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Dear Liz: My husband recently was placed on a pricey medication ($20 a day) that is not covered by insurance. Any suggestions to getting help with this added $7,000-a-year expense?

Answer: Doctors can be surprisingly ignorant of the cost of medications, so your first call should be to your pharmacist to see if there are more affordable options, such as a generic drug. If so, call the doctor back to see if your husband can switch.

Either way, start shopping around. Medication costs vary enormously from pharmacy to pharmacy. You also should check to see if a mail-order pharmacy might save you some money.

Be sure to ask about discounts. Pharmacies may offer discounts for cash or with certain memberships, such as with AARP. Prescription discount cards are easy to find — just type “prescription discount card” into an Internet search engine — but steer clear of those that charge fees.

Also check NeedyMeds.org, which lists discounts and assistance programs specific to hundreds of medications. NeedyMeds also has a free prescription discount card.

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Categories : Q&A, Saving Money



Hi, Liz ~ What about suggesting that she sign up for a medical reimbursement plan, if her employer has one? At least she’ll be paying for meds with pre-tax dollars instead of post-tax? Last year, my plan provided a single purpose debit card. So, there aren’t any more cash flow implications to paying for medical-related expenses.


That’s a good suggestion.