You Paid How Much?!
How to Save on Prescriptions
“Please let me pay full price for something I can get on sale,” said no one EVER! So why are we so willing, as consumers, to do it when it comes to our healthcare? Research shows that it’s not that consumers want to pay more for medical services, they just don’t know how not to.
What is healthcare consumerism and why is it so darn important? Well let me ask, when buying a new car or major appliance, do you research the best costs and place to make the purchase? Of course you do. So why isn’t it second nature to do the same with our healthcare? It goes back to your Economics 101 course – think competitive environment and supply and demand. If we’re willing to pay top dollar for our healthcare, why would the margins on cost ever decrease and become more affordable?
Regardless of what medical plan you’re enrolled in, learning to become a more thoughtful consumer needs to become a natural part of your everyday life. Understanding that you’re likely paying more for things like prescription drugs, basic medical services, higher cost scans (MRIs), etc. is important in saving money long-term.
Don’t be afraid. I promise once you adopt this new way of thinking, you’ll never look back. For now, here are just a few helpful ideas to get you started down this new path towards becoming a savvier healthcare consumer – and ensuring your employees do the same.
Generic Prescription Savings Programs- While Walmart and Target were the initiators of the $4 Generic Prescription Program, other pharmacy retailers have followed suit with similar programs. Always ask if a similar program is available to save on prescriptions when you can.
Carrier Tools and Resources- Whatever medical carrier you’re with, you likely have a treatment cost estimator tool available to you. This tool will allow you to estimate the cost for treatments and procedures so you can be more aware of what to expect and the cost variance depending on where you get treated from. Example, a basic MRI at a free-standing, in-network imaging center might cost $650 but if you got that same basic MRI from your local hospital it might cost $1,800. That’s nearly a 300% cost difference!
GoodRx- A no-cost solution that brings about medication cost transparency. Go to www.goodrx.com, enter in your prescription information and within seconds you’re offered the best pricing on varying pharmacies near your zip code. Have a smartphone? There’s an easy to use app so you can access these savings while you’re on the go.
Healthcare Blue Book- This is a cost transparency tool for doctor office visits, procedures and medications. You can access information on hospitals, physicians, imaging, labs, cosmetic medicine, hearing and dental services and medications. www.healthcarebluebook.com offers you “fair price” information to help you negotiate the best pricing on services, treatments and procedures that are (and maybe are not) covered by your insurance.
For more information, education and guidance, please contact one of our Assurance Employee Benefits Communication & Education Team members!
- HSAs: Consumerism at Its Finest
- Becoming a Better Healthcare Consumer
- Assurance Calculator: Total Cost of Employee Benefits
- Human Resources E-Book
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