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What Prescription Medication 'co-pay' Really Means

Updated on June 1, 2013

Medication is Need, not Want

The Pharmaceutical industry as a whole has become more and more complex than previous. With our expansion of knowledge, have come new and innovative treatments. With these new treatments have come extreme expenses; and with these expenses has come health insurance. This creates a circular process that’s missing one thing: consumerism. In the pharmaceutical industry, there are no trends in what people want to take, only what they have to take. Because of that, pharmaceutical pricing to the average uninsured person is unbelievable.

Prescription Coverage Standard Insurance Offers

However, health insurance can assist greatly with prescribed medication costs. After all, most people are only required to pay a small co-pay; which is often a fraction of the retail price. That’s great, but, misleading. When it comes to prescription medication, often, your co-pay is the new ‘retail’ price of the drug. And, the uninsured pay a greatly inflated price.

What Insurance Does

Now days, health insurance doesn’t tell you, but they often use their massive buying power to greatly reduce prescription medication costs down to your co-pay, or should we say ‘all-pay’. So perhaps in regards to medical bills, your health insurance is great, but when it comes to prescription medication costs, you could be getting that lower ‘co-pay’ for free.

A Second Option

A new trend for lower-income groups is rising in popularity called prescription discount programs. Often operated by the same big-wigs as the pharmaceutical and insurance industry, these programs offer discounts on prescription medication that often match what health insurance would cover. These prescription discount programs use the exact same leverage as insurance companies. However, instead of charging you a hundred dollars monthly, they take a small operations fee from your discount.

Prescription Discount Pograms

Prescription discount programs would be much more popular; however despite their value and convenience, people are cautious. After all, when you combine free to use with prescription medication, in comparison to services that you normally must pay for; things start to seem too good to be true. To top it off, most all prescription discount programs operate on a very low budget. Therefore, the professional glamour of profit-hoarding insurance companies is absent. But, none of this changes the fact that these programs can save you a lot of money, whether or not you currently have health insurance.


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