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CVS Prescription Discount Card: Is it Worth it?

For many Americans, one of the major contributors to monthly costs is getting their prescription drugs filled. Some people may have chronic health conditions like diabetes or high cholesterol that require taking prescription medication daily. Often, these medications need to be taken life-long to maintain well-being. This requires getting prescription drugs constantly refilled, and this becomes a continuous expense for them. When these drugs are only available as brand names with no generic versions available yet, the cost burden can be even higher. Some of these drugs might be available as a generic form, but some generics can be quite expensive too. Some people can also face a situation in which they are diagnosed with a sudden illness that requires taking a prescription drug that is expensive but is not covered by their insurance plans. 

Some insurance plans do not have prescription drug coverage included unless you pay for it separately as an add-on. An example is Medicare coverage for which you must opt in for Medicare Part D if you want coverage of your prescription drugs. Even then, many insurance plans do not cover all prescriptions drugs, or have very high premiums that must be met before your prescription drug will be covered. This could mean paying out-of-pocket for these medications. Additionally, if you’ve reached the maximum coverage limit for prescriptions drugs in a year, but are suddenly faced with having to buy a prescription drug for an unplanned illness, you may face high out-of-pocket charges. 

It is not unusual for different pharmacies to have different prices on prescription drugs. Some medications may be cheaper at a certain pharmacy compared to another. You may find that your regular pharmacy gives you the lowest price for a drug that you regularly take and refill there, but when you fill a new prescription the new drug is priced very high. You might also find that a drug that you regularly fill at your pharmacy and save on with your insurance is no longer covered by your plan. All of these situations cause financial burden on patients who try to buy their prescription drugs. What is the solution to bringing expenditure on prescription drugs down? One way is to choose a pharmacy that you know will give you a good price on your prescription drug. Certain chain pharmacies have standard discount prices that they offer on prescription drugs and the prices do not usually vary from branch to branch. However, in some cases the prescription drug price can be different at one location compared to another, so always check with the pharmacist when filling your prescription. 

One of the major chain pharmacies in the country is CVS Pharmacies. CVS locations are abundant across the country, making it the second largest chain pharmacy in the United States. Currently, there are more than 7,800 stores dispersed across the country and most of them have pharmacies. CVS boasts that they offer the lowest discounted prices on prescription drugs. One of the ways they do this is by accepting prescription discount cards

What is a prescription discount card? 

Pharmacies like CVS accept prescription discount cards to help you save on the cost of prescription drugs. What is a prescription drug card and who is eligible to get one? Drug discount cards offer discounted prices on prescription drugs compared to the market list value. Everyone is eligible to sign up for a discount card, whether you have health insurance or not. If you do not have health insurance, obtaining a prescription drug discount card will be especially beneficial for you. Even if you do have health insurance, the card can provide you with savings if the drug you need to purchase is not covered under your insurance. If it is only partially covered by your plan, you might save more by using the discount card instead of your insurance. 

Many companies and organizations offer drug discount cards and you should choose one that will be accepted at your preferred pharmacy. You should also choose a card that is free to sign up for and will not cost you anything to own at any point. CVS has multiple prescription drug cards that can be used exclusively at their pharmacies. When deciding which card to get, take into consideration the different features of each card. 

What kind of discount cards at accepted at CVS? 

It is important to note that most discount cards cannot be used in combination with health insurance. So you must decide whether you will get a better-discounted price by applying your health insurance to cover the cost of your drug, or whether you will save more by using a drug discount card. When choosing a drug discount card, also be sure that the card is safe. These features include a card that is:

  • Free of cost
  • Does not require personal information like your home address 
  • Has a helpline available to answer your questions 

Here is a list of some of the common discount cards accepted at CVS pharmacies.

Easy Drug Card

CVS accepts a discount card called the Easy Drug Card to help you get discounted rates on prescription drugs. This is a good card for patients who do not have health insurance and is accepted at CVS pharmacies across the country. This card states that you can save up to 80% on certain medications and is free of cost to obtain. 

SingleCare Card

This prescription discount card is for use exclusively at CVS pharmacies across the country. This card is also free and boasts an average savings of 80% on popular prescription drugs like Lipitor, EpiPen and Advair. SingleCare works directly with CVS, so savings you get with this card are tailored towards the CVS Pharmacies. 

USA Rx Card 

Some pharmacy discount cards give you the advantage of being able to use them at almost any pharmacy across the country. The prescription discount card from USA Rx, is one of these cards that is a great option if you are looking for a free card that can give you discounts on all FDA-approved drugs at more than just CVS. This card can be used at CVS, of course, but if you move or need to fill your prescription at any other pharmacy, the USA Rx card is valid at 90% of pharmacies across the country and will get you the maximum savings possible on prescription drugs. USA Rx has special deals with Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) on certain drugs. The PBMs decide how much a drug should cost and USA Rx has worked with them to get the best-discounted price on some drugs. To find out how much you can save, you can sign up for the card online and enter the name of your drug to see how much it would cost after the discount is applied. Simply present this card at your local CVS, or other pharmacy, to start saving. You can verify whether your preferred pharmacy accepts this discount card by looking it up on the USA Rx website. If your pharmacy is not listed, there is still a high chance that the card will be accepted and you can give the pharmacy a call, or take the card in with you the next time you fill a prescription.

CVS also has a prescription Rx program to help make medication affordable. This program is called the Reduced Rx Prescription Savings Program. This program offers discounts on certain medications at CVS through Caremark, the PBM of CVS pharmacies. Most CVS Pharmacy locations accept this program and it can be used instead of health insurance on certain drugs. Patients can save more than $100 out- of-pocket on certain medications with this program. The catch is that only specific medications are covered under this program, so if the prescription drug that you need is not part of this program, a pharmacy discount card is a better option for you. 

Compare prices of prescription drugs on USA Rx before making your purchase

Overall, getting a prescription discount card that gives you the flexibility to purchase your prescription drugs from any pharmacy across the country, including at the CVS pharmacies, is your best bet to get the maximum savings while giving you the option to fill your prescription just about anywhere. The flexible discount card, like the card offered by USA Rx, also gives you the ability to compare prices of a certain drugs at different pharmacies and decide which one is best for you. You might find that you get more savings at CVS for one drug, and having this discount card will help you be confident that you are choosing the right pharmacy for you. As always, be sure that your pharmacist is aware of all medications that you are taking to avoid possible drug interactions. 

With the increasing amount of prescription drugs that Americans are taking each day, purchasing prescription drugs does not need to be a source of major financial stress anymore. Drug discount cards can be a good solution to obtaining expensive market-value prescription drugs at a lower cost.  

Published April 17th, 2020 by Chris Riley
Fact Checked by Chris Riley

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