Do You Pay Out of Pocket for Prescription Meds? It May be Cheaper Than You Think…

medicine bottle
It pays to check to see if your out-of-pocket cost for prescription medication is cheaper than your insurance company’s cost. Photo: Morguefile

It never would have occurred to me that paying out of pocket (OOP) for an ongoing prescription drug would be less expensive than paying for it through my health insurance’s mandatory mail order pharmacy. But that’s what seems to have happened in December, when I realized I was going to be short about two week’s worth of thyroid medication before my next mail order script would arrive. I called my doctor’s office who in turn called in with a script to the local drugstore, CVS. When I picked up, I was told I’d need to pay OOP because my insurance didn’t cover the brand, which was the generic of the brand, anyhow. A whopping twelve bucks. I realized that paying OOP of this generic would be less expensive than paying $85 every three months for generic of another brand. In other words, by paying for virtually the same medication OOP, I’ll pay $12 a month versus $28.52 a month from the mail order pharmacy. Savings: $200 a year.

PS: When I called CVS to make certain that’s what I’d pay monthly OOP, the pharmacist said many people opt to pay OOP for other drugs for this very reason. Guess I’m not crazy after all? He also said there is some sort of “house discount” that he put on my script, too, which will make it less expensive than the $12. Of course there’s also Extra Bucks for scripts, too. Huh. Who knows, maybe I can get it even cheaper elsewhere…like Walmart, but I’ll stick to CVS since it’s close by.

So, unless I’m missing some critical info, I’ll file this under: learn something new every day.

~Marilyn, TFF