Taking ones’ regular prescription medications is important to maintain overall health. We know from research that having no insurance or being underinsured and resulting medication non-compliance leads to worse outcomes and a higher chance of death.
Without insurance the average doctor’s office visit can cost between $146.00 to $300.00, plus the cost of the prescription itself. The average visit to a “doc-in-the-box”, or urgent care clinic, costs on average $155.
Strategies to Save Money on Prescription Refills
But what are the options for someone who does not have insurance but is dependent on their prescription drugs?
An affordable alternative to a regular doctor’s visit is telemedicine—with an average cost of about $80 for basic care telehealth visit. Seeing an online doctor can save time that would otherwise be spent in traffic and or in waiting room, which in many cases forces patients to take time off from work—contributing to their financial strain.
Telehealth is particularly feasible if you have been taking your usual prescription medications for some time, you know them to be safe and effective. Most telemedicine doctors can prescribe up to a 90-day supply of your regular medication.
Some (usually larger) cities have free or low-income clinics to their residents. However, most patients are in not in close proximity to one of these clinics and the wait times for patients to get an appointment and the wait time at these clinics tend to be longer.
Another option to save money on prescription drugs is to remind your doctor of your financial situation and request them to select a more affordable medication—ideally one which is also available as generic drug.
It is also a good idea to look up pharmacy coupons, for example at prescription coupon websites like RxSaver.
If you just need regular surveillance labs, you can order your own labs (DYI labs) which will avoid the cost of a doctor’s appointment.
Did you know? QuickMD can refill most non-controlled prescription medications online; from the convenience of your home.