Published February 24th, 2020 by Stephanie
With the continuous rise in the cost of prescription drugs, programs that offer discount medications have emerged. These have given access to options for patients to have access to more affordable medications. You may have seen advertisements or heard from friends or family about discount cards that offer a huge percentage of discount off of prescription drugs.
The emergence of these discount cards or coupons that one can get easily provided hope for people who struggle to buy the medication that they need due to high costs. But what are these prescription drug discount cards? How do they work, and how can they help?
Every person should have access to the Rx that they need to keep a healthy lifestyle. However, the high cost prevents many individuals from buying much-needed medicine. Most people find it hard, so they are forced to make sacrifices. This situation should not be the case. Fortunately, there are some ways one can save money on prescription medications.
Prescription drug discount cards allow a cardholder to buy the medications one needs at a lower cost. Generally, you will not have to shell out money to be able to use one of these cards. They are also easily available, and anyone can get one.
Anyone, whether you have insurance or not, can get a discount medications card. However, you cannot use it along with your insurance. Instead, it offers an alternative for you so you can decide which option is more affordable. People who do not have insurance can also benefit from a discount card. Generally, you will get a chance to lower the price of your medication by presenting the card to a participating pharmacy.
Hearing about discount cards may have left you wondering how the system works. How is it possible to lower prices without spending on the card? The answer is simple. It is because of the companies that offer discount cards, also known as pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs).
• Generally, a PBM comes up with a network of participating pharmacies that have agreed to accept the card it offers. It can include local drugstores and big pharmacy chains. Thus, you can use the card in any of the participating pharmacies.
• The PBM also negotiates with every store that is included in its network to get discounts for you. Usually, the pharmacies agree on a percentage of the retail price as the amount of discount. The pharmacy or store also agrees to pay a small transaction fee to the PBM every time a consumer uses the said card.
• Because of these, patients who use the card will only have to pay for the discounted price that the PBM has negotiated with the participating pharmacy or store, along with some minimal fees. The final price is lower than the full retail price that one has to pay without the discount card.
Various companies offer discount cards. So, you might be having a hard time choosing. The best thing you can do is be well-equipped with information. But, there is no need for you to worry as this does not require you to have a background in the field of medicine. What you need to do is to practice some measures to ensure that you get the best and most secure offer.
• Research about your options.
• Do not share confidential information.
• Compare the savings the companies offer.
• Avoid risky offers and programs.
If you finally have decided on getting a discount card, you should know how to use it wisely. Here are a few tips so you can enjoy the benefits fully.
• Understand the rules. Make sure you are aware of the stores that accept the card. You would not want to have to go to a store to pick up your prescription only to find out that you will need to pay for the full price.
• Check if it offers a cheaper alternative compared to when you use your insurance. Always ask the pharmacist for the price if you decide not to use the insurance. Then, compare the prices of using your discount card and insurance. This way, you can easily choose the cheaper option. Some medications may also not be part of your health plan coverage. Check this first to know when you have to use the discount card.
• Always compare prices. Do not settle on the first pharmacy you see. Compare prices on various pharmacies. You can call around different pharmacies that accept the card to help you decide.
• Ask if there are generics. A sure way of getting lower prices is to buy generic versions. They have the same component but are usually cheaper than brand prescription drugs.
• Try to be a loyal customer. It is tempting to go to various drugstores to get the best price. This practice can be helpful. However, it can also be risky. Getting all your prescription medications from the same store can be a safer option. Once you find the participating store that offers the most affordable medicine, you may want to stick to it. The chances of a pharmacist knowing what exact medications a loyal customer needs are higher. Choose the pharmacy that offers a good price and has most of your medications.
1. Download the free discount card.
2. Choose a participating pharmacy
3. Present the card to the pharmacist.
4. Pay for the discounted price.
Yes, that is how easy it is to use the card. You do not have to deal with complex paperwork. Additionally, you can save hundreds of dollars while ensuring that you or your family member get the medication that one needs.