Updated: Dec 15, 2020
Most of us take at least one or two prescription drugs each day to sustain our health or to manage a chronic condition. If you or a loved one have a chronic disease like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, or diabetes you may need insulin or have to take more than five to eight pills each day. The cost to maintain your health can become really expensive when you have several prescription drugs to take. The senior population is especially vulnerable! Some retired seniors live on a fixed income and are forced to go without taking their medications or forgo paying other expenses in order to be able to pay for their prescription drugs.
It is clear the health care system in the United States is broken. With surging drug prices and medical costs, too many people are forced to go without the prescription drugs they need and without health insurance to help lower their drug costs. Let’s say you were recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and need insulin to manage your blood sugar. The cost of insulin has doubled from 2012 through 2016, according to an article published by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The report also indicates in 2016, individuals with Type 1 diabetes spent up to $5,705 per-person annually and $475 per month to manage their insulin levels (HCCI, 2019). The cost of insulin has continued to increase so much that some people have died from rationing their insulin. Furthermore, some people who live in the United States have had to purchase discounted insulin from online pharmacies located in Canada. Also, others have elected to travel to Mexico, where insulin prices are reduced by more than 50 percent. In fact, according to an article published by Kaiser Health News, close to one million people who live in California travel to Mexico to buy insulin and other prescription drugs (Kaiser Health News, 2019).
When I was laid off from a job and lost my medical coverage, I was forced to find cheaper options for my eye allergy prescription. To my surprise, I actually paid less money for my pricey eye allergy drop without prescription drug coverage. How can this be? How can it be cheaper to buy my eye allergy drop without any health insurance or prescription drug coverage? How in this United States of America can we justify the high cost of a life-saving drug like insulin? According to Modern Healthcare, insulin has been in existence since the 1920’s and new formulations have not been introduced to warrant the high cost (Modern Healthcare 2019). I am happy to share what I learned to help you minimize your out-of-pocket costs on your prescriptions.
There are several online drug comparison sites that can help lower your drug costs. You must do cost comparisons on each site to find the best deal. However, the cost-savings will be well worth your time and effort. First, you will need to grab your prescription box or bottle(s), to make sure you correctly spell the brand or generic drug name(s). You will also need to enter the prescription dosage to accurately find the price. Once you have gathered all of your prescriptions, you can now start searching the websites below to compare prices. Most of the websites below will allow you to print a coupon with the cost of the prescription. You should take the coupon with you to the pharmacy to make sure the pharmacy will accept the discount coupon and honor the price.
The websites listed below are safe and will allow you to type your prescription in a search box to find the lowest prices at Costco, CVS, Giant, Walmart, and other national pharmacies. Did you know that you can get a prescription filled at Costco without having a membership? That’s right! You can absolutely get your prescriptions filled at Costco without paying for an annual membership. Here’s a link to a short video clip by GoodRX on how most of the prescription drug discount programs work. I hope you are able to save some money on your prescription drugs with one or more of the drug comparison sites provided below. Remember, if you already have prescription drug benefits, you can use the sites below to further reduce your out-of-pocket costs.
Prescription Drug Comparison Sites
Health Care Cost Institute. (2019, January). Spending on individuals with type 1 diabetes and the role of rapidly increasing insulin prices. Retrieved from: https://www.healthcostinstitute.org/research/publications/entry/spending-on-individuals-with-type-1-diabetes-and-the-role-of-rapidly-increasing-insulin-prices
Kaiser Health News. (2019, February). American cross border into Mexico to buy insulin at a fraction of U.S. cost. Retrieved from: https://khn.org/news/americans-cross-border-into-mexico-to-buy-insulin-at-a-fraction-of-u-s-cost/
Modern Healthcare. (2019, January). Rising insulin prices drive higher diabetes care spending. Retrieved from: https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20190122/NEWS/190129990/rising-insulin-prices-drive-higher-diabetes-care-spending