If you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it can be challenging to sort through all of the details of your health. If you’re faced with the challenge of having no health insurance or insurance that doesn’t provide complete coverage, it can quickly become a financial burden. In combination with not being able to afford routine doctor visits, this can make it hard to pick up your scripts on time and keep the current pills on hand. Here are a few tips on adjusting to having to take meds and how to go about getting them at an affordable cost.

Finding a Dependable Pharmacy

Have you recently been prescribed a medication that is difficult to find? In many cases, a pharmacy may not have some medications in stock. Certain types of antibiotics and painkillers are not in stock because they are not frequently used or the supplies are exhausted frequently. It’s best to call ahead of time and talk to your pharmacist. Ask them if they tend to carry that particular medication on a regular basis or if it needs to be special ordered. In some cases, scripts are available at the same pharmacy, except in a nearby town. You can either pick up the script there or wait for it to be delivered in a few days. These are important things to ask your pharmacist before scripts are called in from your doctor. You may be asking yourself, “How do I find a pharmacy near me?” If you’re having trouble, ask your doctor’s office to send the scripts to a pharmacy that they know and trust. 

Getting the Right Coverage

Another obstacle for someone who needs meds filled more than once a month is having adequate prescription coverage. Many people who sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act may have a plan that has a low monthly premium but a high deductible. This can make some prescriptions unaffordable or throw off your budget for the month. 

If you notice that your meds are super pricey and you can’t afford them, switch to another insurance plan if possible. If your employer offers insurance, ask about getting on a different tier plan that offers more coverage for prescription drugs. Some medications, including chemotherapy drugs, can cost hundreds if not thousands each month. Be sure to have coverage in place to handle these high priced medications.

Setting Up a Health Savings Account

A health savings account is a tax-free option to help you pay the costs associated with health care. It’s a way for many people to be able to afford their spend down before their premium is met for the year. In most cases, the money that you save and put into your account is rolled over into the next year. This allows you to easily manage the account and quickly access the funds to meet your medical needs. In some cases, this money may be used for certain prescriptions, depending on how it’s set up. If your scripts are high, set up a separate savings account just for handling prescription costs. This allows you to save a small amount from your paycheck each week to be able to afford your prescriptions for the month. You may also want to check into mail order prescriptions. They may offer you a discounted price on some items so that it’s more affordable for you access your medication.

Acquiring a Prescription Discount Plan

Many pharmacies and employees offer a prescription discount plan. This is separate from your prescription coverage and health insurance.  You can utilize savings in addition to your insurance for any out of pocket costs you may accrue when picking up your prescriptions. It also keeps track of how much you spend on which medications. Some plans offer discounts and other incentives if you frequently buy certain meds. Check with the drug manufacturer of your medication as well. They may be able to offer special discounts or even samples or some free supplies throughout the month.

You should never have a lapse in your medication coverage, especially if you are chronically ill. Keeping your med pod full so you can take them precisely as prescribed by your doctor is important for optimal health. Medication can be very expensive. Utilize several methods to get the best prices on discounted medications so you can stay healthy.