Prescription Plans

Written by Sarah Provost
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Private party prescription plans have multiplied incredibly widely in the last few years. This is largely due to the ever-increasing cost of prescription medicines and the parallel cutting back of benefits by employers. If your employer doesn't offer prescription drug coverage, or if you are self-employed or unemployed, a discount prescription plan might make sense for you.

How Prescription Plans Work

The carriers offering discount prescription plans are able to offer medications at a reduced price because they have negotiated it with the pharmaceutical companies and with chains of pharmacies. They charge the consumer a flat application fee and a monthly payment. Consumers can then go to an approved pharmacy and receive a discount by identifying themselves as members of the plan.

Discounts are highly variable, ranging from 10 to 50 percent. Before you sign up for a prescription plan, find out what discount is available on the specific medications you take. Also check to be sure there is a participating pharmacy near you. Some plans also offer a mail-order option for those who take certain medications on a long-term basis.

In addition to private party plans that are open to all, senior citizens can also take advantage of various government-sponsored programs. The easiest way to learn what is available is to consult the Access to Benefits Coalition online. For those seniors who don't use computers, there are also regional outreach programs. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of every opportunity to keep your medical expenses manageable.

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