Skip Insurance For Generic Prescription Savings

save on prescriptions 300x212 Skip Insurance For Generic Prescription SavingsMany prescription coverage plans are set up so that generic drugs are a flat price, often $10 to $20.  Others set a minimum price for generic drugs.  But many of the most commonly prescribed generics can be found for cheaper than $10–if you know where to look.

Find A Cheap Source

Walmart offers hundreds of generic prescriptions for $4 for a 30 days supply or $10 for a 90 day supply, including common antibiotics, heart medications, pain killers and arthritis medications, birth control, and more.  Without a prescription, generic birth control costs $40 per year at Walmart.  Very few prescription insurance programs match that price!

Sam’s Club and Costco are two of the cheapest pharmacies in the United States for drugs not in Walmart’s $4 generic program.  Target and KMart also have drugs at discount prices, though usually not as low.

In contrast, CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid are terrible places to go for drugs without insurance, as they have very high markups.

Ask The Right Questions

Always ask your doctor to prescribe a generic, if one exists.  Then you can call local discount pharmacies and ask what the price without insurance for the generic would be.  By checking ahead, you can get the best price possible–with insurance or not.

If you don’t ask for the non-insurance price, almost no pharmacists will tell you if you can get a better rate without insurance, even at a discount pharmacy.  So don’t forget to ask!

Compare The Price With Incentives For The Best Deal

Occasionally, a pharmacy in your area may be offering a gift card for bringing in a new prescription.  I’ve gotten gift cards ranging from $15 all the way to $50 per prescription that I’ve transferred to a pharmacy.  If you keep track of local offers, you can determine the cheapest overall option–insurance or no insurance, offer or no offer.

This post was written by
Jenny Lang is an author, wife, homeschooling mother, investor, and pennypincher extraordinaire. She writes about smart financial living at the Frugal Guru Guide. Keep an eye out for her upcoming book, the Frugal Guru’s Guide to Everything Auto. Find her on Google Plus

7 Comments on "Skip Insurance For Generic Prescription Savings"

  • Very helpful, practical advice. It’s amazing how much money you can save on simple things just by doing a little bit of research.
    Matt Becker recently posted…Changing One Habit at a Time

  • I actually had no idea that Walmart gave out generic drugs like that. Over the counter, yes,but I didn’t know about prescription drugs. In Canada, I don’t believe that they do, so I’ll have to look into it.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…Friday Links – Love Is In The Air Edition

  • I think it was Consumer Reports who did a survey of prescription drugs and various pharmacies. The one far and away that beat the rest was Costco. Lowest prices by hundreds of dollars.
    krantcents recently posted…How to Become Minimum Wage Millionaire

    • That’s true for the average prescription without insurance, but Walmart has the very cheapest prices for a select list of prescriptions. :) So they’ll beat Costco on certain birth control Rxs but not on Adderall. If it’s not on Walmart’s $4 list, Costco is probably the next best place to check to see if you can get it for less than your insurance price.

  • Target has been very helpful with seeing if purchasing a prescription without my insurance is cheaper than paying with. It pays to get to know your pharmacist and don’t be hesitant to ask your pharmacy if they’ll see it the prescription is cheaper.

    No sense in spending money you don’t have to….

    Also, did you know that even if you don’t have a Sam’s club membership, you can go to their pharmacy. That is true for all those big bulk stores. They don’t like to tell you that, but they can’t block you from using their pharmacy.
    cjb recently posted…Recuperating, Recovering and Recouping

  • Texas citizen

    Real World: 90 Leflunomide 20 Mg tablets (GENERIC arthritis medication). Walmart: 3/4/13 $302.68. Costco: 6/6/13 $45.57. The Walmart drug charge was 600-700% of Costco’s drug charge. Walmart had quoted the same high price a year earlier but I went on a different medication because of the high price of the Walmart drug. Based on this experience I won’t trust a Walmart Pharmacy again.

    • Like I said, Walmart’s the cheapest for sure only for their $4 list. Costco is usually the cheapest for prescriptions not on that list. It never hurts to call around, right? :)

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