24 Mar The Price of Affordable Prescriptions
High prescription drug prices have been a challenge for people all across the country. In response, the use of discount prescription drug coupons has surged. They offer relief from steep drug prices, but at what cost? Lately, these coupons have faced tremendous amounts of criticism. Some opponents of the coupon cards say that they are helping a few at the expense of many. There are pros and cons that surround the use of prescription drug coupons. Ultimately, it is the consumer’s responsibility to do their research and determine if using a coupon for a prescription drug is the right choice for them.
There are two types of coupon cards: copay cards and savings cards. Co-pay cards are given to health care providers to be distributed to patients. Pharmacies process patients’ insurance first and then treat the copay coupon as another form of payment. Savings cards are issued by a third party that is not the drug manufacturer. To use the savings card, the consumer must be paying the cash price for the medicine and cannot use their insurance coverage.
Copay coupons are essential for financially-strapped people. Co-pay coupons allow them to be able to afford their medication. Additionally, more prescriptions will get filled because people can afford them now. People will stay on their medication if they have co-pay discounts. These factors create lower out-of-pocket costs for everyone. As you may have guessed, though, costs are being passed onto the consumer’s insurance company and these turn into higher premiums for everyone else with that company.
The Louisiana Department of Insurance suggests asking your pharmacist whether a coupon, insurance or cash will offer the most savings. Here are a few tips that can keep your prescription costs down while avoiding the use of coupon or savings cards:
- Switch from a 30 day supply to a 60 day supply.
- Switch to a “class substitute” – drugs that similar to what you’ve been taking but maybe cheaper.
- Shop around – call other pharmacies for prices and ask pharmacists to help you find a cheaper option.