Feb 17, 2022

Should You Use Your Health Insurance or a Discount Card for Prescriptions?

Healthcare, in general, is a massive expense for Americans. A considerable portion of out-pocket costs is due to the increasing prices of prescription medications.  

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that the 2020 prescription drug expenditure in the United States came to over $348 billion. The average American adult spends around $1200 a year on prescription drugs, more than any other country in the world.

It's no wonder that the everyday consumer is looking for ways to save money on their prescription medications which raises the question — should you be using your health insurance or a drug discount card at the pharmacy?

What is drug insurance?

Drug insurance, often referred to as prescription drug coverage, helps pay for prescription medications.

You most likely pay a copay or coinsurance for each covered drug depending on your health insurance plan. The out-of-pocket cost will usually depend on the tier formulary set up by the insurance company. 

Those with Medicare can get prescription drug insurance with Medicare Part D or a Medicare Advantage Plan. All Marketplace plans provide prescription drug coverage. 

What is a prescription drug discount card?

A prescription drug discount card like Carecard, is a pharmacy savings card that offers discounts on thousands of medications. 

The pharmacist processes the discount card instead of your insurance information. You then pay the reduced cash rate instead of your copay. 

Which one should I use for my prescription medications?

Keep in mind — you can't use your health insurance and a prescription drug discount together. The best way to decide which one to use at the pharmacy depends on a few things and doing some research. 

What are your deductibles?

Your insurance plan most likely has a deductible, a yearly dollar amount that you must pay towards your prescriptions before insurance kicks in to cover the rest. 

What are your copays and coinsurance?

Your copayment (or copay) is the amount you pay at the pharmacy when you get your prescription filled. The copay can be a fixed amount depending on the type of medication (i.e., generics are $15, brand name are $50) or a percentage of the overall cost of the particular drug (coinsurance). With some insurance plans, your copay may count toward the deductible. 

You can often look up which drugs are covered by your insurance plan's formulary list and see what your copay or coinsurance will be. Contact your insurance company if you have questions about your plan.

Which pharmacy are you using?

Carecard gives users the ability to compare prices at pharmacies close by to find the best cost. Once you find the most affordable and convenient pharmacy, you can compare the Carecard price to your insurance copay. 

Saving money on prescription medications

There might be certain medications or classes of drugs your insurance plan won't cover. Prescriptions not covered by insurance and plans with a high deductible can make it hard to afford monthly medications. 

When it comes to saving the most money on your prescription drugs, comparing your copay or coinsurance to the pharmacy discount savings will help you save the most money at check out. 

How do I get a Carecard pharmacy savings card?

Signing up for Carecard is easy and free!

  • Visit the Carecard website

  • Type in the name of the medication and your zip code

  • Press search and find the pharmacy with the best price near you

  • Click on "Get Free Coupon" and have the coupon sent via email or text, or print it out at home

  • Show your pharmacist the coupon at pickup

At CareCard, we are passionate about helping make your prescription payments more affordable, saving members up to 85% on prescription drugs and medications. Learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.

Search for a prescription discounts now!

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