You know you can haggle for cars and appliances to save a few bucks. But did you know that you can also bargain your way to lower drug prices?
It’s TRUE, and it’s a whole lot easier than trying to strike a deal with a pushy salesman out to maximize his commission.
Your pharmacist isn’t getting a commission, so he doesn’t mind you getting a discount.
Heck, he’d probably LOVE to tell you all about this little trick. But he can’t!
There’s often a way to save money on common meds. But thanks to a shady backroom deal between insurance companies and pharmacy chains, the pharmacist ISN’T allowed to mention it.
Well at least can’t mention it FIRST.
The secret to getting BIG discounts on prescriptions
See, that’s the loophole: Once YOU ask about this hidden discount, the pharmacist can spill the beans. Then he’ll be more than happy to reveal the truth and help you save some serious scratch.
Every pharmacy has a retail price list for common drugs. Or how much you’d have to pay for meds if you don’t have Medicare or any other prescription drug plan.
They also have a list of all those copays you know and loathe.
Remember when most pills were $5 a prescription with insurance? Not anymore.
As you’ve no doubt seen firsthand, it’s a complicated tiered system with different copays for different meds. They start out at around $10 to $20 for common generics. And they max out at more than $100 for pricier medications.
Most people assume that those copays… no matter how much they are… will always be cheaper than the prices on the retail list.
But that’s NOT always the case.
The New York Times found that many seniors are coughing up $20 copays for diabetes and blood pressure meds that would cost as little as $8 at “full” price without insurance.
That’s a savings of as much as $12 per drug or up to $144 a year per prescription!
In another, they found that a popular flu drug that was selling like gangbusters over the winter was $125 under most copays. But the “full” price? Just $100.
Emptying your pockets to line theirs
When you pay more, that money doesn’t go to the pharmacy. It doesn’t even go to the drug companies. Your insurance company or benefits managers get to pocket the difference. So you can see why they don’t want you to know about this.
It’s literally FREE MONEY for them
That’s why they’ve built gag orders into their contracts that forbid pharmacists from proactively telling patients when the retail price is cheaper than the copay.
But once you ASK about the price, the genie’s out of the bottle. They’re now allowed to tell you exactly how much it would cost without insurance.
So never, ever fill a prescription without first asking a simple question. “How much would this be if I didn’t use my insurance?”
You might be surprised at how much cash you’ll save.
9 more ways to claim discounts on prescriptions
But that’s not the only way you can save money at the pharmacy. Following are eight more ways you can keep more cash in your pocket.
- Request generic prescriptions
- Ask your doctor for samples
- Inquire if an older (cheaper) drug is available
- See if your med is available in double strength & use a pill splitter
- Shop around for price by calling different pharmacies
- Use a loyalty card
- Buy over the counter products when possible
- Contact drug companies directly about customer assistance programs
- Download the GoodRx app on your smartphone to find discounts
Climbing drug prices show no signs of slowing down. Make sure you’re getting all the discounts on prescriptions that you deserve.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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