one girl’s guide to surviving unemployment

creative spending: options for health care

The drug companies have done a nice thing and issued a discount card for their meds – it’s called Together Rx Access.  It provides good savings on most medications.  Also, many major retailers including Target, Wal-Mart, Safeway and others are now offering $4 generics.  These discounts don’t cover ALL generics, only a certain subset, so be sure to check their sites or at the pharmacy to see what’s eligible. 

Along the lines of generics, consider that store brand antacids, pain relievers, antibiotic creams, allergy medications contain the EXACT same active ingredient as the brand name.  Flip both over and compare side by side.

In addition, talk to your doctor.  Does he/she have any samples that could help offset your prescription costs?  I know that many physicians are cutting back on the freebies they take from the pharmaceutical companies, but it’s always worth a phone call to your doc. Is there a generic alternative to anything you’re taking?  Can he/she work on a sliding scale?  Can you get on a payment plan for any ongoing care?

As far as immediate care is concerned, look for low-cost options for the things that aren’t major: sinus infections, colds, sore throats.  CVS has a discount clinic that may offer a considerable savings in comparison to a traditional doctor’s visit. Wal-Mart has a health clinic as well.  Planned Parenthood is an amazingly low-cost resource for womanly issues: PAP smears, vag infections, UTIs, etc.  If you’re just not comfortable with Planned Parenthood (no judgement here), there is likely a women’s clinic in your region that can help you for cheap.

Lastly, definitely check out an organization called FACT.  The membership is nominal (less than $10) and they offer fantastic discounts on medical, dental, vision care and more.  

caveat shoppor: I’m not a doctor.  Nor do I play one on TV.  Only you can determine what makes most sense for you and your fam.

Post-publishing update: Apparently Target has a few medical clinics as well.

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  1. * Don says:

    Looking into 90 day supplies for any prescription meds you take regularly is worthwhile as well. I can pay out-of-pocket for 90 pills at Costco for less than 2 copays on a 30 day supply.

    It’s an annoying comparison to have to do, but I have to because my insurance company (insanely) won’t cover 90 day supplies. But buying at places like Costco makes it easy – they have their prices online. So you can see that, for example, generic Ambien (zolpidem) is $5.50 for 30 and only $9.33 for 100.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago
    • * unemployedhipster says:

      Don – that is an excellent point. I completely forgot that the clubs do rx as well!

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 11 months ago

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