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The price for prescription medications continues to increase. On many plans, you may even need to pay the full cost until you reach your deductible. However, preventive medications are sometimes covered or require only a co-payment. It is always worth checking your Summary Plan Description and list of covered medications to know what to expect. When it comes to prescribed medications that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), working through your pharmacy benefits plan is always your best option for ensuring coverage.
Log in to check your pharmacy benefits.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Ask about cheaper alternatives to your current prescription medications: a generic or over-the-counter version or a less costly drug substitute.
Check your health plan for preventive coverage and take advantage of any wellness incentives. These incentives may help cover prescription drug costs or can help improve your health, potentially reducing the need for some prescription drugs.
Ask for a 90-day prescription and fill it using your health plan’s mail order pharmacy. For long-term medications, this can be a money- and time-saving option.
Even if a medication is not covered under your plan, present your health plan ID card. Some drugs are eligible for discounts.
If offered, participate in a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) through your health plan.
Though your medications may be expensive, never be tempted by out-of-the-country drugs or pharmacies. Anything without an FDA approval can put your health and safety at risk. On top of that, importing non-FDA-approved drugs is illegal.
Online pharmacies may overpromise when it comes to convenience and savings. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has reviewed over 40,000 websites offering prescription-only drugs and found that nearly 95% operate illegally and do not follow patient safety practices. Many times the medications they provide are fake or substandard.*