Showing posts with label cost of prescriptions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cost of prescriptions. Show all posts

Monday, May 9, 2016

Health Insurance Glossary: 10 Terms to Know


Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) went into effect, the uninsured rate in the United States has reached record lows. But, there is still great confusion when it comes to health insurance information. Many Americans can’t even define basic health insurance terminology if prompted. A recent study in the state of Texas found:
  • 25% of respondents, regardless of insurance status, lack confidence in understanding basic health insurance terms like “deductible,” “premium,” and “copayment”
  • 40% of respondents with an individual plan expressed lack of confidence in understanding “co-insurance” and “maximum out-of-pocket expenses”
  • More than 33% of respondents with an individual plan said they were confused by what counts toward a deductible and what health services were covered under their plan

We get it – health insurance terminology is tricky, but understanding the language will bring you one step closer to better managing your health and maximizing your insurance plan. To help, FamilyWize has compiled a list of the top 10 terms you need to know when it comes to health insurance. Bookmark this post for future use, and be sure to share it with family and friends!

People and Organizations Involved in Your Plan

  • Dependent: Any individual, either spouse or child, that is covered by the primary insured member’s plan.
  • Network: The group of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that insurance companies contract with to provide services at discounted rates. You will generally pay less for services received from providers in your network. You can usually check which providers are in your network on your insurance company’s website or by calling. You can also call your provider and ask!

Fees and Costs Associated with Your Plan

  • Co-pay: The flat fee you pay for certain medical expenses. Example: You pay a fee of $10 for every doctor visit, but then the insurance company pays the rest.
  • Coinsurance: Your share of the costs of a covered healthcare service, calculated as a percentage (for example, 20%) of the allowed amount for the service. You generally pay coinsurance in addition to any deductibles you owe. (For example, if your plan’s allowed amount for an office visit is $100, and you’ve met your deductible, your coinsurance payment of 20% would be $20. The health insurance or plan pays the rest of the allowed amount.)
  • Deductible: The dollar amount (example: $1,000) you pay each year, after which insurance protection begins. You pay expenses up to the deductible amount and then the insurance company pays the remainder, up to the policy limit (Example: $50,000). Some plans pay for certain healthcare services before you’ve met your deductible.
  • Premium: The payment you provide to the insurance company in exchange for insurance coverage. In some cases, your employer may cover this expense (or part of it).
  • Maximum Out-of-Pocket Expenses: The most money you will pay during a year for coverage. This includes deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance, but is in addition to your regular premiums. Beyond this amount, the insurance company will pay all expenses for the remainder of the year.
  • Cost for Choosing Out-of-Network Services: A doctor, hospital or pharmacy that is not part of your health plan's network of preferred providers. You will generally pay more for services received from out-of-network providers.

Affordable Care Act 

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA; ObamaCare): Signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, the ACA was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of health insurance, lower the amount of uninsured individuals by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and for the government.
  • Preventive Care Services: Services like vaccinations and other key screenings that are required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and are offered at no cost to you through private insurance plans. 
For a complete list of insurance-related terms, refer to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s full glossary.

FamilyWize is here to help you better navigate the complicated and ever-changing healthcare marketplace. Our free prescription discount card is available for everyone to use – whether you are insured, underinsured or uninsured. Remember to always carry the card with you (or download our free app), and present it to the pharmacist each time, to ensure you receive the lowest price possible on your medications.

Monday, May 2, 2016

The #1 Way to Save on Prescriptions


Here’s something you may not know – there is a free, easy way to save on your prescriptions:

The FREE FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card!

FamilyWize offers their prescription savings card to lower the cost you pay for your prescriptions.

It’s simple and here’s how it works: 

  • FamilyWize acts like a big buying group, pulling together millions of people to receive competitive pricing on prescriptions. These people either have no health insurance (the uninsured), have high medication costs (the insured), or need to buy medicine not covered by their plan (the underinsured). 
  • FamilyWize negotiates with the pharmacies to get discounts similar to what they give large groups like insurance companies and employers.
  • FamilyWize passes 100% of these negotiated discounts to the people using the card to purchase their medicine – whether you have insurance or not. Yes, you read that right, we do not take a cut of the savings. All of the savings are yours.
  • In 2015, the average savings was 43%

Now you might be thinking there is probably a loophole, so you can’t use the card. Guess what? Anyone can use the card. Here are the facts:
  • The card is FREE – whether you download the app, print the card from the FamilyWize website or request a card to be sent via the mail. You pay nothing. Ever.
  • Anyone can use the card. You do not need to register or meet any eligibility criteria and you can share the card with family and friends!
  • The card can be used on all FDA-approved prescription medications and it has unlimited use at more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide. Yes, the card works for your refills, too!
 Time for you to start saving:
  • Get the card (whether it’s the app or a physical, printed card). Anyone can get the card – have we mentioned that yet? It’s free.
  • Bring your prescription and the FamilyWize card to one of the participating pharmacies. You have to show it every time, and the card has unlimited use. Before you go you can even use our Drug Lookup Tool to see the price you’ll end up paying.
  • You will get the lowest price on your prescription. This may be the pharmacy’s price, it may be the insurance price (if you have insurance), or it could be our price. No matter what, you will be paying the lowest possible amount for that prescription. You will save an average of 8 times out of 10 over the pharmacy's retail price.
  • Even if you have insurance, you can use the card to save on prescription drugs that are excluded by your insurance plan or are not covered because you have exceeded your insurance plan's maximum limits. In some instances, you might find that the FamilyWize price is lower than your program's co-payment amount.
 We’ve helped people save more than $1 billion on prescription costs, and we only want that number to increase. Start saving today! Try the card and spread the word today!
 
 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Taking Steps to Reduce Prescription Costs

According to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of the $263 billion spent yearly on retail prescription drugs in the the U.S. was paid out of pocket. And according to the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), per-person spending on prescription drugs is now over $700 per year. And for those in the 55-64 age bracket, it's even higher, at more than $1,700 per year.

HCCI’s latest stats also show that health care spending grew nearly three and a half percent in 2014 alone, with most of that increase going to brand name drugs – a $45 jump in per-person spending! The cost of prescriptions went up - even though we used nearly 16% fewer brand prescriptions than in 2013. Women are feeling the pinch the hardest; out-of-pocket spending on prescriptions by women has been higher than spending by men every year since 2010.

With prescription spending high and statistics showing a steady rate of increase over the past five years, it’s time to take constructive steps to manage your prescription costs.

Take steps to reduce your prescription costs


Data from the National Health Interview Survey showed that, to save money, almost 8 percent of U.S. adults did not take their medication as prescribed, which can be dangerous. Specifically:
  • Adults under 64 were nearly twice as likely as adults older than 65 to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
  • Among adults under age 64, uninsured adults were more likely than those with Medicaid or private coverage to have not taken their medication as prescribed to save money
  • The poorest adults were the most likely to not take medication as prescribed to reduce prescription spending
  • Some adults ameliorate their prescription costs by reducing the dosage and frequency recommended
Rather than taking a potentially serious risk to manage your costs, consider the following smarter strategies to safely reduce your spending:
  • Ask your doctor if a less expensive but equally effective medication is available. For example, there are time-released brand name drugs prescribed to treat ADHD that can cost 10 to 20 times more per month than the non-time-released version of Ritalin
  • Buy generic versions of drugs whenever your doctor/pharmacist agrees to this cost-saving alternative to name brand drugs
  • Use the free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card or FamilyWize smartphone app, available in the Apple App StoreGoogle Play, or the Windows Store - this can save you as much as 75% off the cost of your prescriptions, and guarantees you'll get the lowest price
  • See if you may qualify for free preventive care services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) - the right preventive care can sometimes keep you from needing a prescription at all
  • If you are on Medicare, use the Medicare National Mail-Order Program, which not only saves on ongoing prescription costs, but on gas money as well
  • If you receive insurance through your work, check to see if your employer has a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) benefit, which can save you as much as 30% yearly on out-of-pocket medical expenses
  • Check your mail’s weekly ad flyers and coupon books, which may have neighborhood drug store discounts on prescription drugs
  • Join your pharmacy’s loyalty program if they have one
  • Use the FamilyWize Drug Price Lookup Tool, which can help you compare prices at different pharmacies in your area
For more cost savings strategies, download our free Live Healthy, Live Smart® eGuide, written by an expert pharmacist with over 30 years of experience.

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer