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Drug prices may be higher with insurance card

New study finds cash price lower 20% of the time
Posted at 4:34 PM, Jan 04, 2019

Americans spend more on drugs than people in any other country. The amount of out of pocket is projected to rise to 67-billion dollars in 2025, from about 25-billion dollars in 2000.

But a March 2018 study found that for about 1 out of 5 prescriptions, insurers required people to pay more using their insurance than if they paid the pharmacy’s retail, or "cash" price.

Why on earth would anyone pay a higher prices? Often because of gag clauses, according to our partners at Consumer Reports Magazine. The clauses prevented pharmacists from telling you there may be a lower price by not using your insurance. They would have to take your card, and charge the higher amount.

New law will protect patients

But not anymore. Consumer Reports worked with a bunch of state legislators to help pass state-by-state laws to help curtail this practice. And then, this past Oct, two bills were passed in Congress put an end to this practice once and for all on a national level which is a terrific win for consumers.

But getting the lowest price is not automatic. The number one thing to do is ask: “Is this the lowest possible price on my medication?”

There are some other ways to be money smart at the drug counter, according to Consumer Reports:

1. Make sure you really need that medication.
2. Make sure you’re taking a generic. Generics are a good option for most people and will save you boatloads of money.
3. Get a 3-month or 90-day prescription and you can save at least one copay or maybe even two.
4. Check out websites that offer coupons, such as GoodRX. That way you don't waste your money.


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