In the donut hole? You can fight back!

It is definitely that time of the year...people with Medicare Part D plans are falling into the donut hole where their prescription copays go way higher. Or maybe you have a high deductible plan where you are stuck paying the full drug cost all year. You don't have to just sit there and take it. There are a few things you can do to fight back.

First, make sure that you are taking generic medications. If you take brand name drugs then you are more than likely spending way more than you have to. Almost all medical conditions have generic medications that can control the diseases. Just because a drug has a fancy brand name doesn't make it any more effective. Remember, when brand name drugs are studied they almost always only have to show "non-inferiority" to current generic treatments.

Second, make sure that you ask what the medication would cost if you "paid cash." Pharmacies (usually independent ones) have an in-house discount program that can make your generic medications cost way less than at the big box stores. If your prescription copay went crazy high this month then you need to ask "how much if I just paid cash (didn't use insurance)?"

Remember to ask questions at the pharmacy. The pharmacy business is controlled by pharmacy benefit managers and drug wholesalers but there are definitely ways you can fight back. Work with a pharmacist and a pharmacy that gives you options when you have to pay those crazy copays!

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