Did you know that prescription drug costs make up around 20 cents of every dollar you pay for your health plan premium? Did you know you might be paying more than necessary for your current medications? When you take steps to control your pharmacy expenses, you’re helping to drive down Vermonters’ health care costs and keep more money where it should be—in your wallet. Here are seven simple tips to reduce your Rx bills while lowering costs for everyone.
Ask your doctor to review your Rx needs. Keep your provider up-to-date on all the medications you’re taking, and make sure you’re only taking the medications you need. Americans are taking more prescriptions than ever before, and some of them may not be necessary.
Make it a habit to discuss the cost. If your doctor doesn’t regularly talk about drug costs, start the conversation. Medications that treat the same condition can vary greatly in costs.
Go generic. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist if a generic is available and indicated. It’s cheaper for you, and it can drive down premiums.
Order a 90-day supply if possible. You can order up to a 90-day supply for medications that treat chronic conditions, and that you will be taking on a long-term or ongoing basis. This saves you multiple trips to the pharmacy, while ensuring that you don’t run out of important maintenance medications.
Compare prices. Take advantage of our Medical Cost Tool on the BCBSVT Member Resource Center to learn what different pharmacies in Vermont charge for your medications.
Discuss your dosage. One pill of a 50mg strength medication, for example, can cost less than taking two pills of the 25mg strength. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether you can take fewer pills at a stronger dose.
Explore financial assistance options. Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) are run by drug companies, providing free or low-cost medications. RXAssist.org is a comprehensive online resource center and database that can help you research PAPs. You can also learn more about Vermont’s pharmacy assistance programs here.