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Beyond Benefits: What Are Prescription Savings Programs?

Pharmacy savings programs are initiatives designed to help individuals save money on prescription medications. These programs typically operate through partnerships between pharmacies, drug manufacturers, insurance companies, or third-party organizations. The primary goal is to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients and make essential medications more accessible.

Benefits of utilizing prescription savings programs include:
  • Saves you money – The most obvious perk to savings programs is getting your prescriptions at a lower price. Discounts vary between programs, but it may be possible to save up to 85% on some of your prescription meds.
  • Easy to compare costs – You can look at how much your prescriptions will cost across the different savings programs online or before buying.
  • Simple to use – After you submit your prescription, you show your prescription savings card or manufacturer coupon to your pharmacist, and they apply the savings. You have to have your card or coupon with you at the time you pay for your prescription. You may be able to show your card or coupon from a mobile app on your phone.
  • Available broadly – It’s likely you’ll be able to use a savings program at your regular pharmacy. But pharmacy-specific savings programs only work at the pharmacies that offer them.
  • Free to sign up – Most drug prescription cards are free, so there’s little or no risk to try out several different types. 
A few potential downsides include:
  • Some can’t be combined with insurance – You may not be able to use a prescription discount card along with your insurance. That means money you spend on prescriptions using a discount card will not be applied to your insurance deductible or out-of-pocket maximums. So your savings in the short term may not be worth the cost long-term.
  • You may not always get the same savings – Costs of prescriptions go up and down. You may pay one price one day and a different price on another. Call to check on pricing the day you go to the pharmacy, so you’re not surprised at the counter.
Where can you find savings programs?
  • Manufacturer discount programs – These are also called manufacturer-sponsored prescription coupons. Pharmaceutical companies use them to point you to specific brand-name drugs. Usually, you combine manufacturer coupons with insurance to lower your copayments for a period of time. The best way to find out if there are any manufacturer coupons available for your medication is to check the drug company’s website.
  • Pharmacy-specific savings plans – Several larger chain pharmacies in the U.S. have their own savings programs. These are for generic drugs only. You can’t combine these savings with your insurance plan, copay savings cards, or other discount prescription cards.
  • Prescription discount cards – You print these cards straight from their websites, or download an app and use the savings right away.

The benefits of pharmacy savings programs are clear: they help make medications more affordable and accessible, especially for those without comprehensive insurance coverage or who are managing chronic conditions that require ongoing medication. By leveraging these programs, patients can potentially save significant amounts of money on prescription drugs, ultimately improving their ability to adhere to necessary treatment regimens and maintain their health and well-being.

Click here to read more from the BSI blog, Wise & Well.

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BSI has proven, time and time again, they stand behind every word they say to you and you are guaranteed to get the best possible options for employees and to also experience better quality services along with significant savings to the agency and/or business.

Anita Jo Paukovits,
Executive Director, Children's Home of Easton