Posted February 11, 2013 by Jennifer Kane in Family

How to get a discount on expensive health care prescriptions

Right after Carol Vanderploeg&rsquos family members knowledgeable a double-job loss final spring she worried about affording the $ 1,300 average month-to-month expense of her husband&rsquos epilepsy prescriptions.

The couple only had enough pills to last a couple of months when they moved to Augusta, Ga., in search of new jobs. Even after finding another job at Delta Air Lines, the potentially higher refill cost kept Vanderploeg apprehensive.

&ldquoThe believed of what it was going to price us was overwhelming,&rdquo she says.

Vanderploeg is not alone. In this struggling economy, several Americans face the painful decision of filling a prescription or consuming or paying for housing. Forty-eight million Americans did not fill a prescription due to price in 2010, according to a report released by the non-profit Commonwealth Fund.

Not taking medication as prescribed leads to adverse wellness consequences for men and women and higher expenses for absolutely everyone, says Sharon Galzarano, a Washington, D.C.-primarily based pharmacist of 20 years.

&ldquoPatients can finish up hospitalized, or their health-related situation can worsen simply because they did not take their medication as their well being care provider directed,&rdquo Galzarano says. &ldquoThis is particularly critical for men and women with chronic medical situations like diabetes or higher blood stress.&rdquo

The most price- successful way to handle your wellness is to develop a routine of consistently adhering to your medication regimen, Galzarano says. Great habits like these help avoid lengthy-term complications such as blindness in individuals with diabetes or a stroke in sufferers with heart illness, she says.

&ldquoTaking medication as directed could stop emergency area visits and hospital admissions, which result in significant out- of- pocket fees for sufferers, as properly as the wellness care system,&rdquo Galzarano adds.

Spending a dollar on high-blood stress medication saves the community $ ten by eliminating the want for extra hospitalizations, tests, operations and other interventions, according to CVS Caremark. Likewise, per-dollar savings for congestive heart patients had been $ eight, practically $ 7 for diabetes individuals and around $ three for cholesterol patients.

To be certain, the entire health care method pays when customers make a decision not to take their drugs as prescribed. For instance, the New England Wellness Care Institute reported in 2009 that individuals who did not take their medicine effectively cost the method an further $ 290 billion annually.

Relieving the burden

Luckily, Vanderploeg&rsquos story had a pleased ending. By making use of a FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount Card, she brought down the cost of her husband&rsquos 180-pill, three-prescription order to $ 146, almost an 89 percent reduction.

She&rsquos just one of five million Americans who saved more than $ 430 million making use of the discount card. Folks who utilised the card to acquire diabetes and heart disease medicines also saved $ 1.two billion in connected health care expenses.

&ldquoFamilyWize makes it achievable for our neighbors who are struggling, several of them older folks, to purchase each the medicine they require plus pay for necessities like food, utilities and clothes,&rdquo says Dennis Carmen, president and CEO of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County, Mass.

&ldquoTo assist decrease the price of prescription drugs, a prescription drug discount card is now accessible at no expense to patients there are no age restrictions or earnings requirements to access the card,&rdquo says Dan Barnes, FamilyWize CEO.

Sign up for a cost-free FamilyWize Prescription Drug Discount Card by contacting your nearby United Way, visiting www.familywize.org or texting &ldquoFamily&rdquo to 700700 to have an electronic card sent to your phone. Any individual can get the card, which operates like a coupon to fill all FDA-authorized medications at a lot more than 63,000-participating pharmacies, like Walgreens, Rite Help, CVS, Walmart, Target, Kmart, Safeway, Kroger, Albertson&rsquos, Publix, Stop & Shop, SUPERVALU, Ahold, Costco and Sam&rsquos Club.

Card users save money eight out of ten times. On average, individuals will shave a lot more than 35 percent, roughly $ 20, off the retail expense of every single prescription. Even so, savings can be significantly larger, specially if card users are getting generic medications.

This month, Vanderploeg saved $ 1,154 on her husband&rsquos medicine. That&rsquos a $ 13,848 year-end savings if his prescriptions stay the very same.

&ldquoThe peace of mind emotionally and financially has been a life saver,&rdquo she says.

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Jennifer Kane