How do I find out how much a prescription will cost?

No healthcare cost seems to increase faster than the cost of prescription drugs. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, prescription drug spending outpaced spending in other areas of healthcare. In order to ensure that you don’t pay too much for your prescriptions, you need to be pro-active about the process before your physician writes the order.

1. Don’t let your doctor prescribe before your investigate

Many states, including NY, require that prescriptions be submitted electronically. Very few doctors are allowed to write paper prescriptions. While e-scribing offers convenience and speeds up the time it takes for you to receive your medication, it also limits your ability to shop for the least costly fulfillment option. So get paper first, and once you know where you want to fill it, have your doctor e-scribe there.

2. Be sure to ask all the specifics about your medication

In order to be sure you are comparing the costs for the exact medication that your doctor prescribed, get the exact spelling of the drug, dosing requirements, and quantity needed. Prices will vary according to all of these criteria, so be sure you are comparing apples to apples.

3. Generic medicines are cheaper

Generic drugs will always cost less than name-brand drugs. If your doctor hasn’t already prescribed one, ask if a generic would be appropriate for you.

4. Find a top mail order pharmacies and see if you qualify

If you are on any maintenance medications, like those for high blood pressure, diabetes and other chronic conditions, fulfilling those prescriptions through mail order could be your least expensive option. Some of the larger drug stores also offer similar mail-order options. Check them out.

5. Go on line and search

Take your prescription information and research the costs both locally and on-line. It is possible to find coupons and other resources that will be less costly than filling the prescription through your health insurance.

Taking some time to investigate your options could translate into huge savings. If the process is still too overwhelming, contact a patient advocate, one that is experienced in assistance with medical bills, to manage the process for you.



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