Fatten The Wallet

10 Ways to Save Money on Medications

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It’s no secret that you can save money on groceries, bargain your cable bill, but did you know that there are ways for you to save money on medications.  What about getting them for FREE?

That’s right.  Some medications you can even get for free if you know where to look.

Before I get started with the list, I need to make a disclaimer that I am in no way, shape or form giving out medical advice.  This is just a list of possible ways to save money on medications.

save money on medications


1. Walmart $4 list

The Walmart $4 list has been around since 2006 with an extensive list of medications you can get for $4 per 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply.  You can obtain the list from their website or at the pharmacy.

This is available to everybody. No insurance?  No Problem!  If it’s on the list, it’s $4. If you have insurance and your co-pay is higher than $4, then just opt out to pay cash for $4.

Most other pharmacies will price match, but you have to ask for it.


2. Rx discount card

If you do not have insurance and your medication is not on the $4 list, ask the pharmacy about the free prescription discount card.  Depending on the medications, the discount can be up to 75% off.


3. Prior authorization – Tier cost reduction/exception

Did you know that you can also call your insurance company to request for a tier cost reduction? For example: your medication is a tier 3 with the co-pay of $100.  You request for a tier cost reduction and it’s approved to tier 1, you now pay $20 for the co-pay.

This does NOT apply to every single medication and every single healthcare plan is different.  But it doesn’t hurt to ask.


4. Mail-order pharmacy

The same maintenance medication might cost a $10-copay for a 30-day supply at a traditional brick and mortar pharmacy vs. $10 for a 90-day supply for mail order.

You don’t have to worry about filling your medication monthly and they ship it to your home. You get to save money and no hassle of waiting at the pharmacy.


5. Coupons

Drug companies often will offer a free 30-day trial or a coupon for a discount for newer medications.  You can get the coupon from the manufacturer’s website, doctor’s office or the pharmacy.

Your best bet is to search it online to see if it’s available.  This usually applies to newer, more expensive medications.  Drug companies do this to help advertise/promote their newer medications.


6. Split the pills

DO NOT do this without talking to your doctor first because some drugs cannot and should not be split.

You ask your doctor for a prescription of the same drug but double the strength and then cut it in half.  This is especially helpful if you pay cash for your medications. So instead of getting 30 pills for 30 days, you get 15 pills of the double strength and split it in half to get your dosage.


7. Check your formulary

Formulary is a list of medications that are covered by your insurance.  It can change yearly, sometimes even in the middle of the year.

The co-payments for two similar drugs in the same drug class can be very different.  Make sure you let your provider know the cheaper options to see if it might be for you.


8. Generic

If the medication you are taking doesn’t have generic available, ask your doctor if there is something in the same class of medication that you can try instead.

Unless you’re absolutely unable to take it, most providers would be more than happy to change it for you.


9. Ask for samples

Ask your doctor for free samples.  I went to an urgent care once and the doctor just gave me 2 bags of free medications.  It saved me money and a trip to the pharmacy.


10. How about free?

Some pharmacies give out certain free drugs – no purchase necessary. If you live near a Meijer pharmacy, you can get your cholesterol medication for free.

Publix also offers some free high blood pressure, allergy, diabetes and some selected antibiotics medications. Check with your local pharmacies to see what is being offered.

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