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Oct. 22, 2020, 10:16 a.m. EDT

7 tips for saving money on prescriptions

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By Erin Flynn Jay

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5. Evaluate your health insurance or prescription drug plan.  You’ll want to know what’s covered and, more important, what’s not.

Take the time to comprehend what your co-pay and insurance costs are, how big your deductible is and which health care and pharmacy providers are in your network,” says David Hannon, founder and CEO of Carecard. “If your current plan doesn’t meet your current health care needs, consider adjusting your coverage or finding a new plan. You may have other options that better suit your personal needs.”

Starting in January 2021, Medicare Part D (health insurance for people 65 and older) will introduce its  Senior Savings program  limiting the cost of most insulins to $35 for a 30-day supply and no deductibles.

More: Medicare open enrollment: How to shop, switch, and compare plans

6. Ask for generic medications when you can.  Don’t assume that doctors and pharmacists will automatically prescribe the most cost-effective treatment. Physicians often prescribe drugs they’re familiar with.

Hannon says generics are just as effective as brand-name equivalents and usually cost about 80% less, on average.

Be sure to ask your pharmacist if there is an equally effective, less expensive generic alternative for your prescription.

7. Sign up for an HSA or FSA.  If you have health insurance, an HSA (health savings account) or an FSA (flexible spending account) can help save you on out-of-pocket medical expenses. Both let you contribute a portion of your pretax income to pay for eligible medical expenses like co-pays and prescriptions.

Erin Flynn Jay is a writer, publicity expert and author.

This article is reprinted by permission from  , © 2020 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.

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