Medical costs in the United States are increasing quickly, and many people feel the pressure it places on their finances. The dimensions of pharmaceutical sales are rising as quickly as the world’s population. According to Envicare, there are currently more than 30,000 pharmacies in the U.S. alone. Here’s what you need to know about affording the medications you need.
Prices Are Rising
Research on diseases also inspired many medications taken at different stages of the same condition. With TMJ, (Temporomandibular Joint syndrome) which is a painful stiffness of the upper jaw joint, the market value of medications used for its treatment is rising. According to Statista, the current market value of medications for treating TMJ disorders is over $225 million, and it’s predicted to increase to over $300 million within the next four years.
Insurance Helps Lower Costs
Both public and private health insurance often pay for some or all of a subscriber’s drug costs. Medicare is insurance paid for by the U.S. government. There are different parts of Medicare, each paying for a separate healthcare aspect. Medicare D pays for part of the cost of medications.
Medicaid is another program paid for by the U.S. government. It’s provided for people with low incomes. Medicaid usually covers the entire cost of most medications. Payment amounts and eligibility guidelines vary by State.
Finding Even Lower Costs
Other health insurance companies are offered through a person’s employer or purchased privately. Health insurance usually includes coverage for part of the cost of medicines. If you want to find the lowest price available for your medication, apps compare the costs of your drugs at different pharmacies. Using these apps will allow you to find the lowest costs.
Some people with Medicare D can qualify for additional discounts through Extra Help. Eligibility for Extra Help is based on the subscriber’s income. The program could pay part of your premiums or reduce your deductible or copay if you qualify. This program will also help with drug costs.
Help From Drug Companies
In many cases, the companies that make drugs will financially help people who take their medications. These programs are called PAPs (patient assistance programs.) Those companies often provide information on their websites about the PAP. The drug company determines eligibility for those programs, and you must apply for the benefit.
What to Ask Your Doctor
Your doctor prescribes your medications, so they can sometimes help you save money on those prescriptions. An annual wellness visit is vital to maintain your health and review your meds. When you check your medications with your doctor at this visit, ask if any can be discontinued. The annual wellness visit can reveal if all your drugs are still right for you.
You can ask your doctor if there is a generic version of your medications at your annual visit since generics are less costly. According to the CDC, despite the importance of annual wellness visits, less than 25 million people visited a medical professional for an injury in 2020. However, your doctor may also be able to recommend some pharmacy discounts or help you qualify for a PAP.
Look for Drug Discounts
You can often find drug discount cards at community centers. They may also be found at the pharmacy pick-up window. If possible, it’s essential to get all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy. The pharmacist can identify medications that shouldn’t be taken together – and some that they might decide to discontinue.
Look for Non-Profit Help
Community centers or county social service agencies can point you to community resources. Some churches or faith-based community centers may offer free healthcare services for people with low incomes. Some of those community centers may provide free or low-cost medications.
Medication costs can challenge anyone these days. Check the provisions of your pharmacy insurance and ask your doctor for advice on any medications. Look online for any other discounts that may be right for you.