With healthcare costs that are skyrocketing, it seems almost impossible for anyone to afford the things that they need. Some things might be wants, but others are true needs. Life or death needs. One of those needs is prescription medications. It is not uncommon for someone to be on at least one prescription, which is usually manageable. But senior citizens are often on at least 10 or more prescription medications all at one time. One prescription is a wallet damper, but 10? What about those who are on 20? The prescription medication costs are enough to suck up social security without anything left for living.
Thankfully, you are not out of luck. With a few simple tips, you can start to slash your prescription drug bill immediately, instead of worrying about the cost.
- Go generic. The easiest and quickest way to cut prescription costs is to switch to the generic medication. The way it works is simple: a drug company comes up with a new pill. The formula for the pill is patented and sold under the name brand, usually for exorbitant prices. Once the patent is up, other drug manufacturers swing in and provide a generic version for a fraction of the name brand cost. If you are lucky, the pill you need to take is out of the patent phase and you can get the generic version. If not, you might have to wait a bit. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if a generic version is available.
- Get insurance. Having good insurance coverage is a good rule of thumb regardless, but it can help you even more when you need to fill regular prescriptions. Many insurance plans will cover prescription plans. Take for example a generic medication can cost $40 a month without insurance. With insurance, it would only cost $10. Quite a bit of a difference. And for seniors, certain Medicare plans will cover the cost or at least part of the cost of prescription medications.
- Shop between different pharmacies. No, I am not suggesting that you pharmacy shop and try and get different pharmacies to give you unlimited drugs. What I am suggesting is that you shop around and compare prices at difference pharmacies. Some big discount retailers like Wal-mart or Walgreens will offer prescription medications at a discounted price. Drugstore.com is a great way to compare those prices. Another way to get those stores to cut costs is by enrolling in that store’s discount card. You can get cheaper drugs. The exchange? You are giving the drug store and inside look at your consumer habits and what drugs you are taking. Is that information worth a discount for you?
- Buy drugs from another country. Medications from another country can be purchased for a huge discount. However, purchasing drugs internationally is illegal. So if you want to get your drugs cheap, you have to be willing to suffer the consequences.
- Ditch some medications. Consult with your doctor to determine if you really need to take all of your medications. if you can ditch some safely, do it.