Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saving Money on Prescriptions

My doctor told me one time that pharmacies like Walgreen's and CVS usually charge more money for prescriptions than smaller pharmacies. For the most part that is correct, but as with any area it really pays to do your homework and do the research. 

Our insurance company will only pay for a certain number of prescriptions per month and since we use more than the allotted amount I have to pay cash for the other prescriptions we use each month, so I did my homework last year and have definitely saved money in this area. 

The first thing I did was to write down all of our prescriptions so I could have this information all in one place. Then I figured out how much each one cost at CVS, which is the pharmacy we regularly use. 

CVS is my go to pharmacy because they give detailed information with each prescription, they have a convenient drive through service, and they give me a free bottle of water every time I fill a prescription.  However, the down side to that is they charge a lot more money for certain prescriptions. 

During my research I called multiple pharmacies to ask them the cost of each prescription. And I found out some interesting details such as...

Did you know Publix offers some drugs for free such as Montelukast (my daughter and I both take this drug), Amlodipine, Lisinopril, and Metformin all for free? They also offer certain antibiotics for free as well. You can read about their free prescriptions here. CVS charges over $100 to my Insurance company for the Montelukast. 

Fresh and Low, a locally owned grocery store here, also offers some prescriptions for free along with free antibiotics, and free monthly vitamins for children under the age of 18 years old. 

Another way of saving money on prescriptions is to shop around for the $4.00 prescriptions that became popular a few years ago. 

Food City has become my second go to pharmacy for this reason. I have been able to save so much money getting several of my prescriptions at Food City for only $4.00 verses the astronomical prices for the same drugs at CVS. 

I love CVS, but I have to do what is in the best interest for me and my family and our budget. 

My Mom uses Walgreen's pharmacy and she thinks they are the bee's knees. She has a prescription for high blood pressure that she was unable to fill at Walgreen's because they wanted $79 for it and she is on a limited income. 

After a great deal of discussion I finally convinced her to call Food City and check their price of the drug. She called and Food City offers the same drug for $21, so I took Mom about two weeks ago and had her prescription filled. 

You want to know what she told me this week? 

She said that she felt so good, knowing that she was able to take her blood pressure medicine EVERY day because she was able to afford it. I didn't even know she was only taking it every other day because of the cost.  As you can imagine, that made me very sad. 

Mom was reluctant to change pharmacies because she is a loyal customer and didn't want to leave a place she had used for years. And many people probably feel that way, but if you are trying to save money in this area, I would consider calling around and seeing if you are able to save yourself some money. I know we certainly were able to do that. 

I hope you find this information helpful. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

10 comments :

  1. SOme good information. I'd also add: google the name brand of your RX and add "copay program"-I've found several of my medications have copay assistance programs which cover all of my copays, which have been high, even at 10% of cost, due to the nature of the drugs. I save $125 every 3 months for my Restasis eye drops, $88.07 on my Protonix, $436 and change on Enbrel. I pay ZERO for those drugs. We've now hit our second deductible for the plan year, so no further medical or RX costs unless we go out of plan. That said, I am keeping the copay info close at hand as we will be on a new plan, effective Sept 1-which is as of yet unknown as I need to get a job with benefits first.

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    1. That is great information, Carol. Thank you.

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  2. I discovered that some medications are actually cheaper to pay for yourself instead of using your insurance. The pharmacies always charge the co-pay and some of the drugs cost less than the co-pay. We don't have insurance so we use Walgreen's prescription plan. It's a three-tiered plan; the less expensive drugs like my husband's high-blood pressure are only $10, my more expensive thyroid medicine is $20. We are fortunate that we don't take any really expensive medications. K-Mart had a really nice prescription plan also, unfortunately they closed in our area. As you said, it pays to shop around.

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    1. Good information, Jane. Thank you. Our K-mart closed here too. The one in Chattanooga also was closed with the latest cuts. It's a shame because I liked Kmart.

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  3. What great information to share with your readers. It's good that you were able to help your mom lower the costs of her blood pressure medication. But, yes, sad that this was a financial burden for her. In light of all the talk and chatter lately about healthcare in this country, your mom's situation highlights the need for true healthcare reform so that people do not slip through the cracks and go without needed care and medications.

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    1. Thank you, Isabella. We definitely need healthcare reform in this country for reasons like this. Too many people fall through the cracks and cannot afford their medications. I know many diabetics that do without their meds due to the costs unfortunately.

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  4. My dh was using a very expensive medication that we would have paid a $250.00 co-pay through our insurance but we belong to Costco and the meds were around $100.00 for three month supply. Costco will fill prescriptions without you being a member also. Good RX also helps with knowing how much a prescription is in area pharmacies. Cheryl

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    1. Great information, Cheryl. We use Sam's Club for several medications like Benedryl, which are so much cheaper than other places. Great tip, thank you. :)

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  5. Hi Belinda,
    While researching "Your Playbook For Tough Times," I came up with the following list of stores that offer certain medications for free: Amigos United, Giant Eagle, Meijer, Price Chopper, Publix, Reasor’s, Schnucks, ShopRite and Wegman’s.

    Hope that helps you and your readers.

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    1. That is great information, Donna. Thank you so much. :)

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