It happens every year – your health insurance deductible resets and you have to start accumulating your purchases again. So, how do you save money when your deductible resets? It’s actually a pretty straightforward answer, so we’re here to help.
With around 90 percent of non-chronically ill individuals not hitting their annual deductible, it may seem impossible to save money on healthcare expenses. If you don’t hit your deductible, your health insurance won’t contribute as much, or anything, to your medical expenses.
Often prescription drug expenses will not help individuals reach their deductible, unless they’re either chronically ill, or have high-cost treatments for acute conditions. So how do you save money on these costs, and should you worry about them if you don’t hit your deductible?
Search prices and coupons for your medication
We’ll dive deeper into this topic below, but we wanted to get our point across right away. If you’re concerned about your deductible resetting, or meeting your deductible, we recommend searching prices and using coupons for your medication costs. You can save money on your medications, without hitting your deductible.
It’s what we do and we believe in it. By using our search tool, you may be able to save more than you thought was possible.
Now that we’ve briefly discussed searching prices and getting coupons for your medications, let’s talk a little bit more about why it’s so important.
Forecast your healthcare costs
If you look ahead to what you will be spending on healthcare in the upcoming year, you may be able to determine if you’ll hit your deductible or not. Catastrophic events can throw a wrench in your forecasting, but if something happens, you’ll most likely hit your deductible. So what happens if you remain healthy throughout the year, but come down with the flu or an infection that requires prescription treatment and you haven’t met your deducible or out-of-pocket max?
Getting discount prescriptions without insurance
Many people are unaware prescription costs vary by pharmacy location. They’re also unaware that medication prices vary not only by which discount source is used, but also by which health insurance you have.
You don’t need to use your insurance, to save money on your medications
It’s true – you don’t need to use your insurance to save money on your medications. This is a common misconception when it comes to saving money on prescriptions. Many individuals still believe the only way to save money on prescription costs, is by presenting your health insurance card at the pharmacy.
It’s understandable why consumers feel the only way to get prescription discounts is with their health insurance. Your health insurance card is what the pharmacist asks for when you fill your medication, but it may not have the lowest price.
Using search tools, like LowestMed, can help you save money on your prescription costs. Often, LowestMed can save you more money than your health insurance provider can. It’s important you always compare LowestMed’s discount prices to your health insurance’s.
If I use LowestMed, can my purchases be applied to the deductible?
Most health insurance providers allow purchases made outside of insurance to be applied to your health insurance deductible. We have compiled a list of some of the more common health insurance providers and their prescription claim forms here.
If you don’t want to submit your claims throughout the year, we recommend saving all of your receipts, then deciding if submitting your purchases is worth it.
How can coupon websites have lower costs than health insurance?
The answer can be quite complex, but we can simplify it for you. The reason websites and services, like LowestMed, can have discounts lower than health insurance providers, is in how many pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) they work with.
Health insurance providers usually only deal with one PBM. Pharmacy benefits managers are the organizations that decide what price the medication will be. One of the largest PBMs in the United States is OptumRx. You may have heard of them before – they are the PBM for United Healthcare.
LowestMed works with multiple PBMs, in order to provide the lowest price possible. If you search a medication on LowestMed, the technology will compile prices for your medication at nearby pharmacies and sort them by price. This allows you to efficiently compare prices and get coupons for your medication at the lowest priced pharmacy.
Why doesn’t everyone use LowestMed?
Everyone should be using services, like LowestMed, if they want to save money on their prescription costs. The reason they don’t? Awareness. Many people are simply unaware that these services exist.
You see, LowestMed has discounts and coupons for every FDA approved drug available. You simply have to search and compare prices, then print or present the coupon to your pharmacist. Voila, instant savings on your medications.
Why are prescriptions so expensive?
Depending on what you’ve been prescribed, your medication’s price may not be so bad, but it could be outrageous. It’s a complex topic, but prescriptions are expensive for many reasons.
One of the main reasons prescriptions are so expensive is what the research and development costs are for the manufacturer. Drug manufacturers spend years developing specific medications. It’s a costly process for them. In order to make up for these R&D costs, the manufacturer sets a higher price point for the medication.
If a brand drug comes off patent, the cost for the medication can drop significantly. It’s because generic manufacturers have the ability to gain the rights to produce and sell the drug in generic forms. With more competition, lower drug prices are introduced.
Bottom line – always search the price for your medication, before filling it
You should never blindly lay down your health insurance card and expect to get the lowest price on your prescriptions. As we discussed earlier, prescription drug prices vary not only by pharmacy, but also by which discount source or health insurance is used. It is for this reason you should always search and compare prescription drug prices.
We recommend searching your medication’s price on LowestMed, then comparing it to what you pay through your health insurance. Whichever is the cheapest medication price, pay it. LowestMed is here to empower the consumer with our price search tools. Never visit the pharmacy, until you have searched your medication’s price on LowestMed first.