Prescription Costs


Walmart continues to find new ways to make their stores contain everything you would ever want to find in a gigantic box.

With a visit to one of these singular, vast stores, consumers can buy: clothes to keep themselves warm and possibly fashionable; food to sustain themselves (and their pets); TVs and video games to stay entertained; automotive supplies to keep their cars running (even gas in some places!). And it’s all incredibly cheap, so when they finally leave that giant box they still have some money – unless they spent it on more cheap stuff like an eye exam or a sandwich from Subway, which are also readily available inside the small metropolis that is your local Walmart.

They also provide something that BenefitsVIP can whole-heartedly support: prescription drugs for four dollars. Walmart boasts that they provide $4 30-day supplies of 95% of the drugs for which prescriptions are written in the US. And recently, they began providing 90-day supplies of many of these drugs for $10.

These drugs were long priced so highly that purchasing them was a huge burden for low- and fixed-income Americans. Walmart is able to provide them at cheap prices because of what they don’t have: a brand name. They are generic drugs. They are produced not by the initial pharmaceutical company who jacked up prices to recoup high research costs, but by post-patent companies who sell them at competitive prices.

The generic drugs are exactly like the expensive, name-brand drug. As Walmart’s FAQ shows, they have the same active ingredients in the same concentrations, the same purity and stability (and the same side effects). Though many top brand-name drugs are not available for these low prices, Walmart says these cheaper copies have already saved Americans over $1 billion.

This isn’t available for everyone, though. North Dakotans have no access to these $4 prescriptions at all. Also, certain drugs are more expensive in the following states:
California
Colorado
Hawaii
Minnesota
Montana
Pennsylvania
Tennessee
Wisconsin
Wyoming

Despite these technicalities, most are calling the cheap drug offerings from this guy 🙂 a great opportunity to save money on health costs, especially in tough times like these. This is even starting up a bit of competition, as Target, Walmart’s chief rival in the business of empire-sized emporiums, plans to at least regionally match the $4 deal.

We at BenefitsVIP are always looking for ways for you to stay healthy and save money on healthcare. We think that a trip to the Walmart pharmacy is a good way to see if you and your family can be insured for a little less. Chances are that you’re going to Walmart anyway, whether it’s for a loaf of bread, a new pair of jeans, a Playstation, or all of the above plus a family photo!

Advertisements

While it’s generally true that there is no “free lunch” when it comes to ways to reduce the spiraling cost of the nation’s healthcare, there is one that only costs $4.99. That’s the average price for a pill splitter.

And, the amount of savings that can be realized by using this simple device far outweighs its nominal cost. In fact, for many individuals, this technique has literally halved the cost of prescription drugs – for themselves and for their employer. So successful is the pill splitting strategy in generating dramatic cost savings that many of the country’s largest and most influential benefit carriers have begun to require the use of the device for specific medications. Kaiser, Humana and UnitedHealth have each unveiled such a program and others, including many state public health programs, are rapidly following suit. Should you?

For many of the most commonly prescribed medications, the cost of the double strength dosage is frequently less than 20% more expensive than the standard dose. And, often, the costs are identical. If that medication is “splittable” (meaning: is it in tablet form that can be effectively divided into two equal halves), the logic of the strategy is unassailable – two-for-the-price-of-one! Moreover, the savings are realized by  the employee by paying only one-half of their normal Rx co-pay.

That’s the very definition of a win-win!How much can be saved under a pill splitting program? Participants in the United Healthcare study saved as much as $300 per year in co-pays alone. In a frequently cited study at Stanford University, the savings amounted to an average overall savings of 36% in the cost of the drugs dispensed.