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The cost of prescription drugs in the USA has risen steeply in the recent past. One notable driver for these high costs is the lack of competition among pharmaceutical companies. The USA has policies that create special monopolies to prevent price competition. But this has not worked out so well in protecting the consumers from unfavorable drug prices.
Luckily, there are Rx discount cards- programs that promise to make drug prices favorable for anyone. In this post, we aim at clearing the doubts that hold you from using these prescription discount cards from their reliability to your privacy.
In medical terms, the symbol Rx represents prescription. That's why the Rx and prescription are commonly interchanged in discount cards.
An Rx savings discount card is a discount program that aims to lower the price of prescription drugs for patients paying for their medication in cash. Almost everywhere you look today, youâ€™ll find an Rx discount card promising to lower your cost of prescription drugs by 20-80%. While this deal may seem too good to be true, it certainly is- in most instances.
In a prescription discount program, an organization called Prescriptions Benefits Manager (PBM) starts by identifying pharmacies that are willing to be participants. Next, the PBM negotiates with the pharmacies for discounted prices on the prescription drugs that they dispense.
Upon getting discounted prices, the card is almost ready to be rolled out. However, itâ€™ll need to be marketed to its potential users. This is where marketers come into the picture.
Prescription discount programs are meant to reduce your out-of-pocket medical costs- not take money from you. However, cards have different policies and ways of doing things. Some of these cards are free to use, and thereâ€™s no enrollment fee involved.
However, others require a registration fee when signing up for the program. Depending on the policies, this fee may be one-time-only, monthly, or even annually. All prescription cards have a list of Terms and Conditions that should make this issue clear.
GetDealRX, among other discount cards, is open for everyone and doesn't have restrictions regarding insurance status, income bracket, or age.
However, some cards work like Prescription Assistance Plans and pose restrictions on who is eligible for the plan. Some of these cards are strictly for non-insured patients. Others target individuals within a specific age limit (for instance, above 65 years), while others cater to people within a stated income limit.
Thereâ€™s a misconception that Rx discount cards are prescription insurance cards, which isnâ€™t true. An Rx discount program is not an insurance plan. As mentioned before, a prescription discount plan is free, although some ask for a registration fee.
Once you get the card, all you do is present it to the pharmacist when filling a prescription. The pharmacist will give you a discount (usually in percentage) on the medication cost. Unless stated otherwise, most prescription cards donâ€™t have monthly or renewal fees.
On the contrary, a prescription insurance card works similarly to medical insurance. To enroll in one, you pay a premium and a copay whenever you fill in your prescription.
Note that if you have a medical insurance or insurance card, but you opt to pay through an Rx card, the payment wonâ€™t contribute to your deductible (unless your insurance provider offers this privilege).
Most Rx discount programs allow both insured and uninsured individuals to join in. Even if youâ€™re insured, there are times when a prescription discount card will bring the price much lower than your copay. This way, it makes more sense to pay the retail price.
However, Rx discount plans and insurance donâ€™t mix. You canâ€™t use them both to bring the cost of the drug further down. Actually, you wonâ€™t be allowed to combine a prescription card with any other payer. All in all, even if you have an insurance cover, enquire about the out-of-pocket price and determine whether a discount card will be more cost-effective.
Most of the best Rx cards offer discounts on almost all FDA-approved brand-name and generic drugs. Often, you save more on generic drugs than you do on brand-name drugs due to the variation in prices.
Most cards offer discounts of between 20% and 40% on generic and brand-name drugs. However, you could also get 80-100% savings on some generic drugs with certain cards. Pharmacies and drug stores offer different discounts. Always shop around for the best prices.
Using a prescription card is pretty straightforward, although there might be a few differences between different savings programs. Assuming that youâ€™re using GetDealRX, you begin by searching for the prescription drug on their website.
The program will search for all the pharmacies that stock the drug near you and their prices. After choosing the pharmacy with the best deal, youâ€™ll get a coupon that youâ€™ll show the pharmacists to get the discounted rate. Most saving programs have a physical card (printable) that you can walk around within your pocket and use whenever youâ€™re filling in prescriptions.
The biggest fear that most people have before using prescription discount cards is that their information may be obtained and shared with third-party advertising programs. These fears are valid. They emphasize the need to exercise extra caution when choosing the best prescription discount cards.
Legitimate cards have well-laid infrastructures to ensure consumer privacy by safeguarding their data. Actually, most of them donâ€™t require you to provide your personal info to enjoy the discounted prices. In case they do, they will clearly explain how they can use the information and may even ask for your consent before using it.