More and more these days getting prescriptions filled is an ordeal. Sometimes we are lucky. The Rx is covered, there is a reasonable copay, and we walk out bag in hand. But if you have a high deductible plan, or if the prescription is not available in a reasonable priced generic, it is easy to get frustrated when we find out the cost of the medication our doctor told us we needed.
In dermatology, we are finding more difficulty getting prescriptions for patients with every passing year. However there are also new ways of trying to get the medications that will help us for an affordable amount. The strategies in this blog post can help you get any of your medications at a more reasonable cost, regardless of which specialist or doctor prescribed it.
Here is what we have learned:
- Find out what your prescription would cost without insurance coverage. Surprisingly, this is sometimes less than you would pay with your insurance plan. The best way to do this is by going to WWW.GOODRX.COM. For this, have your written prescription, or old medication with information on the package at hand to type in the name of the medication, strength, and size of tube or number of pills. GoodRx will list the price of that medication at all of your local pharmacies by zip code. Prices differ greatly between one pharmacy and another for each medication. Though one Rx may be less expensive at CostCo, another may be higher there than CVS, etc.. It is usually necessary to print out a coupon from GoodRx, but these coupons can be used by anyone regardless of insurance or age.
- For branded medication, put the product name into a search engine such as Google and see if there are any manufacturers coupons for the medication. Manufacturers coupons are only allowed to be used by patients who do not have Medicaid or Medicare. Some require registration online by the manufacturer.
- Use a generic. Some generic medications are even manufactured by the same company that makes the name brand. Not all generics are created equal. Give it a try, but if you feel the generic is not giving you as good a result as the name brand you are used to, then see if the brand is still affordable.
- Call your doctor. Do not assume that your MD knows how much the prescription is costing you. One patient’s plan may have a $20 copay for a medication, and another might not have coverage for that medication at all with the price in the hundreds. It is not possible for your MD to know in advance. If your medication has a high cost, call your medical office and let them know how much the Rx is, and if they can call in an alternative or come up with another treatment strategy.
Hopefully these tricks of the trade will help you avoid frustration and overpaying!