So, you’ve had an online medical consultation and a prescription is en route to your pharmacy. Wonderful! You’re on your way to feeling better. But if insurance doesn’t cover your medication—or you don’t have insurance—what do you do?
Almost half of adults in the U.S. take at least one prescription medication every month. One in four have a hard time paying for it. So if you haven’t filled your prescription because of the cost, you’re not alone.
Fortunately, medication cash cards can help make prescription costs much more affordable.
Here’s what to know about how prescription savings cards work. And what to consider before you get to the pharmacy register.
Drug discount cards—or medication cash cards—are coupon cards you can use when paying for prescription medications. They can save you money if you don’t have insurance. Or they can lower RX prices if your insurance company doesn’t cover a specific medication.
You can get these discount cards no matter your income or insurance status. And they’re free—so you don’t pay any upfront costs.
Drug discount cards may also:
Prescription prices are determined by drug manufacturers, pharmacies and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs).
Most major pharmacies accept medication cash cards.
Just present the RX card to your pharmacist before filling or paying for your prescription. The pharmacist will enter the discount card information into their system. Then they’ll deduct the discount from your out-of-pocket medication cost.
Like all businesses, pharmacies need to attract customers with competitive pricing. Discount card programs can drive traffic and build customer loyalty. But each time a discount card is used, the discount company takes a cut of the pharmacy’s profit.
Many large pharmacy chains can afford this loss. But independent pharmacies sometimes lose money on the transaction. If you use a small family-run pharmacy, ask if they accept discount cards before filling your prescription.
Drug discount cards can make a huge difference in lowering your prescription costs. With so many options out there, here are a few points to consider before you get to the register.
There are many medication cash cards out there. Some popular options include:
Dr. B has partnered with the SingleCare discount card because we’ve seen how SingleCare prices lower prescription costs. Curious about SingleCare coupon prices? Or pondering whether SingleCare vs. GoodRx is the right program for you? Learn more here.
Medication cash cards can then help lower your prescription costs. But they’re not the only way to save. Here are a few other options:
Manufacturer-sponsored prescription coupons. Drug companies sometimes offer coupons for their brand medications. These discounts are often temporary—so the coupon may expire while you still need the medication. But they work with insurance plans. So they can be the best option for expensive medications.
Pharmacy savings programs. Some pharmacies offer their own discount programs (often for generic medications). They can help lower insurance copay costs. Without insurance, they can lower prescription costs for chronic conditions over time. Pharmacies are subject to HIPAA privacy standards. So they protect your personal information, too.
Patient assistance programs. Some drug manufacturers offer discounts for those who can’t afford their medications. You may even get your medication for free. Some non-profit organizations offer income-based discounts, too.