Author Topic: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??  (Read 1615 times)

newton

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Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« on: August 01, 2016, 12:58:35 PM »
Hello

Looking at changing my health insurance to my companies high deductible plan to save premium costs but also to have access to an HSA (which I do not have at this time.)  The biggest concerns is that my wife and I both have prescriptions and the high deductible plan does not cover prescriptions until we reach the deductible amount. 

Is there an easy place to find out how much our prescriptions would cost without our insurance coverage?

Any help would be appreciated!

Miss Piggy

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2016, 01:50:32 PM »
When I pick up a (filled) prescription, my receipt generally says what the cost would have been without insurance.

stoaX

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2016, 01:56:00 PM »
Go straight to the horses mouth and ask at the pharmacy.

onlykelsey

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2016, 02:01:29 PM »
Go straight to the horses mouth and ask at the pharmacy.

And then ask at other pharmacies, because they'll have different prices.  I'd particularly look at sams club/costco type pharmacies, or online pharmacies if you have a predictable regime of medicine.

Choices

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2016, 03:47:30 PM »
Even before you meet your deductible, you'll still get a huge discount from using your insurance.

For example, if cash price is $200 for people without insurance, but your insurance company has a negotiated rate of $50, you'll only pay the $50 until you reach your deductible. You'll never have to pay the full $200.

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newton

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2016, 04:26:15 PM »
Even before you meet your deductible, you'll still get a huge discount from using your insurance.

For example, if cash price is $200 for people without insurance, but your insurance company has a negotiated rate of $50, you'll only pay the $50 until you reach your deductible. You'll never have to pay the full $200.

Even if the high deductible plan doesn't have Pharmacy benefits??

Cassie

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2016, 04:53:34 PM »
We didn't take our high ded plan because of the high cost of drugs so we stuck with the HMO and the higher premiums.

Choices

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2016, 06:16:23 PM »
Even before you meet your deductible, you'll still get a huge discount from using your insurance.

For example, if cash price is $200 for people without insurance, but your insurance company has a negotiated rate of $50, you'll only pay the $50 until you reach your deductible. You'll never have to pay the full $200.

Even if the high deductible plan doesn't have Pharmacy benefits??

Many plans have negotiated rates with pharmacies even though they don't have discounted copays. It doesn't hurt to ask the pharmacist to run the price with and without your insurance card.
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Dee18

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2016, 06:54:31 PM »
When a doctor is giving you a prescription, always ask if there is a coupon.  My dermatologist is the one who clued me into this.  Also, check online.  With a new prescription, ask the doctor if the prescription is the most cost effective treatment.  A doctor will sometimes say, "no, there is a cheaper generic drug you could take 3 times a day, but many patients prefer the convenience of this once a day drug." Some pharmacies also have a card you can purchase and then get significant discounts.  I have been amazed at how much price shopping is available with prescriptions.

a1pharm

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2016, 11:48:36 AM »
If you have the typical high blood pressure or diabetes meds, there is almost always a $4 option (most pharmacies copy what Walmart did years ago, and now offer a list of drugs for $4).

If you are taking brand name drugs, ask your pharmacist if there is a cheaper therapeutic alternative (it might be in a different drug class).

Independent pharmacies can price their drugs however they want, you might be able to work out a special pricing deal with one if you ask.

Finally, the best advice: avoid drugs if possible.  Ask your doctor if there are any lifestyle modifications you can make to improve your disease state(s).  Don't ignore this option if it pertains to you.

Choices

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2016, 07:03:30 PM »
If you have the typical high blood pressure or diabetes meds, there is almost always a $4 option (most pharmacies copy what Walmart did years ago, and now offer a list of drugs for $4).

If you are taking brand name drugs, ask your pharmacist if there is a cheaper therapeutic alternative (it might be in a different drug class).

Independent pharmacies can price their drugs however they want, you might be able to work out a special pricing deal with one if you ask.

Finally, the best advice: avoid drugs if possible.  Ask your doctor if there are any lifestyle modifications you can make to improve your disease state(s).  Don't ignore this option if it pertains to you.
This is a good option. Sadly, those lists have shrunk a ton from their initial offerings. Wal-Mart seems to have the most comprehensive list but there's no longer quite as much overlap with Target (now sold to CVS) or Fry's. Check online before going to the pharmacy to avoid disappointment.

Costco also has good prices on prescriptions, some stores will price-match, and you don't need to be a member to use the Costco pharmacy (though you might be told otherwise at the store entrance).
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VioletVixen

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2016, 11:24:52 PM »
Check out the Goodrx website to get a ballpark estimate of drug costs at different pharmacies in your area. I've found it to be pretty accurate.   

newton

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 04:05:21 PM »
Check out the Goodrx website to get a ballpark estimate of drug costs at different pharmacies in your area. I've found it to be pretty accurate.   

Thanks for the tip!

scruffydan

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 04:18:27 PM »
Hi guys, funny enough, my startup (which is my day job) built a free website for people to check if their medications have cheaper alternatives, or patient assistance programs. The tricky think about comparing insurance co-pays is that there are no databases that have aggregated all the co-pays, except for McKesson, who then sells that service back to the pharmacies. Regardless, take a spin through checkyourmeds.com - and you might find some savings. Let me know if you have any questions.

scruffydan

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2016, 04:20:48 PM »
I might add, the trick to saving a substantial amount of money on your medications, is to look at "therapeutic alternatives." These are NOT generics, but are drugs with a different mechanism of action that may have similar benefits. Of course, you may find an appropriate therapeutic alternative that also happens to be a generic, but it is NOT the generic of the original drug you were on. Of course, you have to discuss the suitability of an alternative with your doctor. That is the primary way that checkyourmeds.com helps people save money on their medications.

Hotstreak

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Re: Prescription Drug Cost - Prices??
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 06:05:16 PM »
Even before you meet your deductible, you'll still get a huge discount from using your insurance.

For example, if cash price is $200 for people without insurance, but your insurance company has a negotiated rate of $50, you'll only pay the $50 until you reach your deductible. You'll never have to pay the full $200.

Even if the high deductible plan doesn't have Pharmacy benefits??

Many plans have negotiated rates with pharmacies even though they don't have discounted copays. It doesn't hurt to ask the pharmacist to run the price with and without your insurance card.

Definitely have them give you the insurance and non-insurance prices!  Some meds will be significantly more expensive if you use insurance.  I was getting a prescription filled for $5/mo that would have been $30/mo if I used insurance.  If you don't use insurance, you can still pay with your HSA.