that you can save money on your medications and possibly even get them for free?
With the rising cost of healthcare, every little bit of saving helps.
The 10 ways that you can save on medications:
1.Walmart $4 List
- The Walmart $4 List program has been around since 2006.
- Walmart has an extended list of generic medications that you can get for $4 per 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply.
- 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 it 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? Let’s say your drug is a tier 3 and the co-pay is $100, you could request for a tier cost reduction down to potentially a tier 1 for a co-pay of $20 (this is just an example). 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 it ships to your home. You get to save money and it’s so convenient.
- 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.
6. Split the pills
- Don’t do this without talking to your doctor first because some drugs cannot be split. Basically what you do is get a higher strength of the same medication and cut it in half. This is especially helpful if you pay cash for your medications.
7. Check your formulary
- Formulary is a list of medications that are covered and they can change yearly, sometimes even in the middle of the year. The co-payments for two similar drugs can be very different. Make sure you let your provider know the cheaper options to see if the cheaper option is appropriate.
8. Ask for samples
- Ask your doctor for free samples. If it’s a new-to-market brand-name medication, your doctor most likely have samples. I went to an urgent care once and the doctor gave me 2 bags of free samples and I didn’t even ask!!
- If the medication you are taking has no generic equivalent, 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 the generic of a similar drugs work just as well.
- Some pharmacies give out certain free drugs – no purchase necessary. My mom was getting her Crestor (cholesterol medication) at no cost to her at a Meijer pharmacy.
- If you live near a Publix pharmacy, you can get free Amlodipine and Lisinopril (blood pressure), Montelukast (allergy), Metformin (diabetes) and some selected antibiotics. Check your local pharmacies to see what they give away for free.