Every responsible household tries to budget their everyday chores in a manner where they don’t have to face an ever-present financial strain. But we all know life is unpredictable and often throws things at us that we are least expecting.
A sudden hike in medical bills is one of those things that many households are not prepared for. There are many cases when people who are amply covered for healthcare hit the Medicare donut hole and have to take care of many of their prescription drugs through out-of-pocket expenses.
We can’t avoid and escape certain medical conditions and healthcare emergencies. However, we can still try to keep the expenses of prescription drugs as low as possible. Let’s have a look at all those measures that you can take to make sure you are not going to wreck all your monthly expenses due to the soaring cost of prescription drugs.
Get Your Physician in Loop
If you are concerned regarding the mounting cost of your prescriptions, then it is really important to talk to your physician. Many physicians don’t write prescriptions while keeping in mind the bottom line of their patients. There is no shame in sharing your concern with your physician regarding how the price of prescriptions is affecting your monthly spending.
There are two ways in which your physician can help you in lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
-They will write you low-priced variants of the same formula
-They will prescribe generic variants that are not necessarily tagged with any particular brand
However, you might have to face a trade-off by going for low-priced and generic options because some of those drugs require more follow-ups. So, compare the overall cost of the new prescriptions with the cost of the visit and decide which option will prove to be more cost-saving for you.
Even if you are not going to save a lot of money by changing the medicines, it is still important to notify your physician regarding your coverage issues.
Look for a Prescription Assistance Program
Pharmaceutical companies offer some of their medicines through Prescription Assistance Programs (PAPs). These programs are primarily tailored for all those patients who are completely uninsured or have the coverage lesser than what they actually need. Finding out a PAP that offers the prescription drugs that you need is not a mean task. However, it’s worth giving a try.
The Internet can come in handy in finding a suitable PAP. If you are able to find the right PAP, then you can reduce your out-of-pocket cost as low as $50. There are some cases where people availing these assistance programs get their prescription without spending a single buck.
Try to Get Your Prescriptions from Mail-Order Pharmacy
Try to save every single cent that you can on your prescription drugs particularly if they are associated with some chronic medical condition. One way to get smaller price cuts is to order your prescriptions from any authentic mail-order pharmacy.
These online establishments usually provide discounts on their products because they don’t have to take care of an ongoing operational expense like conventional drugstores. However, make sure that you are dealing with any certified mail-order pharmacy. Don’t overlook their legitimacy just because they are offering your required medicines at an exceptionally low price.
These are some identification markers for any legitimate mail-order pharmacy
-They are registered with the federal government and also carry a VIPPS certification.
-They employ real pharmacists that can be reached out through the phone and online correspondence.
-They only fulfill an order after seeing the prescription.
Apply for NACo Card if You Are Eligible
National Association of Counties (NACo) is a self-governing body of different county governments in the US. If your county is part of the NACo, then you are eligible to sign up for the NACo Prescription Discount Card Program. Patients that are not insured and nor do they contain any sort of prescription coverage can get up to 24% discount on the purchasing of their prescription drugs (this is the average discount value).
Get FSA or HSA to Manage the Cost
We all know that the country is going through a healthcare crisis. From the opioid crisis to a measles outbreak and strict federal regulations on healthcare coverage, things are not good at that front. In that murky situation, there are many employers that offer Health Spending Accounts (HAS) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) to their workers where they can pay for their prescription drugs and other medical expenses from their pre-taxed earnings.
If you are getting paid on a high marginal tax rate, then you can save some substantial amount on your prescription drugs. FSA and HSA operate through different rules; in some cases, employers also add their own provisions to the establishment of these healthcare plans.
One of the major differences between FSA and HSA is that the former is not carried forward to the next year. This means all the savings in an FSA will be of no use at the end of the year.
Medicare Extra Help
If you are earning money that is below a certain threshold, then you will automatically become eligible for Extra Help program. However, it is important that you are already using the Medicare Part D plan. You can also contact the Medicare to get enrolled in the Extra Help extension. The eligible people pay a certain fix amount on the buying of all the generic and name-brand drugs.
The State-Sponsored Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
There is a group of people that earn enough money to get ineligible for Medicare Extra Help or Medicaid. Nevertheless, they are feeling the heat of the high price of prescription drugs. All these people can go for state-sponsored Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs to share their burden of medical expenses. It is important to mention here that not all states offer PAP with similar structures.
The high prices of prescription drugs for an ongoing medical condition can put a lot of financial strain on any family. However, it’s not the solution to accept those high prices. As you can see, there are options that can save you some substantial money on the procurement of prescription drugs.