Ways to Save on Your Prescriptions

Simple steps to lower costs and save money

Updated on: September 21, 2018

Originally posted on: August 29, 2018
Express Scripts Pharmacist Mr. Reyes specializes in medication management issues for seniors. Topics include best practices for managing multiple prescriptions.

Whether you take one or multiple prescription drugs, the following tips may help you save on your medication costs.

Get a Dose of Savings

Maybe your doctor has prescribed a medication that you take twice a day. Or, maybe you have trouble remembering to take it twice a day. It’s often possible to get the same results by taking one pill once a day at a higher dose than two pills twice a day. This is called “dose optimization,” and it could save you money overall. Taking one pill at a higher dosage can also be more beneficial to your health, especially if you are someone who routinely forgets to take the second dose. Make sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist first to see if “dose optimization” would make sense for you.

Be Smart in Choosing Your Pharmacy

The pharmacy you use to fill your prescriptions can also make a big difference in the cost of your medications.
To learn more, please watch this video.

When filling a prescription at a retail pharmacy, always check to see if your plan offers preferred pharmacies within its pharmacy network. These pharmacies have agreed to charge lower prices for your prescriptions, which will save you money in the long run. When selecting a Part D plan, consider a plan with a large preferred pharmacy network so you can find one close to home. Using a preferred pharmacy can reduce your medication costs.

If you’re taking a prescription drug on a long-term basis, getting your medication from the plan’s mail-order pharmacy can also be a convenient and money-saving option. In most cases, depending on your plan, you may pay less for a 90-day supply of your medication at mail than at a retail pharmacy. You can also save by looking for a prescription plan that includes free standard shipping.

Save More in the Coverage Gap

When you’re in the Coverage Gap, you pay a higher percentage of your drug costs. One way to lower those costs is to use generic drugs whenever possible. In most cases, switching to a generic drug will cost you less than using a brand drug, even if the coinsurance for a generic drug seems higher. Remember – by 2020 the Coverage Gap will be closed, and the most you will pay for either a generic or brand drug will be 25% of the cost.

Comparison Shop for Savings

Once you are a member, see if your plan has any online tools and programs that allow you to compare savings. By entering your drug(s), you can find out how much you might save if you change your dose, brand, pharmacy type or a specific retail pharmacy. Take the time to research your plan’s savings options. You will find that there are plenty of ways to lower your prescription drug costs without reducing the quality of your treatment or harming your health.

Take as Directed

Taking your medication as prescribed is both good for your health and your wallet. Be sure to take prescription drugs at the right time, in the right dose and for as long as your doctor recommends. It’s not only the safest way to take your medication, it can potentially save you money by helping prevent additional and often costly medical care.