CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - FOX 46 is getting results for your health and your wallet: When it comes to paying for your prescriptions the cost can add up depending on a number of factors, but there are ways that you can save and it may very well may start by having a conversation with your pharmacist.
Navigating the price of a prescription can be somewhat of a puzzle according to Pharmacist Maurice Batshon who owns Hickory Family Pharmacy.
“It’s a relationship between what is available on the market and what’s covered by a patient’s insurance,” said Batshon. Batshon has seen patients who are forced to make tough decisions between bills and prescriptions. He monitors the prescription market almost daily looking at prices.
“If the drug is a brand name, we try to find coupons that are available for most insurances that can be used on top of insurance,” said Batshon. If the co-payment is too high, then he will suggest looking for a generic substitute or possibly a different prescription that is in the same family of drugs.
“Searching for coupons is always a good thing and often your pharmacist or doctor will be able to let you know if there is a coupon out there because they are in the field doing it day in and day out,” said Batshon.
What about discount prescription cards or apps? There are several different ones out there. Some of them are free and come and no cost to use. There are others that you pay a small subscription fee to use. They can’t always be used on top of your insurance. Batshon recommends finding out what the most cost efficient way to pay for the prescription is.
Also, consider opening a health savings account or flexible spending account if it’s offered through your insurance. This is money you set aside tax-free to pay for prescriptions.
If you or a loved one takes a prescription every day think about a 90-day supply of the drug you need. Batshon says he has seen situations where the co-pay for a 90-day supply is the same as you would pay for a 30-day supply.
Most pharmacies have some type of membership program. From a big box pharmacy to a small store like Hickory Family Pharmacy. Every penny you spend could end up saving you money and lead to rewards and even discounts down the road.
“Always ask. Express your ideas and concerns about whether a drug is helping you or if it’s costing too much. These conversations can help you,” said Batshon.
There are often local and state prescription assistance plans for patients on limited or fixed incomes.