Prescription drug prices continue to be a thorn in the side of those trying to rein in healthcare costs. Indeed, rising prescription prices constitute one of the single largest contributors to rising health insurance premiums. Already in 2020, the prices of more than 400 prescription medications have increased by an average of 5%.
Helping your employees save on their prescriptions is good for both you and them. Saving benefits you by reducing the amount your insurance provider actually spends on prescription claims. It benefits consumers by reducing the amount they spend out-of-pocket. In light of that, we know some easy ways your employees can save on their prescriptions.
1. Asking for Generics
It is no secret that brand-name drugs cost more than their generic counterparts. What many consumers do not know is that branded drugs are not always necessary. Sometimes doctors do insist on brand names but, more often than not, generics will do just fine. We say all that to say this: educate your employees about generic drugs.
If a generic drug is as effective as its brand-name counterpart, a consumer should not be afraid to ask for it. And by the way, it's okay to ask. Any of us can request that a prescription to be filled with a generic. If there is any question, it is the pharmacist’s obligation to discuss things over with the doctor.
2. Price Shopping
Your business competes with others in your industry for market share. One of the ways you do that is through competitive pricing. Well, guess what? Pharmacies are no different. Encourage your employees to shop around for the best pricing. They might be surprised by how much variation there is between pharmacies.
An added benefit is that some local pharmacies offer price guarantees. They will beat any price offered by any other pharmacy in town. And yes, the savings can be significant.
3. Using Coupon Codes
Hand-in-hand with price shopping are coupon codes. Coupon codes for prescription drugs work the same as codes your employees might use to book travel plans, order food online, etc. Coupon codes are offered usually through a partnership between program operators and service providers.
GoodRx is an example of discount coupon operator with access to pharmacies all across the country. The company tracks the cost of thousands of drugs in real time. One need only visit the site, enter the name and dosage of the prescription drug they are interested in, and click the submit button.
Up will pop a list of local pharmacies and their prices. Note that these are coupon prices. The consumer either prints the coupon or saves it to a mobile device before taking it to the pharmacy along with the prescription.
4. Utilizing Online and Mail Order Pharmacies
It is becoming more common for health insurance providers to allow their subscribers to purchase prescriptions online or through mail order organizations. If your insurance carrier offers this option, be sure to point your employees in that direction.
Mail-order and online drug providers are able to offer lower costs because they do not have the same overhead associated with running a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. They make their best prices available to customers with 60- and 90-day prescriptions, by the way. Buying in bulk is the key.
Neither your company nor its employees has to settle for skyrocketing prescription drug prices. With a little education and some due diligence, you can control prescription drug spend. We hope you take advantage of the suggestions featured in this post to help your employees better manage how much they pay for their prescriptions.