Prescription drugs are lifesavers, which is why Canadian seniors fill an average of 8 prescriptions every year. Despite worries about healthcare professionals turning our society into a nation of pill-poppers, they save lives.
From blood thinners to prescription-strength ibuprofen, people need their prescriptions to keep healthy. But the cost can be prohibitive. Sometimes, health insurance doesn’t cover everything.
Many people, particularly seniors who take the most medications and are often on a fixed income, can’t keep up with the rising cost of prescriptions. If you need to save money on prescriptions, we’ve assembled a guide of six tips to help you obtain cheap medications.
- Go Generic
One of the top tips for obtaining cheap prescriptions is the willingness to compromise. Most of us don’t know what brand creates our blood thinner medication. And if the prescription does its job, then why does it matter?
However, your doctor may have prescribed name-brand medication when they wrote out your prescription. This can cost you much more than a generic option that does the exact same job.
Putting in the work to do research and compare prices can reap massive rewards when it comes to saving on prescriptions. One of the easiest ways to compare prices between name-brand and generic is to go online.
These days, online pharmacies are a great option for buying medications. Rather than waiting in long lines at the pharmacy, you’ll instead have them mailed directly to your house. It also makes cost comparison easier when you have all the choices right in front of you.
- Shop for Discounts
Just like any other type of shopping, coupons and membership savings are available. This is especially true when purchasing from online pharmacies. Depending on where you purchase from, you’ll be able to jump on great deals by taking specific steps.
Start by seeing if you’ll get a discount for ordering a certain supply of medication. This could be three months’ worth, for instance.
Sometimes, different pharmacies will partner with cost-saving companies to offer discounts. Or, if you’ve been a loyal pharmacy member for some time, you’ll get a discount.
There are often discounts available to save money on prescriptions that most people don’t even know about. If you ask, many healthcare professionals will be more than happy to provide for you.
- Apply for Assistance
Prescription assistance is available from the government, your employer, or other charitable organizations. To qualify, you may need to be in a certain income bracket, or be able to demonstrate a certain level of need.
Depending on where you live, the stipulations around receiving this kind of assistance will be different. It’s not a great short-term solution, considering that applications can often take a little while to process.
If you will need a prescription long-term, though, it can save you quite a bit of money over time if your application goes through.
- Be Savvy With Your Insurance
People pay for health insurance in order to minimize their out-of-pocket costs and to ensure a safety net in case of a medical disaster. However, the insurance system is often convoluted and doesn’t always work how it was intended to.
That means that sometimes, medications are cheaper when you pay out of pocket. As soon as you try to use your insurance on it, the cost ends up going higher.
The golden rule of finding cheap medications is to take nothing for granted. Don’t make assumptions. They can often cost you a lot more than you thought!
Ask if a medication will be cheaper with insurance or out-of-pocket. In many cases, it will be cheaper with insurance. But if you keep looking, the answer may surprise you!
- Order Online
We already talked about how online pharmacies are great because they help you compare costs and save money. They also eliminate the need to drive to a physical pharmacy and wait in line, which can be a lifesaver if you have transportation challenges.
However, online pharmacies are just cheaper in many cases. Due to an increased customer base, which is especially true for international pharmacies, they can afford to have lower prices. They often have a greater range of options, too.
When you’re ordering from an online pharmacy, make sure you do your research. Options like onlinecanadianpharmacy.com allow you to feel comfortable with certified, licensed healthcare professionals that have your best interests in mind.
Using options that seem shady, or like they could be a potential scam, can be especially dangerous when you’re playing Russian roulette with your health. Make sure your pharmacy is certified and accredited, and you’ll be able to save money while still staying safe.
- Ask for Samples
If money is tight for you, cheap prescriptions can be a lifesaver. But if you’re broke right now, what are some other options?
Depending on the type of prescriptions that you’re on, you might be able to ask your doctor for a sample. This can get you through until you’re able to find cheap medications.
It’s worthwhile to note that most doctors won’t provide samples of intravenous drugs. They also might provide small samples, which can severely limit the amount of time you have to find prescriptions and get set up with a pharmacy.
Save Money on Prescriptions
The most important part of looking to save money on prescriptions is never assuming that you have the best deal. Often, there’s a caveat or a loophole that you missed or just don’t know about.
On your quest, remember that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Ask questions to your doctor, your pharmacist, and your health insurance. Many online pharmacies have a chat option or a helpline where you can talk with someone and get all of your questions answered.
You can also ask around and see what other people’s experiences have been. This will help inform your decisions in the future.
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