Yes, it’s free, but before you get excited, you need to find out if it is actually going to be useful for you. Not all of these free prescription discount cards will meet your needs. And be especially wary if you are asked to pay fees or to provide sensitive personal information to obtain the card, as some of these could be scams.
A US National Health Interview Survey in 2011 found that Americans spent $45 billion out-of-pocket on retail prescription drugs. Also, more than one in five uninsured adults were likely to decline purchasing prescribed medications in order to save money. Similarly, Canadians spent an estimated $29.3 billion on prescribed drugs in 2013, with $7 billion out-of-pocket. Given statistics like these, getting a discount on medications through free prescription discount cards could be great news for many.
How do these cards work?
Free prescription discount cards can help you pay for prescription drugs either instead of insurance, or in addition to health insurance in San Antonio TX. They offer discount medication rates to members. Some affinity cards are offered by drug stores and discount department stores for drugs purchased in their own pharmacies. Some you can find on the web, where you may download and print the card to show it at the pharmacy.
Interestingly, one study highlighted on ABC News found that the free prescription discount cards even offered better savings than the paid ones. Depending on the card, drug manufacturers may actually be paying for the remainder of the tab.
Are you eligible?
While some free prescription discount cards are open to everyone, others set income or age limits (e.g. over 65, or families with young children). Such limits are typical of cards offered by the government, such as Medicare prescription discount cards. Some cards can’t be used in conjunction with Medicare, and some cards are offered by drug manufacturers to people who are not covered by prescription plans through their health insurance. Therefore, if you have health insurance, these cards won’t be open to you.
Check your eligibility criteria for free prescription discount cards at the store (if it’s a store card) or on the website (if it’s to be downloaded from a website).
Will it actually save you money?
Decide whether the free prescription discount card will be useful to you by getting answers to these five questions:
1. Are there any hidden costs to the free card? Read the small print.
2. Does the card cover the drugs you take? Not every card will help pay for every drug. The more common the drug you take, the better chance you have at getting a discount. Some cards cover generic drugs and some do not.
3. Is the card honored at your pharmacy? If not, are you willing to go to another pharmacy further away to be able to use their discount?
4. If the prescription drugs you need are available only through a mail-order pharmacy, will you have to pay for shipping and handling?
5. How does the cost of purchasing the prescription drug through this card compare with the cost of getting it through your pharmacy or other pharmacies in your area? Is it still cheaper through the discount card?
Based on the answers, you can decide whether the card is right for you.
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