Lower Your Prescription Costs

A trip to the pharmacy can cost you a lot, especially if you’re taking multiple medications. Participating in a prescription drug plan is one way to help cut your pharmacy costs.

What is a Prescription Drug Plan?

Prescription drug plans are commercial health insurance plans that help lower prescription costs in exchange for a monthly payment. As supplemental insurance plans that cover prescriptions only, these plans usually supplement Medicare coverage or other clinical care-only health insurance plans. A prescription drug plan can help you save money and make getting your prescription medications easier.

How Do Prescription Drug Plans Help You Save Money?

The simplest way these plans save money is by covering the majority of your medication costs. Some plans may require you pay a small copay – a flat fee for your medications.

The medications covered by your plan are listed in your plan's drug formulary. It’s a list of medications your prescription drug benefits cover. Most common medications are included in drug plan formularies, but if a specific medication isn’t covered, your doctor may be able to substitute a generic drug – another brand of drug designed to treat the same condition.

In addition to pharmacy savings that come from a prescription drug plan, you may be eligible for additional savings at your plan's preferred pharmacy. A preferred pharmacy has an agreement with your prescription drug plan provider to offer medications at a lower out-of-pocket cost to you. Some plans may offer a preferred drug list that offers even more savings on generic drugs and certain brands of medications.

Prescription drug plans often provide convenience benefits like mail delivery. Services like these help you get your medications if you’re sick, injured or without transportation.

Types of prescription drug plans

For individuals
If you have an individual health plan that doesn’t provide you enough prescription drug coverage, you can purchase an individual prescription drug plan for added support. For a monthly payment, it’ll save you money on medications in the long run. This plan offers pharmacy cost benefits not covered by your health insurance, and sometimes additional benefits like mail order medication delivery.

For Medicare enrollees
Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) pays for your doctor and hospital visits, but not prescription medications. To cover your prescription costs, you can add an optional Medicare Part D plan to your Medicare coverage. To enroll in Part D, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part B or Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage). Insurance providers may offer multiple Medicare Part D plans (with different monthly payments, copays and preferred pharmacies) and let you choose the option that works best for you.

More Ways to Save on Prescriptions

Take advantage of your pharmacy’s rewards program or use a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for out-of-pocket costs. For medications not listed on your formulary or for prescription drug plans with out-of-pocket coinsurance, discount plans like RxSaver and HoyMeds may help you save money. For expensive, brand name drugs that have no generic version, you may qualify for a rebate through the drug manufacturer.

Combining these options with a prescription drug plan can help you maximize medication and pharmacy savings.

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