Prescription Drug Cost
Prescription drug cost accounts for a rough average of 2% of American’s income. This average varies from state to state, but it has been an increasing average in recent years and overall prescription drug cost has risen at a faster rate than other health care expenses. As the largest group of the population reaches retirement, it has the current workforce concerned about the future of prescription drug cost.
There are ways for the average consumer to save on prescription drug cost. Those with prescription drug coverage through an employer sponsored health care plan should learn their plan in detail. Examine how you can save with generic equivalents to name brand drugs, how mail order can save you money on long-term prescriptions, and whether a pre-tax medical spending account may save you money. If you are without a prescription drug plan, do some comparison shopping of prescription discount programs to see if there are potential savings for your situation.
One of the easiest ways to reduce your personal prescription drug cost is to ask your doctor. If your doctor prescribes a certain medication ask if there is a generic equivalent. If there isn’t, ask if there is an alternative medication that can treat the problem that does have a generic equivalent. If your doctor is insisting on a name brand drug, ask for samples to see if the medication will work for you before you shell out the cost of a full prescription. Most doctors are willing and able to help their patients out if they are simply asked. After all, they don’t know your personal financial situation or whether you have prescription insurance.
Another way to avoid prescription drug cost all together is to ask your doctor if an over the counter medication might work as well. In many cases, this won’t be possible such as a cholesterol reducer, antibiotic, or high blood pressure medication. However, some gastrointestinal problems, allergies, and other minor health problems can respond to OTC medications. Again, if you don’t ask your doctor, you won’t know for sure.
There is no way to avoid prescription drug cost completely unless you are miraculously in perfect health your entire life, but if you act as your own advocate you may find that the few times you do need a prescription you can save some money by asking a few questions. Don’t forget to call at least three pharmacies before filling a prescription if you must pay cash. You might be surprised at how their retail costs will vary.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.