February 15, 2019

6 Strategies for Saving Money on Prescriptions

By Crista Murray, Alliance Benefits

Are you feeling overwhelmed with the cost of your prescription? You are not alone. The increasing cost of prescription drugs in the United States has become a source of concern for many.  Below is a compiled list of possible ways to save on your prescriptions. While some of these solutions may not apply to your specific situation, we hope you will find many of these resources to be beneficial.

The Alliance Health Plan Preventive Drug List

The Alliance Health Plan offers a ten-page list of generic preventive medications which are covered 100% by the plan. If you are prescribed a preventive medication, ask your doctor about using an acceptable generic from the list. View the preventive drug list here.

Pricing Your Medication

Did you know that different pharmacies may charge varying amounts for the same medication? GoodRx.com is a third-party resource that gathers current prices and discounts to help find the lowest cost pharmacy for your prescriptions. Be sure to talk with your pharmacist as some discounts and coupons used in this program may not work with your insurance and do not count toward your deductible.

Another way to save is by electing Express Scripts’ home delivery option. By doing this, you might be able to receive the equivalent of a three-month supply for the price of two months. To compare pricing, login to your Express Scripts account at www.express-scripts.com, select “Prescriptions/Price a Medication”, and enter your drug specifications. This will bring up 30 vs 90-day cost comparison. You may also click on “View other drug options” for potential savings on a comparable but less expensive drug. Be sure to discuss these options with your doctor.

Take Advantage of Your Primary Care Physician Portal

Most primary care physicians offer their patients a secure portal system where they can access their medical records, important reminders, etc. This portal can sometimes be used to request a prescription renewal and avoid an expensive office visit charge.

Maximize Your HSA

If your prescription costs more than what is available in your HSA, consider making additional employee contributions to maximize your tax savings. Since you are paying for the medication regardless, why not take advantage of this tax-free benefit? For more information, watch this brief video from BenefitWallet entitled “Maximize Savings on Today’s Health Costs”.

Financial Assistance Opportunities

Some pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs (PAPs) which provide medications free-of-charge or at a lower cost to qualified individuals. The eligibility criteria are not always based on income, so you may be eligible regardless of financial status or insurance coverage. Each manufacturer differs in what programs they offer and how to apply for assistance. For more information regarding these types of programs, visit https://www.rxassist.org/patients.

 Last but Not Least – Ask Questions!

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when prescribed a medication. Your physician, pharmacist, etc., might have even more ways of lowering the cost of a medication that is not mentioned here. For example, if you’re being prescribed any combination tablets, commonly called fixed-dose combinations (FDCs), these all-in-one pills are often more expensive than their individual drug components. If you don’t mind taking three pills instead of one, this may be an effective way to trim costs. It never hurts to ask!

 

Crista Murray joined Alliance Benefits in June 2009 and has been with The Christian and Missionary Alliance for over seventeen years serving in various roles. She is responsible for overseeing and coordinating the day-to-day execution of marketing strategies and communication efforts for both the health and retirement plans.


Posted in: Health Plan Tools