You may have seen ads for prescription savings cards or heard that there’s a free way to save on your medication but what are they and how do you use one? There’s a lot of confusion about what discounts are available when you shop for medications at different pharmacies. In this article, we’ll explain what a prescription discount card is and how to use one to maximize the amount you can save on your medication.
How Do Free Discount Drug Cards Work?
Think of a prescription discount card like a coupon. It’s a free way to pay less for your medication.
Prescription discount cards are a free tool offered by a number of different companies that help you save on the cost of medications—especially when you’re paying in cash. These companies work as a bigger network to negotiate deals with pharmacies and drug manufacturers to reduce the cost of prescriptions and then pass those savings on to you.
How to use a prescription discount card to maximize your savings
Check discounts at multiple pharmacies
The pharmacy industry is complex, which means drug prices can be dramatically different from one pharmacy to another. Always make sure you check a few pharmacies in the area. The price difference can easily be $10 or more.
Pay cash and then submit to insurance to double up on savings
Many people think that you either pay cash for your medication OR use your insurance. But you can use both tools to maximize your savings.
Check with your insurance company and ask if you can turn in your receipt to get credit for the cash you spend on your medications when using a discount program. If your insurance allows you to turn in your receipt, the money you spend on medications can apply to your out of pocket maximum.
Important note: If you are going to turn your receipt into your insurance company, make sure you follow your current pharmacy benefits. For example, if you are only allowed a 30 day supply of your prescription at retail, don’t fill a 90 day supply and expect to get credit towards you out of pocket max.
Compare prices of different discount cards
No one card has the best price on every medication. Almost every discount card has a search function where you can pull up prices for your medication at pharmacies near you. Make sure you check different drug discount card providers like GoodRx, WellRx, Drugs.com and, of course, here at Uncovered
Remind Your Pharmacist To Use Your Discount Card
When filling your prescription, give the pharmacist your discount card and ask them to specifically fill your prescription with this intended card. Sometimes pharmacists will store a discount card and use the same one over and over again. Since the savings can vary between different drug discount cards, it’s always good to remind them to use the card you have on hand.
Ask For Increase Quantities
If you are not planning on sending in a paper claims to insurance, then shop for increased prescription quantities for an even lower per pill price.
Find The Best One Stop Shop
SingleCare has a tool that will put all your regular prescriptions together to find the pharmacy near you that offers the combined best price on all of your medications. It might not be the absolute lowest price on every individual medication, but it shows you the most convenient way to save at one pharmacy.
How To Transfer A Prescription From One Pharmacy To Another
If you want to save on prescriptions, you need to know how to move your prescriptions after they’ve been written. Luckily, it’s an easy process to follow. Here’s how to do it:
- Call or visit the new pharmacy with the best savings to request an Rx transfer.
- Give the new pharmacy the names of all the medications you want to transfer, along with dosage and Rx numbers.
- Provide your current pharmacy’s contact information. The new pharmacy will contact your old pharmacy and take care of most of the process.
- Wait for the transfer to be completed, allowing at least 1-3 business days.
Little savings add up. Drug discount cards are a great, free way to save money. And remember to treat your pharmacist like your partner. They’re there to care for you in the way that fits you best. Talk to them, let them know you’re trying to save and they’ll help in the process.
Ken is a multidisciplinary pharmacist, with over thirty eight years’ experience within Pharmacy and the Managed Care industries. He is a pharmacy savings gurus—helping people with all the ways they get their medicine: mail, retail, and hospital pharmacy, clinical programs, specialty pharmacy and health plans.