PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Almost half of Americans won’t buy their prescriptions because of the rising costs of co-pays. Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, insurers offer more health plans with lower premiums, but higher deductibles.
In today’s 3 On Your Side report, we take a look at ways to save money and even find some popular medications for free.
Phillip Lambert needs insulin. But when his monthly cost hit $1,800 dollars he considered skipping it.
“I thought it was ridiculous,” said Lambert. “The program is $275 the Cellcept is $600 for a 90 day supply”
Bill Young’s co-pay for anti-rejection drugs was nearly 900 dollars with with private insurance.
“This is medication I need to live,” said Young.
Both men went looking for help. Lambert found a federal program called 340b. Instead of $1,800 he now pays $34. Young found a discount card on the drug manufacturers website and his cost dropped from $875 to $15.
“I was ecstatic,” said Young.
Even the pharmacy where you pick up your prescriptions can save you money. You can save an extra 10 to 30 dollars using Walgreens’ Prescription Savings Club. Other stores, have similar programs. Many also offer common generic medications for under five dollars.
“In particular we have 10 prescriptions medications that our members can get for three dollars a month,” said Phil Keough with Kmart pharmacy.
The discounts are needed because according to a Kaiser report co-pays are skyrocketing forcing 41% of people to skip filling some prescriptions. Apps like GoodRX can point you to discounts.
Janet Irvine got this a card from her doctor which took her 60 dollar co-pay down to 25.
“Get your physician to see if they can help you out with making the cost of getting better a little less,” said Irvine.
Some pharmacy savings programs may require you pay a small membership fees, the flip side, some even cover medications for your pet.
Also, be aware that some federal programs and manufacturer discounts are often income based. The amount varies from program to program.