Health Care Hacks Ep. 3 – Paying for Prescriptions
Just got back from the pharmacy. I paid
$60 for a drug. Frustrates the heck out of me. I pay so much for health care in my premiums, why do I have to pay $60 every time for a drug I take every month? Hi my name is Jon. I’m your health care hacker. In this episode of Health Care Hacks, we’re going to talk about pharmacy costs. So first off, I want to caveat this. This is only people with commercial insurance. What I mean by that is if you have Medicare, Medicaid or any other sort of government program what I’m telling you does not
apply. But if you get insurance through your employer or the exchange, then pay
attention because this will put money back into your pocket.
The first hack is something I call manufacturer copay cards. What these are is if you take a brand-name drug and you’ve got a large copay, many times if
you go to the manufacturer’s website, they’ll pay your copay for you, or most
of it. It’s amazing. So how does it work? Well first, what you need to do is just
Google your drug. Put it in your drug’s name, copay card. That’s it.
A lot of these manufacturer’s sites will come up that then you have to give them
some simple information. What’s your name, address, etc. You fill that out, you get a
card. Next time you go to a pharmacy, you give them your insurance card and they
say you owe $200, you give them the copay card and the manufacturer covers it for
you. It goes away. So instead of paying $200, you pay five or pay nothing at all.
Really depends on brand to brand how it works, but most of them you can do significant savings. But a lot of us don’t take brand-name drugs, we take
generic drugs. Most of us when we have a generic, let’s say we’ve got a statin to
manage our cholesterol. We get that filled, we take our insurance, we pay a
$20 copay. But there’s products out there and it’s been a real revolution the last
couple of years, with companies such as Goodrx, Singlecare, Honeybee just to name a couple, that allow you to pay cash for
less than you pay your copay, putting money in your pocket.
The only negative is it doesn’t count towards your benefit, so it won’t roll
into your out-of-pocket max. So it’ll be outside of your insurance, but, let me give you an example. I was recently working with a family whose teenage son was taking Adderall. Their copay through their insurance company is $120 a month. By using one of these cash coupon
programs, they’re able go to the same pharmacy, get the same drug, the same
exact prescription, everything’s exactly the same, except instead of using their
insurance card, they used one of these coupons, they paid $45 a month.
I haven’t even brought up the fact you can use mail-order pharmacies, where you can even get the
cost even significantly lower than some of these cash coupon cards. So if you have a drug you take and I tell people, general rule of thumb, if they’re
spending more than three dollars a month, do two things: first, if it’s a brand-name
drug, Google the brand name and copay card to see if the manufacturers offers a
card. Second thing if it’s generic or if you don’t find a copay card, put the name
in, of the drug, and say coupon. Up will pop a lot of sites that allow you to
search to see what the retail price is. It’s very easy to do, it’ll take you a
couple of minutes,and you can put significant money back and you and
your family’s pocket instead of paying the pharmaceutical companies.
If you have questions about how to save money or problems you’re facing with healthcare
dollars email us on the address on the screen.