Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prescriptions - Take an Active Role

In these economic times, finding affordable health care is becoming more challenging.  So many people have lost their jobs and along with the job, their health insurance. When they secure new employment, health benefits sometimes aren't part of the package.  In some instances, even if health insurance is offered, it's not affordable. Even with insurance, the co-pays for prescriptions are sometimes hard to reach. I certainly am not suggesting that I have all the answers nor am I telling you how to manage your health care, but here are a few things that I have found to help me. 

The first thing I suggest is to take an active role.  While the doctor is smart and knows the business of medicine, they don't know us like we know us.  If you are not understanding what the doctor is saying or it doesn't seem to make sense, keep asking questions!  Remember, you are paying the doctor! 

On the the topic of this blog - the cost of prescriptions.  This is another area of health care where we can take a more active role.  With the development of new and better drugs all the time, the doctor has many more prescribing choices.  These new drugs are great but they also seem to be the most expensive alternative and generics aren't available.  I suggest taking the list of $4 prescriptions from Wal-Mart and ask the doctor if something on that list will treat what ails you.  If there is, its a win-win,  you get the medicine you need and can still afford to eat!  I have noticed other pharmacies are matching Wal-Mart's pricing so you should have a choice of pharmacy. 

Another suggestion is to shop pharmacies.  Not only could there be a price difference but a knowledgeable pharmacists may have information about a program that can help.  Just let them know you are uninsured and that the cost of the medication is unaffordable.  There may not be a program, but you will never know if you don't ask!  Also, doctors aren't always aware of the cost of drugs because they are the prescriber not the seller.  Sometimes a pharmacist may be able to suggest a more affordable option you can ask your doctor about. 

I hope this post gave you a couple ideas to help better manage your health care and keep it affordable.  The most important message I want to convey is that we MUST take a more active role!

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