10 Ways to Spend Less on Prescription Drugs

As health insurers shift more of the cost burden to consumers, the average U.S.

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As health insurers shift more of the cost burden to consumers, the average U.S. worker with employer-provided coverage now pays $9,695 per year in premiums and out-of-pocket costs for a family of four – a 118% increase over the past decade, according to the Milliman Medical Index. If you buy coverage on your own, you may be spending even more.

Prescription drugs are a recurring expense that can really add up throughout the year. Insurers are increasing your share of the tab for certain brand-name drugs, and you’ll pay even more if you don’t follow strict rules such as using specific pharmacies with which insurers have negotiated discounts.

Now for some good news: You can slash your out-of-pocket spending on Rx drugs if you learn the secrets of health insurers and know how to navigate the health care marketplace. Here are 11 easy ways to reduce your drug costs right away.

Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.