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Health and Welfare

How to Shop for a Pharmacy Discount

In the age of high-deductible health plans and pricey meds, finding pharmacy discounts has become key, especially when aiming to stretch your HSA and FSA dollars as far as possible.

Many articles state one of the best tips for saving money on prescription drugs is shopping around. If this is truly the case, how is shopping around a better alternative than say, your insurance?

There is actually a fairly basic explanation for this. When purchasing a medication, whether it be with insurance or prescription drug coupons, the price you pay has been negotiated between a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) and the pharmacy you’re shopping at. Every insurance company uses a PBM to contract with pharmacies and negotiate drug prices. Additionally, some pharmacies, like CVS, have their own PBM, which allows them to essentially name their own price.  Since there are number of PBM’s negotiating prices with thousands of pharmacies for thousands of different drugs, the prices you pay at each pharmacy location will vary.

So now you’re thinking about shopping around for your medications because you’ve heard it’s a great way to save money. You start by filling a medication at your local Walgreen’s. If you approach the pharmacy counter with an insurance card, a drug coupon, and also ask for the cash price, you’ll be given three different prices. Wait, three different prices, at the same pharmacy? Yes! Remember, because each of the three different pricing options you asked for all operate independently from each other (insurance, coupons and cash price), the prices will be different.

Those prices make you start wondering, what will I find at another pharmacy?  So you decide to move on and try out a Rite Aid with the same insurance, coupon and question about the cash price. You’ve now been told three more prices – that’s 6 different prices, between two pharmacies! This may be a little confusing, considering you might not have known prices vary by pharmacy location and also by which insurance or discount source is used. You’re beginning to think shopping around for prescription discounts seems like a lot of work.

Well, there’s a simpler way. You can easily shop around for pharmacy discounts with LowestMed. You see, LowestMed has developed some nifty technology that sorts prices at pharmacies near you. It works for pharmacies all over the United States. They use 7 different pricing sources to find the best pharmacy discount for your medication. All you need to do is input your medication, dosage, and ZIP code, then let the technology go to work for you. LowestMed will list prices for your medication at nearby pharmacies. This is much easier than calling or visiting pharmacies all over town, isn’t it?

Once you’ve found your preferred price, just tap on the “show card” button on the mobile app and present the codes displayed on the app to your pharmacist You can also print a coupon for the discount from the website, LowestMed’s app is available on your phone’s app store (Google Play and the Apple’s App Store). Just make sure to enter the affiliate code “NBS” into the LowestMed app. You do this by tapping on the settings button, then “affiliate code” within LowestMed’s app.

LowestMed is nice, because no personal information is required to use the service. They also don’t require you to create an account and will never ask for your credit card information.

LowestMed is fighting the battle against high Rx prices by empowering consumers with the tools needed to find pharmacy discounts nearby.  Anyone can use LowestMed, whether they are uninsured, have great insurance or are on a high-deductible health plan. We recommend comparing your medication’s insurance price to LowestMed’s. The results may surprise you. Using LowestMed’s pharmacy discounts can be a great way to stretch your FSA and HSA dollars.