The average American spends $1,200 a year on prescriptions.
That’s more than a thousand dollars that could go towards paying down debt or even financing a small family vacation. It also means that when money is tight, some families will struggle to afford medications they desperately need.
If you can’t afford the medication that you need, keep reading to learn 7 ways to cut down on your medical costs.
1. Ask for Generic
Perhaps the easiest way to save on medications is to ask for generic.
If you don’t ask, most doctors are likely to prescribe you the name-brand medication, which always carries a higher price tag.
Many medications have a generic counterpart. These medications are available in the same dosage, have the same ingredients, and perform the same duties.
2. Know Your Co-Pay Options
Check with your insurance provider to learn what your co-pays for different types of medications are. You might have a different co-pay for generic versus name-brand drugs, and for preferred brands versus other brands of medications.
3. Shop Around
If you don’t have a co-pay for a certain drug, make sure you shop around before you buy.
Pharmacies are allowed to set their own prices for medications. Often, these prices vary based on the location of the pharmacy and how much of certain medications they sell.
But shopping around town will only get you so far. Drug prices are unlikely to vary by more than a few dollars.
Luckily, you can also shop online. With a little searching, you may be able to order prescription drugs online for a fraction of what you’d pay at your corner pharmacy.
4. Check for Discounts
You may have seen ads and commercials for apps that promise to save you money on your prescriptions. Turns out these aren’t a flashy scam.
From smartphone applications to websites and digital coupons, there are tons of discounts out there that can help you save on the medications you already take. Some pharmacies may be able to offer you discounts directly as well.
5. Ask About 3 Month Prescriptions
If your doctor is willing to write you a prescription with refills every 3 months instead of every month, you’ll pay just one co-pay each time you pick them up.
This savings trick only works if you have a co-pay. But it will not only help you save on your medications but also means fewer trips to the pharmacy.
6. Search for Assistance Programs
If you are low-income or on a fixed income, there are programs out there that can help you afford your medications.
There are plenty of websites that can connect you with assistance programs. Some pharmaceutical companies may also offer patient assistance programs through their website.
7. Talk to Your Doctor
If you’ve tried the tips on this list and still can’t afford your medications, talk to your doctor.
He or she may be able to help find solutions specific to your situation. There may be alternative drugs that are less expensive, assistance programs, or other treatment options to help you save.
What to Do if You Still Can’t Afford Medication
Sometimes even talking to your doctor isn’t enough.
If you still can’t afford medication but also can’t give up your prescription, it may be time to look for other areas of your life where you could cut costs. Or, perhaps its time to start a side hustle or find other ways to earn extra money.
Check out our website for tips, tricks, and ideas to help you do just that.