It’s been said that the United States is a nation of pill poppers. Over half of all Americans take at least one prescription medication on an ongoing basis. If you’re one of them, you may have noticed your costs increasing year after year. Even with health insurance, medical bills for prescriptions can be astronomical.
Many of our elderly or those with significant medical needs are on five or more prescription medications each month and the costs are too high.
Patients are going to extreme levels to lower their medical costs. Some are skimping on dosage, or skipping the medication all together. This can be disastrous for patients, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are several ways to lower your medical bills and get the most from your prescription medication without risking your health.
Talk to your doctor
The first way to lower your medical costs is to talk to your doctor. Chances are, they have no idea how much you’re paying at the pharmacy and they may have a lower cost alternative. If there’s a chance you’re going to skip filling the prescription because it’s too expensive, it’s better to be upfront and find an alternative solution together.
Know your options
Every insurer has a formulary, which is a list of medications that are covered. For example, they may cover one cholesterol drug, but not another. To avoid paying high prices, ask your doctor to list their top three drug choices, and then check with your insurance to determine which one is the least expensive.
Not all pharmacies are created equal. It can pay off to compare prices at pharmacies in your supermarket, retail stores, online, and via mail order. However, it’s important to try and order all of your drugs from the same place, so they can keep track of any drug-to-drug interactions. Otherwise, nobody is looking over all your medications and it can result in risky behavior.
Order in Bulk
Sometimes you can often find discounts for ordering a 30- or 90-day supply of medication.
If there is a generic substitute for your drugs, choose that option every time. Sometimes, drugs are new enough that there is no generic options available, but if there is a generic, it could save cut your price by 80 percent.
Some prescriptions are splittable, which means they come scored down the middle, ready to cut in half. It might be cheaper to ask your doctor to increase the dosage and then just take half of a pill. This way you’re getting the same amount of medicine at a lower cost.
Use Prescription Medication Programs
Take advantage of prescription discount programs. There are several programs available from organizations like AARP. Some states offer prescription assistance and even drug companies themselves may sometimes offer patient assistance programs.
Before you risk your health by skipping a dose or refusing to fill a necessary prescription because you can’t afford it, look into your options and find an alternative solution to lower your medical bills without causing even bigger health problems later on.
Magellan Human Capital Management takes care of you and your employees and can help you understand your health plan and prescription cost options. Give us a call today to see how we can help you and your employees succeed.