Published April 1st, 2020 by Stephanie
The high cost of prescription medication is a serious burden on individuals and families with no health care, minimal health care or no prescription coverage. Those individuals suffering from chronic health conditions are particularly vulnerable as their illness and their treatment often prevents them from working and some patients even end up losing their jobs and with it their health insurance. This leads to significant debt that most families cannot afford.
A new study from academic researchers found that 66.5 percent of all bankruptcies were due to medical issues, either due to the high cost of medical care or the time lost from work. An estimated 530,000 families turn to bankruptcy. It is a ripple effect. If you cannot afford your prescriptions, you cannot get well, your issue worsens, you end up in the hospital, losing your job or worse, dying from a condition you could have avoided. Americans spend about $1,200 on prescription medication annually according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. This is more than any other developed country in the world. So while drug prices will only continue to rise, Prescription Discount cards have arisen due to the inability to afford your medication.
A prescription discount card is designed to provide you with lower drug costs for your medication. You obtain your card and present it to the pharmacist. They will then provide you with a discount for your medication. You may be asking yourself “there has to be a catch here.” It’s not. However, which care you choose will make a major difference in the savings and purchasing abilities you get from your card. To demonstrate, we will be comparing a store card and a multiple savings prescription card. The most popular store card currently is the discount pharmacy card Walgreens, which we will compare to the USA Rx Pharmacy Discount Card. With the discount pharmacy card from Walgreens there is confusion. Walgreens advertises their Walgreen Prescription Savings Club as their primary discount pharmacy card.
With the Walgreens Discount card you and your family are covered and will be provided cards. The annual fee is $35 for a family card. The discount pharmacy card can only be used in Walgreens. People receiving benefits from a Medicare, Medicaid or Tricare Program are ineligible. The website goes on to state, “ Federal and state statutes prohibit persons enrolled in a publicly funded healthcare program from participation in this program”. According to Walgreens As of January 1, 2020 Prescription savings card memberships are no longer available in or applicable Connecticut, Massachusetts and Mississippi cannot get a card.
With the USA Rx card the prescription pharmacy is free. There are no upfront costs, fees or annual dues. You simply go to the web site, put in your name, email and phone, download the pre-activated card, print out and head to the pharmacy. Over 70 thousand pharmacies, both store and independent are covered. Cards are nationally available. With the card, once you get your prescription you enter it in the website or app and it will list the discount prices of all pharmacies in your neighborhood and the price.
Everyone is eligible for the USA Rx card. The only restriction is that if you have insurance, Medicaid or Medicare you must choose to use one or the other, you cannot combine both. However you can choose to pay the lowest price. How can we include Medicare and Medicaid? According to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid website, “ The first analysis comparing the Medicare- approved drug discount cards, with current prices for prescription medicines shows savings of at least 10 to 17 percent for brand name drugs and far larger savings for generic drugs compared to the average prices paid by all Americans, including Americans with access to lower drug prices through public and private insurance plans”
The discount pharmacy Walgreens states that their membership includes prescription discounts on more than 8,000 brand name and generic medications. Most generic medications are covered. This is where it gets confusing, especially for individuals who get generic medications prescribed knowing they can save money. When it comes to generics Walgreens provides hundreds of value generic medications that are specially priced and offered under a three - tier structure:
So do they mean the discount? Or the price of the medication? Does this mean that is the amount you pay? They don’t say. If you type into Google Search “What does Walgreens mean by tiers, the first site you will be guided to is a site where disgruntled employees post. There is no simple, straightforward explanation as to what the tiers are. The discount pharmacy Walgreens explain in their pharmacy card FAQs that the exact percentage of savings varies depending on the prescription. They advise you to call or stop in to see how much you can save. This is actually a brilliant sales strategy, because once you are in the store you will probably buy the medication since you are already there.
At USA Rx we have a much simpler method to determine your discount. Once you get your prescription, just type in the prescription name, strength and amount, on our website or app and it will list every participating store in your neighborhood and what the cost will be. For example, you are prescribed Lipitor 10 mg, 30 day supply for your high blood pressure and your zip code is 12345. Average price of a Lipitor oral tablet 10 mg is $166. You go to USA RX and type in Lipitor amount and your zip code. You will see that in your zip code of 12345, you have 20 pharmacies to choose from with prices ranging from $115.20 to $124. Get the coupon and go. It is that easy. Also if you choose to download our mobile app you not only get savings and coupons but we will track prices and notify you with the latest savings alerts for your prescriptions.
So do pharmacy discount cards save you money? Absolutely! However, the best pharmacy discount card will be free, give you good discounts, and several options to get the best price on your prescriptions.