For many Americans, healthcare is one of their largest expenses.

This is especially true when it comes to prescription drugs. The cost of prescription drugs for the average American is $1,370. Even patients with health insurance can spend close to $200 out of pocket to cover these expenses.

Additionally, for patients with rare diseases, the cost of prescription drugs can be even higher.

Despite the high costs, there are ways for consumers to get significant savings on the medicine they need.

Whether or not you have health insurance, prescription coupons can be a great way to decrease your out of pocket medical expenses.

Let’s take a look at how these coupons can save your family money.

The real reason drugs are so expensive

We’ve all heard stories about drug prices increasing exponentially over the course of just a few years. It can be hard, however, to understand why these price hikes happen.

In short, it has to do with the way insurance companies negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

The folks who determine how much insurance companies will pay for prescription drugs are called Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). These professionals determine what medicines large insurance companies will cover. They also determine which medicines insurance won’t cover.

If a PBM cannot negotiate a good price on a particular drug, then the insurance company may decide not to cover it. The drug company then loses out on a large contract. This results in higher prices for patients who purchase the drug out of pocket.

Unfortunately, this process can make drugs very expensive for people with rare diseases.

People with uncommon diseases need uncommon drugs to treat them. There is not a large patient pool who will need these drugs. For that reason, insurance companies may opt not to cover them at all.

The end result is that patients who need life-saving drugs end up paying more to gain access to them, even if they have health insurance.

How prescription coupons can help

If you’re like most people, you’re used to using coupons to save money on crackers, or toothpaste, not Lipitor.

Most Americans have no idea that prescription coupons are available for many of the medicines they need every day.

Prescription coupons are just like a coupon for Oreo cookies or Tide laundry detergent. The only difference is they are made available to consumers by a drug company.

Prescription coupons come in a couple of different forms.

Some consumers may find drug coupons in magazines, just like any other coupon. Other coupons can be obtained by contacting the drug manufacturer directly. Also, drug companies often give coupons to doctors to distribute to their patients.

Another coupon option for consumers is a prescription coupon card.

Individuals are at a disadvantage when working with drug companies. Unlike an insurance company, a single patient has little power or influence to negotiate a better price for the medicine they need.

Businesses that offer prescription drug cards have taken on this problem. They work for consumers by negotiating better prices with drug companies on their customers’ behalf.

To get access to this negotiated price, consumers simply have to show their prescription drug coupon card.

Using prescription coupons

If you’ve been paying out of pocket for your prescription, prescription coupons might seem too good to be true. Could it really be that easy to save on medicine?

The simple answer is yes! Even so, many customers still feel unsure the first time they go to use prescription coupons.

To use your coupon, simply go to your pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions the way you normally would. When it is time to pay, either present your manufacturer coupon or prescription coupon card.

If your medicine is covered by your insurance, the discount will come off of your copay. This is the amount that you usually have to pay out of pocket. If your medicine is not covered, or if you don’t have insurance, then the total cost of the drug will be discounted.

While it might seem strange, after you do it the first time and see how easy it is, you’ll never look back! Next thing you know, you’ll be telling all of your friends how they can use coupons to save on their medicines.

Getting the medicine you need, and staying healthy

Every day, there are Americans all across the country who aren’t getting the medicine they need because they believe they cannot afford it.

Some patients resort to strategies like cutting their pills in half. Others take their needed medicine only every other day.

This is particularly an issue for senior citizens. Seniors often have modest, fixed incomes, but they’re health healthcare expenses continue rising.

Other patients don’t get their prescriptions filled at all. Estimates indicate that up to one-half of patients never get the prescriptions that their doctors recommend.

In the end, not getting these prescriptions can end up costing patients more money.

Increase your lifetime medical savings

For example, let’s say a patient has a condition like high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Then say they decide they can’t afford the medicine needed to treat it. Leaving these conditions untreated puts this patient at a higher risk of developing other conditions, like heart disease.

The complications developed by not taking needed medicine are often much more expensive to treat.

At the end of the day, you can’t put a price on your good health. But it can be extremely difficult for patients who struggle to pay their bills. How do you decide between purchasing medicine and paying the rent?

With the help of prescription coupons, you won’t have to make that choice.

In an ideal world, everyone would be covered by affordable, comprehensive health insurance. That insurance would provide access to all the medicine they needed. Until we live in that world, however, these coupons can help patients get access to the medicine they need.

Have you used prescription coupons to save money on your medicines? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!