How can your insurance plan help you save money? continued...
If you have a
choice between plans, check what your copayment for prescription drugs will be,
the maximum amount the plan will pay in a year, and other details. Choose the
plan that best suits your needs. When you buy medicines, find out which payment
option will be the least expensive. Some things to consider include whether
there is a generic version of a preferred medicine and whether an
over-the-counter equivalent costs less than your copayment. Bring a copy of
your health care plan's list of preferred prescription drugs to your next
doctor appointment. And keep the list with your chart. That way, you and your
doctor can see which medicines cost the least on your plan. Remember, having
the right information can save you time and money.
To learn more about insurance, see the topic Understanding Health Insurance.
Are prescription medicines always needed?
may be an over-the-counter alternative for your prescription medicine. For
example, nonprescription naproxen (Aleve) is a fraction of the cost of the prescription
equivalent Naprosyn. (Generic versions of over-the-counter medicines can save
you even more money.) Often nonprescription equivalents of prescription
medicines come in lower strengths, so get instructions from your doctor or
pharmacist on how to take them.
In the case of
antibiotics, research has found that they are
not always needed. For example, up to
two-thirds of people who have acute sinusitis improve on their own without
antibiotic treatment.1 Your
doctor might advise you to take a
wait-and-see approach before you buy expensive
Can you save money by purchasing prescription medicines from Canada? Is it safe?
The answer to the first question is "Yes."
Many brand-name prescription medicines, either over the
Internet, by mail order, or in person, cost less from
Canadian pharmacies than from their U.S. counterparts. Whether it is legal to
buy them remains controversial.
The FDA warns that the safety of
drugs bought from other countries cannot be ensured. But many doctors
say that Canada also demands safety and efficacy for medicines. These doctors say they would rather have their patients buy medicines from Canada than skip doses because they can't afford their medicines. U.S. citizens have been buying
medicines in Canada for years, although federal law prohibits the
Talk to your doctor if you decide to import your
medicines. And be sure to buy only from licensed Canadian pharmacies and