Friday, October 30, 2009

Saving on Prescriptions in BC

Being a Superstar Pharmacy Technician I have learned a few ways to help cut costs on your prescriptions over the years and I thought I would share my knowledge with y'all.

Make sure you are registered with BC Pharmacare. First and foremost for BC residents!!This in not MSP. This is BC's drug plan for the entire province. Registering is very easy. You can do it over the phone, fill out a paper application or even send it in online. You will be required to give up some tax info so that they can decide on your level of coverage. Everyone's coverage is individual and private. Some people will have a deductible they need to reach while others may get partial to full coverage right away on most medications. Note, not all medications are "benefits" of Pharmacare.

It is becoming a growing trend for private and work insurance companies to require you be registered with BC Pharmacare or face being cut off. Ugh, don't let that happen to you. I've seen it and it really sucks to have to pay up front for meds.

Always ask if you are able to get 3 months at a time. Make sure when you are at the doctors office to ask for him to write your script for bigger quantities at a time. When you get 3 months at a time instead of 1 you can save 2 dispensing fees. At my pharmacy the dispensing fee is $10.60 so that would be a total off $21.20 saved. I say three months because that is usually the max your insurance or Pharmacare will pay up to.

Ask your doctor for samples. I learned a long time ago that doctors have this wonderful area in their clinics called the sample closet which is packed full of meds. If you are using an expensive medication this can be very cost saving. I once had samples for a medication that otherwise cost $5 per capsule. BF got samples for a medication that would have cost us $60 by now. A few years ago my doctors office stocked my brand of birth control. Very nice! Sometimes certain drug companies supply a card for a free trial amount that can be redeemed at the pharmacy.

Go generic. Most medications are available in generic form and they are their brand named equal for a reduced cost. Even birth control has started coming out with generics over the last two years or so. You can usually switch to a generic at anytime by just asking at your pharmacy. Most insurance will pay for the generic cost only and you may have to pay the difference for brand.

What has your insurance done for you lately? I see girls all the time that pay for insurance that doesn't include birth control coverage. What is that? Many times its the only prescription they have. What a joke. Make sure your coverage works for you and your needs.

Find a pharmacy that works for you. If you are somebody who needs to have a good relation with your pharmacist or requires certain hours of availability or special services then you should choose your pharmacy accordingly. If you only get one or two prescriptions a year and don't need a lot of guidance from your pharmacist then choose one with a lesser dispensing fees. Not all dispensing fees are created equally but neither are pharmacies!

There are a few trade secrets for you! If I think of any others I will be sure to update you.


Inspired By Krystal

1 comment:

hklover86 said...

Being a fellow pharmacy tech I liked this post! Of course I am in Ontario so its a little bit different but overall the same.

I am glad you noted that not every drug can be covered, and that most drug plans will only pay for the generic equivalent and you would have to pay extra for brand. I can't tell you how many times I've come across people who think they are entitled to brand name just because thats the name their doctor wrote. Sorry people! lol