The era of healthcare reform is upon us, but the changes it is bringing may not be clear to many Americans. The Affordable Care Act was designed to decrease medical costs for Americans and reduce the exponential increase in healthcare costs, however exerts are finding that the opposite effect may be true when it comes to out-of-pocket costs for the average consumer, who will find their medication costs increasing.
The Affordable Care Act addresses high costs associated with many aspects of medical insurance coverage, and increases the costs that fall on the shoulders of insurance companies in an attempt to decrease costs to consumers. Because of the increased cost of operating insurance plans, many insurance companies have decreased the number of products and services they cover, reduced their coverage of covered products, and created inexpensive insurance plans that have less coverage than the consumer may be used to.
Unfortunately, this puts more responsibility for controlling drug costs into the hands of the consumers. Americans are now responsible for ensuring their healthcare costs are affordable. Shopping for the best deal has become the norm in healthcare, and consumers must be informed on the steps they need to take to ensure their healthcare costs are reasonable. This is the only way to fight back against the trend of medication costs increasing.
Many consumers are finding that the medications they have been taking for years are not covered by all plans on the health insurance marketplace. Plans that do cover their medications may result in an increase in annual costs due to deductibles and higher copays, even though they have lower monthly premiums. Each plan offers differing levels of coverage for each medication, with wide variation based on a seemingly unlimited number of factors. Consumers are now responsible for weighing the benefits and pitfalls of each plan and how they apply to the medications they take and the services they require for their medical conditions, in order to reign in the costs of their own healthcare.
Insurance Companies Limiting Participating Pharmacies
Some insurance plans also limit the pharmacies that cover medications for their members, or have higher costs to the consumer if medications are filled at an out-of-network pharmacy. This is a simple way for insurance companies to control their own costs, as it is easier for them to negotiate prices with fewer pharmacies. Consumers must be aware of which pharmacies are in their insurance company’s network and use them exclusively to prevent unnecessary additional drug costs.
Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs Vary from Pharmacy to Pharmacy
Out of pocket drug costs can also vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Pharmacies can have varying prices for a single product due to contract pricing with wholesalers or drug manufacturers. Pharmacies that buy more of a certain medication can often get a contract to buy that medication for a lower price than pharmacies that only buy the product in limited quantities. This wholesale pricing is often reflected in the charges paid by the consumer. This is why pharmacies in wholesale stores often have lower drug costs than independent pharmacies, because it is cheaper to buy in bulk. Consumers must take this into account when shopping for the lowest cost for their prescription products in order to prevent their annual drug costs from rising.
Medication costs can also vary among pharmacies due to various loyalty and discount drug programs. Many pharmacies have their own discount programs for customers that are members of their store’s loyalty program. These programs can cover certain generic medications for a low cost if the consumer does not have prescription insurance. When quoting a price for a prescription medication, some pharmacies give the consumer the discounted price while others give the non-discounted price, resulting in what seems to be large price fluctuations between pharmacies. Consumers should be aware of these pricing differences for prescription medications and ask for the same pricing from each pharmacy when shopping for the best deal.
Comparing Pharmacy Prices to Combat Medication Costs Increasing
When shopping for low cost prescription medications, consumers should be sure to use all available resources to find the lowest price for their medication. Using a Prescription Discount Card, like the one offered by Discount Drug Network, can help reign in costs that are unaffordable. By using Discount Drug Network’s simple online Drug Pricing tool, consumers can figure out what their costs will be when using the Prescription Discount Card for a specific product at their pharmacy before they go to the store. This allows consumers to compare the discounted price to their insurance copays in order to figure out the lowest price available to them, without even leaving the comfort of their own home.
Discount Drug Network’s Prescription Discount Card
The Prescription Discount Card is free for everyone, and can be used if you do not have insurance, or if your insurance company does not cover your medication. It can also be used in place of your insurance if the insurance copay is too high. It will help you fight the increasing medication costs you are facing. Discounts from 10-85% are available, depending on the medication and pharmacy used. Request your card today and keep it in your wallet to decrease your drug costs the next time you need to purchase prescription medications.
At Discount Drug Network, we’ve got your back! We put you in the driver’s seat and help you become your own advocate. We save our cardholders time and money by filling in the gaps that insurance and Medicare don’t cover. For our cardholders without insurance, we do our best to make health care affordable and accessible.
In short, we provide easy access to the largest collection of the best discounts available in the industry. Period. We compare pharmacy prices, you save!