Cindy Swensen is a guest blogger for Viamedic where you can find tips on staying healthy and saving money.
Most adults in the United States take at least one prescription medicine on a regular basis. Many more take several in order to combat high blood pressure, heart problems, blood disorders and other serious conditions. Unfortunately, the cost of these prescriptions can be staggering. Without health insurance, or even with a basic policy, many individuals are unable to afford their medicine on a regular basis. Here are six ways to cut the costs of your prescriptions in order to protect both your health and your budget.
1. Choose Generic Brands
Many prescriptions drugs are name brand medicines that can have huge price tags attached. However, there are often completely identical generic drugs with the same active ingredients that cost a lot less. If you need a specific medication, speak with your doctor or your pharmacist about taking the generic medicine instead. Most pharmacists will actually provide you with generic pills upon request at a moment’s notice.
2. Discuss Finances With Your Physician
Although you may feel uncomfortable sharing your financial situation with your doctor, it is important to do so. If certain medicines are too pricey for your budget, make sure you speak to your physician rather than just walking away from the office and never filling your prescription. Often doctors can offer you free samples of medications, or they can help you to deal with health problems through diet and exercise as a more affordable alternative.
3. Check Your Policy’s Formulary
A formulary is a list of all the medications that your health insurance policy covers. You should consult this list to learn about what prescriptions will be covered by your insurance and which you will have to pay for yourself. If a certain medication is completely covered, it might even be cheaper to buy the name brand rather than the generic. This price comparison using your formulary is a necessary part of saving money on prescription medicines.
4. Consider Online Pharmacies
Most patients prefer to visit the same pharmacy for all of their prescription drug needs, but you might be surprised to learn that different pharmacies offer different prices for the same medicines. If you are looking for the best possible bargain on a prescription medication, you might even want to investigate online pharmacies. As long as they are VIPPS certified, you can safely purchase medications on these websites for a lot less than at your local pharmacy retailer.
5. Try Samples Before Purchasing
Before you spend money on a 90 day supply of a pricey medication, ask your doctor for a free sample. Some samples are available for a few days, but other companies will actually provide patients with a free month of medicine before they commit to a certain brand.
6. Buy Pills in Bulk
Although it might be tempting to buy your prescription medications in 30 day increments in order to spend less upfront, it can actually be cheaper to buy a larger supply at once. Once you have tried a medicine and know it works, ask your doctor to prescribe 90 or 120 day supplies at a time to take advantage of bulk discounts at your local pharmacy.
While prescriptions medicines are often vital to your health and well-being, they can also be expensive and can cause financial difficulty. These tips can help you to save money on the cost of prescription medications.
Vintage brown medicine bottle, old, embossed numbers, 1845
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