Prescription drugs, can you save money even if you are on Medicare? Do you need Medicare Part D for your prescription drugs? Should you buy prescription drugs from Canada?
There are several ways to save money on prescription drugs. You have several legitimate ways to do so and some that are usually worthless.
Money Saving Ideas for Prescription Drugs
The ideal method of saving on prescription drugs is a lifestyle change. Many conditions (high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, type II diabetes and even mood issues such as depression) can be “treated” with diet and exercise. in many cases you can reduce or eliminate the need for medication.
Another way is to switch to generics. Except in the case of time release (ER, XR, etc.) type medications, many of the generics work just as well. Some cannot tolerate the fillers used in generic prescription drugs so generics are not for everyone.
If you normally take 5mg of a medication, ask your doc for the 10mg dose, you MAY save money by cutting your pill in half. Do this only with scored prescription drugs and never one that is time release.
Ordering prescription drugs by mail is another way to save money. Order a 90 day refill which many times will save 20% or more vs a 30 day supply at retail.
Ask your doc for samples of your prescription drugs.
Check with the manufacturer or a PAP (patient assistance program) to see if there are discounts or coupons for free or drastically reduced pricing on prescription drugs you take.
Order prescription drugs from Canada or other out of country sources. I have recommended Blue Sky for years and have used them personally.
Prescription Drug Caveats
Keep in mind if you order prescription drugs from out of country they are not eligible for reimbursement by your HSA, almost never count toward your major medical deductible or OOP limit, and do not count toward the deductible or donut hole in your Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) plan.
As for the discount cards for prescription drugs and stand alone Rx cards with copay’s, most are junk and loaded with fee’s. Unless the PBM pricing scheme is loaded in to your pharmacy’s software you will not get a discount on your prescription drugs. Sometimes the “discounted” price is greater than it would have been without the card.
One exception regarding discount cards is GoodRx. Check out the free plan and compare pricing.
If you have health insurance, even if you have a high deductible, you should never use these cards.
The cards are not a substitute for Medicare Part D and should not be used in conjunction with a PDP.
If you decide to use the card anyway for purchasing prescription drugs, make sure your PHI is not shared with anyone that is not entitled to that information.
The marketing firm that distributes the cards collects a bounty of anywhere from $0.15 to $2.00 every time you use the card but they do not collect your PHI.
Use common sense when shopping for prescription drugs and look for ways to save money.
Medicare Prescription Drug Deductible – How Does it Work?
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