How to save on prescription drugs
Americans are shelling out more than $200 billion each year for prescription drugs, up 50 percent since 2001, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey. These high costs are having a big effect on consumerís choices. One survey found 40 percent of the patients said they have skipped taking some of their medications because they couldnít afford them.
Here are some ways you can save on your prescription drugs.
Choose generic: Whenever you can, opt for generic drugs. According to the National Association of Chain Drugs Stores, generics cost less than a third as much as their brand-name counterparts.
Know your plan: Research your current prescription plan coverage and know the list of drugs covered by your insurance. If you are taking drug X, see whether there is a comparable, cheaper drug available.
Use mail order: Many plans will allow you to order your drugs via mail for a cheaper price.
Choose static co-pays: Try to choose prescription drug coverage that offers a set co-pay of $10 or $15. Avoid plans that base their coverage on percentages, as they are often considerably more expensive.
Do your homework: There are great internet resources that offer ideas on how to lower your costs. A couple of examples are: medicare.gov, copays.org, pparx.org
And donít be afraid to ask your doctor on ways to save costs. Many doctors stock a number of free samples, and while that wonít hold you over all the time, it can certainly spread out the cost and the trips to the pharmacy.
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