Life Hack No. 2: How to Get a REALLY Good Price on a Prescription (Even if You Have Insurance)

I am writing this post as a PSA because a couple of days ago I was talking with a friend who is currently without health insurance.*

She was telling me that the generic version of one of her meds is more than $200 per month. That is a lot of money, no matter what your situation, but since she isn’t currently working, this necessary expense is particularly hard on her bottom line. I asked her if she was using any kind of online prescription coupon to find the lowest price, and she told me she hadn’t ever heard about something like that. This made me realize that there are a lot of things we take for granted as “everyone knows” but everyone “does not know” so I’m gonna tell you (and I told her) about GoodRx.com. Because in the Age of Google, there is no reason to pay full-price for prescriptions, whether you have insurance or not.**

I’ve explored a number of online discount prescription sites, but I like GoodRx because you can instantly get a list of what the pharmacies near you are charging for a particular medication. And it’s easy. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to GoodRx.com
  2. Type in the name of your medication. If you are okay with generic, type in the generic name and click “Find the Lowest Price.”
  3. When the next page opens, it will list the discount prices at various pharmacies in order from least expensive to most expensive. However, you need to select (or confirm) the quantity, dosage, and strength of the medication from the drop-down menus that appear below the drug name in your list. This affects the prices that will be displayed.
    GoodRx.com
    An example of a list of pharmacy discounted prices for a prescription at pharmacies in Los Angeles.

     

  4. You will also need to “Set your location” so you can tailor the list to show the prices/coupons that are available in your zip code.
  5. Once you are sure you have selected the correct medication name, quantity, strength, dosage and zip code, click on “get free coupon” to generate the coupon to print and bring to the pharmacy when filling your prescription. For smarphone users, there is a mobile app, so you don’t even have to print the coupon. Just show on your phone, and you are good to go.
Goodrx.com coupon, GoodRx
This is the GoodRx coupon that you would print and take to your pharmacy. If you have the mobile app, you just show the coupon on your phone.

 

One caveat: sometimes the price listed on the GoodRx site is a little lower than the price honored by the pharmacy. This has happened to me several times, and the pharmacy never seems to have a good answer as to why. However, the price has always been close enough to the GoodRx posted price (and still a very good deal at 60-75% less than the regular retail price) that I have gone ahead with having my Rx filled.

*I kept the details of my friend’s situation pretty generic for her privacy, but this conversation really did happen. I was not paid anything for this review of GoodRx.com, and in fact GoodRx.com has no idea I am evening writing about them.

**The GoodRx website states that sometimes their posted discounts are less than you insurance co-pay. It’s worth checking before you go to your regular pharmacy in case the discount at another pharmacy is less than your insurance co-pay.

If you have ever used an online discount prescription program, I’m curious which ones have you have good success with?

 

 

 

About The Author

Anne Stericker

City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.

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