As a team of benefits strategists, we work hard every day to make sure we’re exceeding client expectations and providing the most innovative and value-generating plan designs and advisory services.
Times are tough: the COVID-19 pandemic created record job losses in the U.S. measuring in the millions. These job losses, or perhaps modifications you may have had to make to benefits programs to create savings opportunities for your organization, may have resulted in the loss or reduction of healthcare and/or pharmacy benefits for your employees.
We’re here to help at Apex Benefits. If your employees have ongoing prescriptions, here are some places for them to save money if they need to continue pharmacy refills during this unprecedented time. Share these suggestions which range from free all the way through to discounted drug programs and cards:
If Pharmacy Benefits Were Reduced:
- Consider mail order: you may be able to buy 3 months’ of prescription drugs through the mail with the cost of 2 copays instead of 3.
- Copay Assistance Programs: Many patient assistance programs below also have copay assistance. Read on to learn more.
If Pharmacy Benefits Were Terminated:
Potentially Free or Discounted:
- Patient Assistance Programs: Check and see if any brand name prescriptions might qualify for patient assistance at: https://mat.org/Medicine-Cost-Information. (They’ll need to know the company(ies) that manufacture their prescriptions, as programs are listed by company; reference DailyMed.)
- Meijer: Offers free prescriptions on some generic antibiotics and selected prenatal vitamins
- Walmart $4 drug list: https://www.walmart.com/cp/4-dollar-prescriptions/1078664
- Drug discount coupons: Try WellRx – https://www.wellrx.com/ and GoodRx
- Parachute Rx: https://my.express-scripts.com/parachuterx.html
- Savings Clubs:
- Kroger has partnered up with GoodRx for the Kroger Rx Savings Club: https://www.krogersc.com/, and
- Walgreens has its own Prescription Savings Drug Program: https://www.walgreens.com/images/adaptive/pdf/psc/PSCBrochure-English-20180628.pdf.
- Costco – Don’t forget the big box discount stores; they, too may have a discount Member Prescription Program
Ask for Discounts
Asking for discounts is common now at the pharmacy counter. Pharmacists will often work with patients if they’ve been loyal customers over time, and some may match prices. Also note that not all pharmacies take all discount coupons like GoodRx and WellRx either. These should only be used in a full loss of pharmacy benefits, so it is wise to ask prior to transferring prescriptions.
While it is ideal to have all prescription drugs at one pharmacy so a pharmacist can monitor for drug interactions and duplicate therapies, it is equally as important to your employees that they adhere to their medication schedules and find more affordable options when necessary.
Other articles on how to save money on prescription drugs from Apex: Secrets to Reducing Medication Costs
Erin Albert, PharmD
Pharmacy Benefit Practice Leader
Erin is a clinical pharmacist and pharmacy educator. She also is an attorney, writer, preceptor, podcaster, and STEM advocate who helps break down the complexities of healthcare. Before joining Apex in 2020, her career spanned across healthcare, pharmacy and law – inside a wide variety of settings for over two decades, including teaching at Butler University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences for over a decade. Connect with Erin.