We’ve all been there. You visit the pharmacy to pick up a prescription and your heart skips a beat when you find out your total owing. Even with health coverage from Alberta Blue Cross®, some prescription drug prices are inescapable.
We are always looking for ways to help you get the most out of your benefits, that includes finding ways to keep out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum when filling your prescriptions.
Here four things you can try today.
1. COMPARE PHARMACY DISPENSING FEES
Pharmacies charge a fee every time they dispense a medication. As an Alberta Blue Cross member, you benefit from our pharmacy agreements, which ensure that pharmacies cannot charge you an excessive dispensing fee. However, some pharmacies may choose to charge lower dispensing fees. By assessing the services you receive from your pharmacy and the dispensing fees they charge, you may decide to choose a pharmacy that provides you with the best price for your prescription drug purchases so that you pay less out of pocket.
2. GET A LONGER SUPPLY OF MEDICATIONS FOR CHRONIC CONDITIONS
If you are taking a medication on a regular basis for treatment of a chronic condition, ask your pharmacist if it’s possible to fill a three-month supply. This will limit the number of trips you have to make to the pharmacy and saves you money on dispensing fees.
3. REQUEST A GENERIC DRUG
Generic drugs contain the same amount of active ingredients and work the same as brand-name medications, but they often cost much less. All drugs are subject to the same standards when approved by Health Canada, so choosing generic drugs can decrease out-of-pocket expenses and keep your drug plan affordable.
The next time you fill your prescription, ask your pharmacist if there is a generic option available.
4. REVIEW YOUR MEDICATIONS REGULARLY
Have your doctor or pharmacist regularly re-evaluate your medications. This a great way to make sure your therapy is safe, effective and still required.