When I signed up for health insurance coverage for my wife and myself, I did a great deal of research. It would have been simpler if we were covered under an employer plan, but we are both self-employed so the available coverage plans are both limited and varied. If “both limited and varied” confuse you, it is only indicative of what signing up for your own health insurance is. So again, I say I did a great deal of research and number crunching to finally come up with a plan. We are relatively healthy so the high deductible plans were appealing. I considered the plan we chose as a low-cost catastrophe insurance that insured not our health, but the “just in case” scenario of a major medical event not bankrupting us. In short, we pay for everything out of pocket until we hit our deductible and then our insurance kicks in. After making that decision, we had one other choice: prescriptions or no prescriptions.
Including the prescription component in our plan added a significant cost to the already high cost of our “low” cost high deductible plan. We had very few or no prescriptions we were taking, so we opted for excluding the prescription component entirely. Before the ink was dry on the signature pages of our brand new health insurance, a medical event occurred adding more prescriptions to the mix. Now what? I walked into our local Pharmacy ready to pay for them all out-of-pocket. Before they even rang in the prescription they offered me a Prescription Savings Plan. Usually, I just ignore these promotional tidbits, but for some reason, I listened. I sure was glad I took the time to listen because, with $20 for an individual or $35 for a family annual fee, I was able to get a savings plan that gave us a deep discount on those prescriptions. In fact, I was going to save more than $20 that day. I signed up immediately and went on my way. The year went by and I used the plan over and over again.
Fast forward to last week when I went in to pick up the prescriptions again. They rang me up for a 90-day and a 30-day refill on two different prescriptions. The total was $47.55. The total made me perk up and I realized the Prescription Savings Plan had run out. With a couple of keystrokes, an exchange of the $20 enrollment fee again and my total went down to $35 and some change. With the enrollment fee taken out, the prescriptions were only $15. Incidentally, that fee saved me over $32 just on those two refills. After doing a little math, I figured it would have cost $410.60 to pay for those two prescriptions for a year without the plan. With the plan, we are at $100 for those same two prescriptions. Saving $350 a year by paying $20 made a lot of sense.
Depending on what kind of plan you have for your medical and prescriptions, it might make sense to do a little research and talk with your pharmacy. They may just have something to make your hard decision a little easier. After all, it never hurts to ask and listen. You may just be able to save a few of those hard-earned dollars.
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Article posted on August 2016 - last updated September 2022