While rising costs are still a reality at the pump and grocery stores, more Americans have considered foregoing medical visits or skipping prescription refills to save money.
Wrestling with inflated prices shouldn’t come at the expense of living our best and healthiest lives — and it doesn’t have to. We’ve highlighted several cost-effective options to help you get the care you need, without having to reprioritize your personal health.
Take advantage of preventive health services
Being more proactive about your health can save you money later. Preventive services can help detect or prevent serious diseases and medical problems, and are substantially less expensive than being surprised by your physician down the road.
While varying between medical carriers, these annual services typically include:
- Check-ups or physicals
- Flu and Covid-19 shots and boosters
- Mammograms (usually offered after 40 years of age)
- Colonoscopies (usually offered after 50 years of age)
Check with your carrier if these services are fully covered, or if there’s a copay involved.
Use a prescription cost calculator
Whether you take maintenance medication, or have new prescriptions to fill, drug cost tools in your carrier’s portal can save you money at the register by arming you with more info on the cost for what you need to fill. Use it to:
- Check drug tiers for possible alternatives, and if name brand or generic is more affordable.
- Confirm whether filling a 90-day supply is less expensive than 30 days.
- See if there’s an option for home delivery, which can save money.
- Learn if there is a different form of the same drug.
- Compare which retail pharmacy brand will offer you the best price, and if your favorite one is in network.
The convenience of using that pharmacy around the corner may cost you more than you think. If your insurance doesn’t offer home delivery services, consider online pharmacy retailers like OptumRx. They work directly with your insurance plan, which means pricing is dependent on your benefits and coverage. Mail-order pharmacies tend to have less overhead, and are usually able to offer better pricing.
Consider prescription copay coupons and discount programs
If you take medications without an available generic option, the manufacturer may offer coupons to help reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs. Search online for the medication name and “drug manufacturer coupons,” to see what’s available, and if there are any eligibility requirements.
Similarly, companies like GoodRX allow you to compare prices among pharmacies in your area to find the lowest prescription price — and may even have coupons for what you need. Keep in mind that coupons are not considered insurance, and may not go towards any deductibles.