As H.S.A’s (Health Savings Account) and high deductible health plans become more normal, we as consumers have to become shoppers, and not blindly go ahead with orders for tests and prescriptions without speaking up. Ask “What does that cost?”, or“Can you do it cheaper?”, and then shop for a deal. The easiest place for deals is office visits for primary care. One of my favorites for your average coughs and colds or rashes are the CVS Minute Clinics. They are fast, efficient, reasonable, and they also show what they charge for a visit. Also, ask your local MD what he will charge for a routine visit for a cash patient. Don’t forget to ask for a bargain.
When you go to a Minute Clinic, it is a good idea to ask for a generic RX, and then, if you have time, go to Costco or Target for your RX. For RX, there are many deals available. Target has its $4 generic list where drugs only cost $4 or less if you buy 90 days worth. Walmart has one as well.
Take the list with you to your next doctor’s visit and ask if any of these drugs will work for what you need. Most doctors are brand oriented, but if you tell them that you cannot afford the prescription, they may get creative. Also, Costco has generic and brand deals as well. I have found them to be the best deal for RX overall.
Here is a sample of a drug and what its costs.
Simavastain, the generic of Zocor, 30 day supply:
• $7.71 Costco
• $19.87 Non chain drug store
• $63.59 CVS
• $89.99 Walgreens
Imagine paying $82 more than Costco’s product. It is time to become a shopper: use the web to check out discount e-tailers, and haggle with everyone. If you are paying cash (H.S.A card), then you should get a deal.