Reining in your Prescription Costs

People without medical insurance look at people who do, with envy sometimes. How great it must be to just show up at a hospital when you need to and have everything just taking care of, they feel. Well, perhaps they aren’t familiar with how stingy the medical insurance plans people have can be. More and more these days, employer-sponsored medical insurance plans come with strict restrictions. They ask for higher copayments and more importantly, they have strict restrictions on the kinds of medicines they will allow. Even people who have Medicare Part D have to struggle with prescription costs all the time.

Are there ways to do something about prescription costs? Well, you do become really familiar with your medical insurance policy first.

For instance, check your insurer’s policy about your co-pays for drugs. Usually, if you pick a brand name drug, they’ll ask for twice the co-pay of the generic alternative, especially for urological drugs. For many long-term medications, every insurer has a preferred online pharmacy to go to. Get a three-month supply and you get lower co-pays. Usually, you can get a couple of months of co-pays waived.

If you’re really serious about reining in your prescription costs, you need your doctor and your pharmacist to help you out. Your doctor for instance, can help you pick a course of treatment that just costs less or needs less expensive medication. Your pharmacist can talk to your doctor and tell him about the cheapest and most effective drugs to go with.

Often, over-the-counter medications are cheaper than prescription ones. If there is an over-the-counter variety of drug for your problem, you should talk to doctor about those. In fact, you should ask your pharmacist too. He’s usually in the know for the prescription drugs that are soon to become prescription-free.

Whenever you get a prescription from your doctor or urologist, make sure that you ask about the generic alternatives. You can save 90% or more off the cost of the drug if you go with the generic version. Sometimes, the pill you need is available as a generic, except that it’s only available in larger size. Ask your doctor to be allowed to take half a large sized generic pill instead of the right size pill that’s only available as a brand name.

But even when you do manage to get a generic version, you have to realize that urology and other drugs don’t cost the same everywhere. Make sure that you shop around. At a warehouse club, you could find a drug for $10 and find the very same thing for $150 at a chain pharmacy. And if all else fails, there’s always Canada or Mexico.