Saving Money on Healthcare Expenses: Your Turn!

July 8, 2011 · 6 comments

by Jennie
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Reader Dara sent me this fantastic question and I thought it would be another great one to pass on to all you amazingly savvy Bargain Blessings readers!

It seems like our family has been spending so much money on healthcare lately. We have insurance through my husband's work, but still between prescriptions, co-pays, and over the counter medications I feel like we've been just pouring out the money in this area during the past couple of months. Do you or any of the other Bargain Blessings readers have any ideas for ways that I could save in this area of our budget?

Thanks in advance to any of you who are able to help us to all be more educated in saving money on Healthcare Expenses!




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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chelcie Strode July 10, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Yes, check the drug websites!! I started by downloading their coupons – and then found out they have special programs you can enroll in based on income (and some loosely based on income) . As it turns out, we qualified for programs at two sep companies = now we are getting our prescriptions for free. It’s been a lifesaver to say the least!!!!!

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2 Leslie July 8, 2011 at 10:35 PM

I have a “W Card” from Walgreen’s. I pay $20 per year and I saved that much filling my first prescription. Most 90 day supply prescriptions are $12. I also receive 10% back on the card for all Walgreen’s brand products and photo developing. It has paid for itself many times.

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3 Nicole July 8, 2011 at 9:56 AM

We use a FSA (flexible spending account) too – this is money that is withheld from your paycheck (pre-tax) so you can look at it as an automatic 25%-28% discount depending on your tax bracket. The FSA is only available during open-enrollment periods, and you do have to be careful not to put in TOO much money (any funds not used by the end of the year gets forfeited). They’ve changed a lot of the rules this last year, but check out this link for more info. http://www.irs.gov/irs/article/0,,id=227301,00.html
Another thing we do is mail-order drugs (we have Cigna) and we are able to get a 90 day supply for one co-pay versus 3 co-pays for monthly fulfillment.

I would also seriously talk to your health-care providers to make SURE you need all your current medications. If you refill prescriptions without the blood-work and routine examinations you may be taking medicines that you don’t actually need, or may be able to reduce your dosage without adverse side-effects. Tapering off drugs is awesome! My husband has an auto-immune disease and we worked very closely with his rheumatologist to actually get his dosage down (our doctor wrote prescriptions for his regular dosage and we bought a pill splitter at Walgreens to cut his pills into two. That was a 50% savings right there!!!) Best advice, work closely with your doctors so you can save money on the drugs or get off them altogether, if nothing else your doc may even float you some samples (I don’t think I paid a cent in college for allergy meds because my doc would always have in-office samples!).

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4 Cecilia July 8, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Take advantage of the deals stores offer when transferring perscriptions. Our grocery store pharmacy occasionally offers $25.00 in free groceries for a transferred perscription and Target periodically offers $10.00 in free gift card for a new perscription. Walgreens offers deals also. Keep an eye out for your stores when and if they give these offers. It can help save money in other areas if not on the perscription themselves. We have gotten numerous Target gift cards and have saved on groceries and gas through our grocer.

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5 Mitzi July 8, 2011 at 8:44 AM

With our insurance we are REQUIRED to purchase all on-going/maintenance meds through a mail order company which is a pain in and of itself. I recently found that two of our family’s meds are actually cheaper to buy locally NOT USING our insurance…we buy three month supplies at Target (generic) for $10 each. If we went through our mail order company and used our insurance, it would be triple that! Also, we have started using the pre-tax health care dollars option through my husband’s employer. Although you don’t see the “savings” with each purchase, you see it on your taxes. We have never had enough deducted though and need to pay attention to our out-of-pocket expenses this year and have a bigger deduction next year.

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6 Amie July 8, 2011 at 8:33 AM

If there are drugs you take that have a higher copay for instance a brand drug instead of the retail check the drug website, many have rebates or coupons discounts that will combine with your insurance. For instance nuvaring birthcontrol has a coupon on their website for $15 off of the price or your copay for up to six uses. Anything helps!

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