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Saving on Prescription Drugs – Part 3

by Jodi Furman | December 22nd, 2011 | Shopping Secrets
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Last week, Jodi taught us how to save using store prescription programs; this week she discusses mail order and coupon discount cards.

Mail Order

If you have insurance, your insurance company may charge you a lower co-pay if you fill your prescriptions through the insurance company’s mail order division rather than at your local pharmacy. In general, you will pay 2 months’ co-pay for a 3 months’ worth of your prescription—said another way, it’s like getting buy 2 months, get one month FREE. Just be sure to refill your prescriptions with enough time to allow them to be shipped by the lowest price shipping method or even free shipping—waiting until the last minute will cost you additional shipping costs which will negate your savings.

Please note that mail order is very different from non-reputable online pharmacies—particularly those that are not based in the United States—the FDA has found that many of those so-called online “pharmacies” are not delivering authentic medication, but rather providing expired or counterfeit medications to those who need it most. With so many other legitimate sources of savings, it’s not worth jeopardizing something as precious of your health and safety to just to save a few bucks.

Coupons/Discount Cards

Many drug companies are issuing coupons and discount cards to lower your out of pocket costs, if you pay cash—or lower your co-pay, if you have insurance. Coupons can be found both at your doctor’s office as well as printed online—you can find a constantly updated list at a website devoted to prescription coupons: www.internetdrugcoupons.com/.

Another type of coupon is issued by stores themselves—many stores offer gift cards for new or transferred prescriptions. You can periodically find these coupons in the weekly fliers that come in the Sunday newspaper, as well as in store or mailed to your home if you’re signed up for mailing lists. Many stores will accept a coupon from a competitor as though it was their own.

Bear in mind that most coupons and discount cards—either those issued from drug manufacturers or from stores themselves— are NOT valid if you have any form of governmental coverage, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Check out next week’s article for more ways to save!

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