I remember spending nights with my grandparents (who lived next door--it was a SMALL town) and being freaked out at the number of medications lined up on their bathroom shelf.
That was a long time ago, and I'm now the grandparent, and yes, there is a shelf full of prescription medicines in my bathroom.
Not that I'm complaining.
The fact that I have taken blood pressure and cholestrol medications for the past ten years means that I was in good shape for my heart surgery in March, and contributed to my fast recovery. The medications I take regularly for diabetes are necessary for continued longevity.
But it's a darn good thing I have insurance and only have to pay a $10 co-pay for my prescriptions, because I take five different medications each day.
Lately, I've been searching for ways to reduce those costs. I already pay my co-pays with tax-free dollars since I have a flex medical account. But what other savings might there be?
As it turns out, I had to look no further than my HMO pharmacy. To go into the clinic monthly costs $10 per prescription, not to mention the time loss. But if I buy a 90 day supply of each medicine, I can do that for $27 per prescription plus make 66% fewer visits to the pharmacy.
But wait--there's more!
If I order by mail or over the internet, I can get a 90 day supply of each medicine shipped to me for $20 per prescription. (The package is pretty large--it probably does NOT make my mailman happy.)
Don't have an HMO? Maybe, don't have insurance?
Wal-Mart runs a cost-effective program for the most-used prescriptions. I checked their list of $4 medications, and it includes every one of mine with one exception (I was initially prescribed the most common blood pressure medication, but 10% of users develop a really loud and annoying cough. Wouldn't you know it, Grace is in that 10%). Wal-Mart also provides an additional discount for the purchase of a 90 day supply ($10) bringing the cost of common drugs down to $3.33 a prescription.
I'm not the biggest fan of Wal-Mart, but you can't beat those prices.
I know that I will, at a minimum, start getting my prescriptions by mail. I haven't decided if I will (or even if I can) forego the HMO pharmacy in favor of Wal-Mart.
In the meantime, I will hope that I don't ever contract the infection that a close friend of mine recently did--the drug that ultimately knocked out the bacterium cost her $495. And that WAS the CO-PAY!