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Search your ‘scripts. Save up to 80%. It’s that easy!

Do prescription discount programs work with insurance?

If you’ve never heard of a prescription discount program, we’re about to rock your world. Also, welcome! Your wallet is about to be up to 80% happier with you very soon.  


Jokes aside, we should quickly clear the air if you really have never heard of a prescription discount program. Here’s what happens: to create a prescription savings program, companies partner with third-party pricing negotiators called pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs). These PBMs are able to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs — both brand-name and generic — on a larger scale, so they can offer better prices to consumers.  


So you get a better deal on the prescription (in the form of a free prescription discount coupon), the pharmacies get more business because of the promotion and competitive pricing, and the PBM gets paid for referring more people. 


So with that said, one of the most common questions asked next is: Do prescription discount programs work with insurance?  


And to that we answer: keep reading to find out! 


Why are prescriptions so expensive? 


It’s one of the other most common questions out there. And it’s not totally clear why prescription drugs are so costly to consumers. One might think newer drugs just hitting the marketplace would be the most expensive, as their pharmaceutical makers are recouping research and development dollars. But new research in the journal of Health Affairs suggests price increases are happening with drugs already in existence, not on new or improved drugs.    


In an interview with NPR, Gerard Anderson, professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University, explained that the rising cost of existing drugs benefits pharmaceutical and health insurance companies — not consumers.   


“Research and development are only about 17 percent of total spending in most large drug companies,” he says. “Once a drug has been approved by the FDA, there are minimal additional research and development costs so drug companies cannot justify price increases by claiming research and development costs.”   


Researchers went on to say that differences in pricing regulations and the lack of competition are two factors that allow for a higher price of prescription drugs in the United States.   


So, it’s not innovation that is driving price increases but raising prices on drugs people already take. If you’ve noticed your necessary prescription drug costs increase over time, now’s the time to consider a prescription savings program. (Or these other 19 ways to save.)  


Will a prescription discount coupon work with insurance? 

Simply put, no. You have to choose between using your health insurance or Medicare or a prescription discount coupon. But oftentimes a prescription discount coupon will give a better price even than insurance, so it’s worth checking! 


When is it smart to use a prescription discount coupon?  


More often than not, you can find a better deal using a prescription discount coupon instead of insurance. (Especially if you take generic medication.) If you’re at the counter and notice a big price difference — with the coupon you just downloaded taking the win for best price — we’d encourage you to use it.  


Before you tell the pharmacist, keep in mind that when you use a coupon, your medication won’t be processed through your insurance and won’t go towards meeting your deductible. But for those with a high deductible health plan, no health insurance, or just hoping to save a good bit of cash up front, we say: keep on, coupon. 


On the flip side, you shouldn’t use a prescription discount coupon (though to each their own, we always say) if you’re close to meeting your deductible for the year — and there’s still a good bit of time before the year ends for you to take advantage of that benefit. A few dollars could bring you over the threshold that winds up saving you significantly more on any medical needs or doctor visits. In other words, if you can, think about the big picture! 


How to save on the cost of your prescriptions 


Kasasa Care’s partnership with GoodRx allows you to search for your prescription medication at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. (Even your go-to family-owned one!) If you’ve made it this far and are curious to try it out for yourself, start here — just a few minutes searching could save you thousands of dollars every year. 

Tags: Health, Care, Prescription

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