The high price of prescription medications is a concern for many individuals and families in the United States. Some people are forced to cut pills in half, choose an OTC option, or not fill a prescription due to high costs which leads to medication nonadherence, adverse health outcomes, and disease progression. Saving money on essential medications is possible through copay coupons, patient assistance programs, and prescription discount savings cards.
Discount cards emerged in the early 2000s and have evolved, expanded, and gained popularity since then due to their ease of use and cost effectiveness. They are free to consumers, valid at thousands of pharmacies, and can reduce out-of-pocket costs by 80-90% per prescription, significantly easing the financial burden of brand and generic medications. It’s important to note that a discount savings card is not insurance. They are used in place of insurance and sometimes lead to higher savings. The benefits can go beyond cost savings; this article explores the advantages of using a discount prescription savings card and includes a step-by-step guide on how to use one.
The Benefits of Prescription Medication Discount Savings Cards:
Cost Savings: The most obvious and compelling benefit of utilizing a discount savings card is the immediate reduction in prescription medication costs. These cards provide access to negotiated discounted prices that are significantly lower than the retail price by about 80-90%. This can be a lifeline for those who are uninsured, underinsured, or facing high deductibles and enables patients to prioritize their health without making compromises.
Widespread Acceptance: Prescription medication discount savings cards are typically accepted at a wide range of pharmacies, including major chains like CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, and Walgreens as well as independent pharmacies. This widespread acceptance ensures that individuals can access their medications conveniently, regardless of their location.
While they’re accepted almost everywhere, discount savings cards result in varying drug prices from pharmacy to pharmacy. At CVS, a prescription may be $8.52 with the discount savings card but at Walmart, the same prescription may be $4.00. Some discount card companies offer an online drug comparison tool that shows patients the drug price for pharmacy locations in their area. Patients can type in their prescription details like drug name, dosage, and quantity, and shop the cheapest price at nearby stores.
No Exclusions: Unlike some insurance plans that may exclude certain medications or therapies, discount savings cards cover almost every FDA- approved medication. This means that patients can access discounts for the medications they need most.
Simple and Immediate Access: Insurance plans sometimes involve complex enrollment processes, prior authorizations, and formulary exceptions causing long waiting periods, whereas discount savings cards are available for immediate use. This simplicity (and lack of paperwork) ensures that patients can start saving on their medications right away. And they never expire!
How to Use a Prescription Medication Discount Savings Card:
Using a discount savings card is a straightforward process that can result in substantial savings on your prescription medications. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make the most of your discount savings card:
- Obtain a Card
Start by obtaining a physical prescription discount savings card or downloading a digital one. These cards can easily be acquired through healthcare providers, pharmacies, online resources, or even through specific organizations or programs dedicated to helping patients save on medications. You may need to provide basic information like name, address, email and phone number, along with the prescriptions you’re looking to make more affordable.
- Present the Card
Present the Card: When you visit a pharmacy to fill your prescription, present your discount savings card to the pharmacist along with your prescription. The card contains information necessary for the pharmacist to apply the appropriate discount. If you are filling or ordering a prescription online, type in the card information to the corresponding section. You may need to visit a pharmacy in person to present the discount savings card if the retailer’s site does not offer an entry section.
- Pharmacist Processing
The pharmacist (or online service) will process the card and calculate the discounted price for your medication based on the card’s information and the specific medication prescribed. Remember this varies by pharmacy.
- Review the Discount
Take a moment to review the cost difference between the retail price and the discounted price. Hello savings!
Pay the discounted price for your prescription medication. This payment can be made using various methods, including cash, credit/debit cards, or other payment options accepted by the pharmacy. Please note that it does not contribute toward your deductible nor help in getting you out of the Medicare donut hole.
- Keep the Card
After using the discount savings card once, don’t throw it away. Many cards can be used repeatedly for multiple prescriptions and refills. Store the physical card in your wallet or keep the digital one handy on your mobile phone for future use.
Prescription medication discount savings cards offer a practical and efficient solution for individuals looking to reduce the financial strain of prescription medications. These cards provide immediate savings, easy access, and a simplified process, making them an invaluable tool in the battle against rising healthcare costs. Whether you’re uninsured, underinsured, or simply looking for ways to cut down on healthcare expenses, a prescription medication discount savings card can make a significant difference to your health and financial well-being.