TWO DISCOUNT WEBSITES THAT CAN HELP WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
For a lot of Medicare eligibles prescription drug affordability is the main concern. When I meet with a person who is newly eligible for Medicare sometimes the cost of their prescriptions were cheaper with their health plan they had at work and they are shocked with what they are about to pay on Medicare.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan. There is the prescription annual deductible, the drug “tiers”, the copays, the donut hole (or drug gap), the annual out of pocket cost (or total cost, when calculated … might have you faint). Then the different insurance companies (AKA: carriers) have different formularies (or lists of drugs they cover) which are different between the different carriers. Then if you take a prescription (for example) Simvastatin, one insurance company might put this drug or prescription on a Tier 1 and another insurance company might put Simvastatin on a Tier 2. So in the end a Tier 2 copay will cost more copay dollars than a Tier 1 drug (typically). Then you have the “Preferred Pharmacy Networks”. If you use the insurance companies Preferred Pharmacy Network then your copays will be less expensive than if you use a non-preferred pharmacy (AKA: standard pharmacy).
Is your head spinning yet?
Better news ….. if you find that your prescription copays are to expensive there are two online searches where you can search to find your prescription for a lower cost.
One is called www.GoodRx.com. I have been helping clients I work with to determine if their medication would be less expensive by searching that medication on GoodRx.
When using GoodRx, you have to type in your zip code and your medication. The website will bring up what pharmacies are within a certain radius of your zip code and the cost of that medication. A lot of the times the total cost of the medication on GoodRx is less than the copay you would pay on your (Part D) prescription insurance plan. Better yet, you also avoid paying Part D (drug) annual drug deductible by picking up your prescription at one of the GoodRx listed pharmacies instead of using your prescription plan. BUT, when using GoodRx you pay cash directly to the pharmacy and you do not have to use your Part D prescription plan.
YOU STILL NEED A MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION INSURANCE PLAN, if not then Medicare has late enrollment penalties for not having a prescription plan or having a lapse in coverage.
The other online prescription search you can do is with the Mark Cuban (with Shark Tank) program called, Cost Plus. The website is www.costplusdrugs.com.
Mark’s MISSION is: “We started Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company because every American should have access to safe, affordable medicines. If you don’t have insurance or have a high deductible plan, you know that even the most basic medications can cost a fortune. Many people are spending crazy amounts of money each month just to stay healthy. No American should have to suffer or worse - because they can’t afford basic prescription medications.” Mark also says: “It is important to introduce transparency to the pricing of drugs so patients know they are getting a fair price.”
When you get on the Cost Plus website and type in your prescription, it will let you know what the retail price is, the Mark Cuban price, and the savings. When you are ready to order and pay the cash price you would create an account and the medications get shipped to you.
When paying CASH price for Option #1 or Option #2, you do not have to pick up or use your Medicare Part D prescription plan coverage. It is one or the other.
Here are some quick screen prints how Cost Plus works: