The amount of patients without health insurance is astronomical and growing every day, making healthcare unaffordable for many. After the visit to the doctor or emergency room, your next stop is likely the pharmacy. After spending hundreds of dollars on the medical bill, the last thing you want to do is spend more money on medications. Fortunately, there is assistance and most of us working behind the counter can help you with most medications. Let me be honest, some medications are very expensive and even with a savings card, they can still be unaffordable.
Here are 3 things you can do to be prepared:
1) If you do not have healthcare coverage, please visit https://www.pparx.org. Here you can search for free or nearly free health clinics in your area if you qualify. You can also see if there are any prescription drug programs you may qualify for.
2) Visit https://www.goodrx.com to get savings coupons you can use at the pharmacy. A great application of the site is that you can compare the prices at different pharmacies. Simply type in the name of the medication, the dosage form, the quantity, and get savings coupons immediately.
3) If you are prescribed a brand name medication, check with your doctor to see if they have savings or free trial coupons given to them by pharmaceutical drug representatives. Also, make sure the cards they give you have not expired or have not been used by prior patients. You can also check with your doctor to see if they have free samples. Most pharmacies do not have free samples, so make sure you check with your doctor before leaving your appointment. If your doctor does not have any savings information, check the manufacturer website. Type the name of the medication in any search engine and search for the manufacturer savings. You would be surprised how many manufacturers have savings programs out there. Remember it is mostly for brand name and relatively new medications. You can always check with your local pharmacy staff for help.
For all of you out there that are fortunate to have insurance, you can save on your copays as well. You can also save if you have a high deductible that seems impossible to reach before the end of the year. Compare your copay to the prices on www.goodrx.com or any other savings website. If your copay is high on a brand medication, you may qualify for assistance from the manufacturer savings programs. Once again, talk to your physician or your local pharmacy staff. Always check your options and be prepared.
There are also hospitals that have prescription drug assistance programs. Check with the case management department and see if you qualify.
The bottom line is: Do your research, compare prices, and get the best savings. It is hard when you don’t have prescription coverage and it is also hard when your deductible is very high, so plan ahead. If you have any questions, I am here to help you! Please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
(Fellow healthcare providers, feel free to contribute to this if I am missing any programs that will help save on medications. Thank you!)