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

Your Guide to Roth Conversions
Special Report
Tax Breaks

Your Guide to Roth Conversions

A Kiplinger Special Report
February 25, 2021
4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement
retirement planning

4 Strategies to Reduce Taxes in Retirement

Don’t let the possibility of higher taxes in the future sink your retirement income plan. Consider these four ways to help manage your taxes, keeping …
May 31, 2021
12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market
investing

12 Housing Stocks to Ride the Red-Hot Market

The U.S. has a housing shortage and a love affair with home improvement, both of which could create tailwinds for this group of housing stocks.
June 8, 2021

Recommended

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know
Medicare

Medicare Basics: 11 Things You Need to Know

There's Medicare Part A, Part B, Part D, medigap plans, Medicare Advantage plans and so on. We sort out the confusion about signing up for Medicare --…
March 17, 2021
You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge
Medicare

You Can Appeal a Medicare Premium Surcharge

If you meet one of the seven qualifying life events, you have a good chance of getting a higher premium for Medicare Part B and Part D reduced.
June 16, 2021
Can't Sleep at Night? Consider Getting Checked Out By a Doctor
health insurance

Can't Sleep at Night? Consider Getting Checked Out By a Doctor

Older adults are more likely to suffer from sleep disorders, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. Left untreated these conditions can have dire consequen…
May 26, 2021
Do You Need Life Insurance When You're Young?
Financial Planning

Do You Need Life Insurance When You're Young?

As millennials have families and take on financial obligations, we need life insurance to protect those we may leave behind.
May 24, 2021