insurance

How to Save on Prescription Drugs

Employers and insurers are offering more online tools and smartphone apps that steer you to the lowest drug prices.

Question: I have a high-deductible health insurance plan and tend to rack up hefty prescription drug costs each year. Are there any good tools or resources to help me save on prescriptions? - R.C., Nashville

Answer: Many employers and insurers are beefing up their online tools to provide personalized advice that can help you pay less for prescription drugs. You can look up the drug on your smartphone before you leave the doctor’s office and find out how much it will cost you (whether or not you’ve met your deductible). You can also see whether you can save money with generics or therapeutic alternatives, and whether you can get your meds at preferred pharmacies with lower prices.

You can also get manufacturers’ coupons for thousands of drugs at GoodRx.com or via its smartphone app, which also alerts you to lower-cost alternatives, patient assistance programs and nearby pharmacies offering the lowest cash price. “You can save hundreds of dollars by doing some research,” says Thomas Goetz, chief of research at GoodRx. (Plus, your pharmacist can now provide information about whether a drug would cost less by paying cash than using your insurance.)

You can find out about drug manufacturers’ co-pay assistance programs and private foundations’ patient assistance programs at NeedyMeds.org. Some have income cut-offs but may offer help for families that earn up to 600% of the federal poverty level (about $100,000 for a couple or $150,600 for a family of four), says Shanna Barnes, of the Lash Group, which administers drug companies’ patient assistance programs. Find out about disease-specific programs at www.panfoundation.org.

Most Popular

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status
tax refunds

Where's My Refund? How to Track Your Tax Refund Status

If you're waiting for your tax refund, the IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your payment.
March 2, 2021
Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer
Coronavirus and Your Money

Where's My Stimulus Check? Use the IRS's "Get My Payment" Portal to Get an Answer

The IRS has an online tool that lets you track the status of your stimulus checks.
February 19, 2021
Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021

Recommended

Protect Your Home From Nature's Wrath
Becoming a Homeowner

Protect Your Home From Nature's Wrath

Not all damage is covered by standard homeowners policies. Make sure you’re prepared before it’s too late.
March 4, 2021
8 Insurance Products You May Not Need
Financial Planning

8 Insurance Products You May Not Need

You may be paying for insurance, such as long-term disability or product warranties, that is potentially unnecessary.
February 26, 2021
What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook
Politics

What the Democrats' Agenda Will Mean for Your Pocketbook

With President Joe Biden in the White House and a narrow Democratic majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, Democrats have a clearer path…
January 30, 2021
12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket
Coronavirus and Your Money

12 Ways the Biden Stimulus Package Could Put (or Keep) Money in Your Pocket

President Biden's "American Rescue Plan" includes several proposals to assist people financially harmed by the pandemic.
January 20, 2021