With today’s rising prices, prudent consumers comparison shop for all sorts of essential products. These necessities probably include food, groceries, and utilities.
Many Americans rely on prescriptions to maintain their health, and prescription prices have increased much faster than average inflation rates. For instance, USA Today reported on an AARP study that found prescription prices rose twice as much as average inflation rates during 2020.
Traditionally, comparing medicine prices offered a challenge for consumers. Even more confusing, pharmacies do not all charge the same amount for the same prescriptions, plus insurance coverage might vary because of networks or formulary tiers.
What is GoodRx?
Doug Hirsch, the founder of GoodRx, set out to offer better information to consumers to help them make informed decisions about RX purchases. When Mr. Hirsch founded the company, critics did not think he would make a difference because millions of people had already obtained drug benefits through Medicare, Obamacare, or private health insurance plans.
Undeterred, this founder still thought patients deserved the chance to make more informed decisions. While the company earns revenue through ads, subscription fees, and referrals, consumers can use GoodRx to comparison shop for free. To get started, visit GoodRx.com and use the search or download the GoodRx app for Apple or Android devices.
According to Fortune Magazine, GoodRx has helped 100 million Americans reduce their drug costs by billions of dollars. Many of these people already had Medicare Part D or health insurance. However, GoodRx coupons and comparison pricing information still allowed them to pay less than their copay and deductibles on some medications.
Why Do People Pay Different Prices for Medications?
Many patients wonder why pharmacies charge so differently for the various medications their doctor has prescribed. Medicare Part D and various health insurance plans use formularies that list covered prescription drugs. These formularies include tiers with varying coverage levels. For instance, people will generally need to share more of the costs for a brand-name medication than a generic one. The plan may not include some drugs in their formulary, so the patient will need to pay the entire cost.
Also, no government agency regulates prescription prices. Very often, people may find that one pharmacy charges hundreds of dollars more or less than another. Sometimes, manufacturers or retailers offer coupons or other discounts. At the same time, people who need a prescription might not have access to every pharmacy because they have a network plan that only contracts with specific ones.
When to Use GoodRx Instead of Health Insurance or Medicare Part D
If you have concerns about the cost of a prescription, you should visit the GoodRx website to find out if they can offer you a lower price than using health insurance at your network pharmacy.
For your convenience, ask the pharmacy how much you will pay with insurance when you ask for a refill. Some pharmacies will offer an estimate when you refill online, but you’re always welcome to call or visit them to ask. Sometimes, you might get surprised by a high bill at the counter, and it’s not too late to do a quick search of GoodRx if you have downloaded the mobile app on your phone.
Your Medicare Part D or health insurance plan will often offer you the cheapest and most convenient access to medication. Sometimes, they won’t, and then you can print the coupon from GoodRx or send the offer to the mobile app. Take this offer to the pharmacy to enjoy savings on prescription prices.
Do You Need Better Prescription Coverage?
Ideally, you will never need to use GoodRx because your health insurance or Part D plan will offer you the lowest cost. Everybody should compare prescription coverage when they shop for health insurance plans. If you need help, contact our experienced health and Medicare insurance agents.