For many like myself with sarcoidosis and other chronic illnesses, reducing prescription costs is an ongoing effort. As the year winds down, there are a few actions we can take to help achieve that goal.
Review and renew
Each fall, I take stock of my prescriptions and determine which ones permit a 90-day supply. Then I get renewal scripts from my physicians and fill them as late as possible in December. I also fill my 30-day prescriptions as close to the end of the year as possible. This gives me breathing room when the new year begins and I’m faced with a new out-of-pocket deductible.
Divide and conquer
When 90-day supplies aren’t an option, I explore the possibility of pill splitting. By having your physician prescribe a higher dosage of a medication than you need, you are able to split pills in half, getting two doses for the price of one. This delays the pain of meeting my new deductible for prescriptions, and is a continued means of savings.
The holiday shopping season is a great time to find deals on over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. The Vitamin Shoppe, Puritan’s Pride, and GNC were among the retailers offering Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals last year. Don’t forget to check local pharmacies and retail chains such as Rite Aid, Walgreens, and CVS for holiday discounts.
Cash-back credit cards
Paying with credit cards that provide cash back on purchases is another way to boost savings. American Heritage Credit Union has brought back a holiday promotion that gives 5 percent cash back for using its Cash Reward Mastercard at select retailers, including Target, Walmart, and Amazon. It runs through Dec. 31. Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back at department stores and on purchases made using PayPal or Chase Pay until Dec. 31. Discover cardholders can earn a 5 percent cash-back bonus at Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com through December.
Just remember to pay credit card balances in full by the due date to avoid interest charges that would wipe out your savings.
Time for change
I also use the months leading to the year’s end to try new medications I am considering. If a medication is not effective, it does not cost me as much because my deductible has usually been met. Now is also a great time to review your health and prescription coverage, especially if you have Medicare, as the open enrollment period ends Dec. 7.
A little investigating can pay off as the year draws to a close.
Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.