A blog about keeping yourself and your expenses lean in Oakland County, Michigan.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Guest Post: Prescription Coupons‏ Courtesy of Centsable Momma

Each month, I fill several regular prescriptions. We do have prescription coverage, but I still use prescription coupons to help save money on my transaction.

What are Prescription Coupons?

Prescription coupons are store coupons which allow you to get a store gift card or catalina coupon when you fill a prescription.·

There are 2 types of coupons:

Coupons for NEW prescriptions – these are the best for those random prescriptions that you might need when you or a family member is sick. Usually they are for a lesser value than a transfer prescription (usually about $10)

Coupons for transferred prescriptions – I use these coupons to transfer our prescriptions from pharmacy to pharmacy each month. Often, they are for higher amounts (like $25).

How Does it Work?

When I need to fill a prescription, I check my coupons and determine where I’m going to fill the prescription.

For example, say Rite Aid has a $25 prescription transfer coupon (and I didn’t get it filled there last month). I will take the current prescription bottle with my coupon and visit the pharmacy. Make sure you allow some extra time, since they will need to call the prior pharmacy to transfer the prescription. Or you can even call the pharmacy ahead of time with the details of your prescription, and they can initiate the transfer before you arrive.

When I pick up the prescription, I pay my copay with my Flexible Spending Account. In this case, it’s about $7. Then, the pharmacist hands me a Rite Aid gift card for $25 that I can use in the store at any time. I just made $18 from transferring my prescription.

Other Details:

Competitor Coupons – many pharmacies will accept competitor coupons. For example, Meijer will accept competitor coupons up to $10 and some CVS locations will accept coupons also. It’s best if you call your local pharmacy to make sure before you visit.

FREE prescriptions – there are also several pharmacies that offer FREE prescriptions for various types of medicine. For example, Meijer offers free select antibiotics and prenatal vitamins. Keep your eye out for programs in your local stores.

Read the fine print on the coupon. There are several states, like NY where it is against the law to offer prescription coupons. Plus, most stores will not allow you to use a prescription coupon if you have government health care like Medicaid or Medicare.

Each week, I compile a list of the current prescriptions coupons in the advertising inserts as well as any valid printable coupons, so check there if you’re in need of a coupon.

My thoughts: It took me a while to get into this but this is definitely a good way to lower your expenses and stretch your runs at the pharmacies, though it is not for everyone.  Thanks Censtable Momma!

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