Using your health insurance’s prescription plan to pay for medications may not be the cheapest way to lower drug costs. Just ask Melissa Hillman, a 43-year-old woman with a chronic heart condition. She was diagnosed 4 years ago with high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, conditions that she has been able to control with prescription medication. She takes 6 generic medications daily to control the rhythm of her heartbeat and lower her blood pressure, and has been paying for prescription insurance to cover these medications ever since she was diagnosed. She pays $250 per month for her premium, and has a $3000 deductible on prescriptions that must be paid before the insurance will begin paying for her medications.
Despite the high cost of her prescription insurance, Melissa feels that it is necessary to purchase insurance to cover prescription medications. She is afraid that if she does not buy insurance, the cost of her medications would be too expensive for her to afford. She has been paying for a prescription insurance plan ever since she quit her job 5 years ago and started her own freelance business.
When she went to her cardiologist for her biannual checkup, she discussed the high cost of her prescription insurance with her doctor, and was surprised at his response. Knowing her medications were all generic drugs, he suggested using a discount card for her prescriptions, and dropping the prescription portion of her insurance. He told her that since all of her medications are inexpensive generic drugs, the prices should be reasonable to pay without insurance. She was shocked that he even suggested this, how could she afford to pay for her prescriptions without insurance?!
The doctor broke down the pricing for her and she was upset that she did not realize that the cost of her prescriptions on her insurance could be costing her more than just buying them without insurance. Her insurance plan premiums and deductible cost her $6000 per year. On top of that, after the deductible is met she still has to pay a $10 copay for each medication every month, resulting in an additional $720 per year.
Her doctor told her that she has the option of not using her insurance, and paying for her prescriptions using other means, such as the Prescription Discount Card from the Discount Drug Network. This discount card can be used in place of insurance, and can take 10-85% off of the price of the medication, depending on the medication and pharmacy used.
If she were to fill her prescriptions using the Prescription Discount Card, the prices for her 6 regular generic medications would be approximately $125 per month, resulting in an annual medication cost of $1500. If she were to use the discount card exclusively, and drop her prescription insurance, she would save $5220 annually!
Paying Out-of-Pocket for Prescriptions Can Be Cheaper
Melissa never thought about paying for her prescriptions without insurance, but was extremely grateful that her cardiologist suggested this alternative method of payment. She did not realize she was overpaying so much for her prescriptions by using prescription insurance, something that she thought she had to have in order to make her medications affordable.
With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act stimulating many changes in health insurance plans this year, others are finding themselves in similar situations. It is important to evaluate the necessity of using prescription insurance when buying medications, based on the specific medications the consumer is taking. People taking generic medications often find that their medication copay is more expensive than purchasing their prescriptions without insurance. And with the high costs of carrying insurance, many people are realizing that they are paying more for their prescriptions on insurance than they would if they did not carry prescription insurance at all!
Using the Prescription Discount Card can help reign in costs that are becoming unaffordable. By using the 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 users 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.
The Prescription Discount Card is free for everyone, and can be used in place of insurance if the insurance copay is too high, or if the consumer does not carry prescription insurance. Consumers can sign up for the card at discountdrugnetwork.com and order a wallet card to carry this discount with them.