Medical Prescription Cards: What They Are and How To Best Use Them
Recently I went to the pharmacy to fill a new prescription and was told that it wasn’t covered under my insurance and that the cost was going to be $1300/month out of pocket. Well, you can see where this was heading. That cost was exorbitant so I asked them to hold filling it until I could reach out to my doctor for an alternative. Not really a big deal as this medication wasn’t for a pressing medical condition. After, calling my doctor. I found that it was the best for my circumstances. Instead of speaking to the pharmacy on the phone, I went in person and spoke to the pharmacist. They offered to run it through GoodRx. To my surprise, the net cost to me was $24.99! Lesson learned. Always ask!
Just because you have insurance to cover prescriptions, it doesn’t mean you are getting the best price. Or, the only price. In fact, the cash price for many prescription drugs, especially generics, is often much less than insurance co-pays. I think I will inquire about this going forward. So, if you are already paying for a specialty drug for myeloma but still have other medications ask the pharmacist before presenting your insurance to run it through GoodRX first so you can get a good comparison and the best price.
This is how GoodRX works. You can go online to GoodRx.com or use the mobile app and type in the name of your drug. You will then get a list of the lowest prices at pharmacies near you. Don’t rely on the pharmacy you’ve been going to for years like myself. Check before you leave home for the best price option.
If you are prescribed a new drug while at the doctor's office check GoodRx. If you find it at a lower pharmacy have your do. send the script there. Or, you hand-deliver it to the pharmacy. This process will also help you determine if you can afford the script prior to leaving your Drs office giving you time to request an alternative. Once you’ve found the best price, either print out the coupon or have it sent to your phone. You can then just show the pharmacist when you go to fill the script.
You can use GoodRx coupons whether you have health insurance or not!!
More than 70,000 pharmacies in the US including major chains like Costco, Walmart, Kroger, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens will accept GoodRx. And, if you can’t pull up the app, then just ask the pharmacy if they can run your script through GoodRx. Participating pharmacies are obligated to accept GoodRx coupons. If you find your pharmacy doesn’t accept GoodRx, then please call GoodRx at (855) 268-2822.
Since there isn’t a sign up with an email account, phone number or Facebook account, you will not need to be giving out personal information. Again, just go to the website or app and search for your script to see if can save money!
Other than my experience which was eye-opening for me, I have heard other myeloma patients mention that GoodRx has worked well for them. GoodRx says it can save consumers up to 80% off the price of prescription drugs. You can even find $4 generics as well as medications that are 100% free! To make sure you’re always getting the best price, always give the pharmacist a new coupon when you fill or refill a script.
Remember, GoodRx cannot be combined with your health insurance or Medicare or Medicaid programs. Again, compare GoodRx prices to your insurance. You can always use it instead of your insurance. And you can even be uninsured and use GoodRx. Again, ask the pharmacist not to run through your insurance!!
There is no cost for GoodRx, however, you do have the option to sign up for GoodRx Gold which promises to save you even more. It does have a membership fee of $5.99/person and $9.99/family after a free 30-day membership. GoodRx Gold says it can save you even more by lowering the cost by about $10.00 more per script than the regular discount card. It also says it will make finding the lowest rate much easier. I have not tried this but may find it handy if the cost-benefit is worth the monthly benefit.
GoodRx Care is another benefit (services vary state to state) that GoodRx offers for an additional fee of $19/ visit with a GoodRx membership or $49/visit without a GoodRx Gold membership. This service allows you to chat with a board-certified medical professional, not necessarily a doctor, to discuss routine health conditions including high cholesterol, urinary tract infections or a host of other illnesses. And no, insurance is required. This is very similar to the additional benefits that many private insurance carriers are offering their members. Check with your insurance carrier for their benefits and the associated cost. GoodRx says the private consultations take 10 minutes or less with no video or phone call required. Personally, I think this is a personal choice for many. I can see having some discomfort about releasing information to someone whom I don’t know. But maybe a viable option to some.
Bottom line. Many prescriptions can be expensive, even with insurance. Why not look at other options that are available to save even more money and could allow even under or uninsured patients the opportunity to get prescriptions they need.
Diahanna is a Financial Coach in the Myeloma Coach program. She shares her knowledge of financial resources to help others navigate the cost of myeloma care. If you would like help finding additional financial resources to help pay for your myeloma treatment and care consider working with a Myeloma Coach. Coaches are myeloma patients or caregivers- all with a variety of experiences to share.
If you are living with or caring for someone with myeloma and looking for a way to give back- consider becoming a Myeloma Coach. Initial and ongoing training and support is provided. Sharing your own personal experience and what you've learned can make it easier for someone else.