I was on the David Madeira Show this morning, talking about alternatives to conventional health insurance. David is a member of Samaritan Ministries, one of the five major health sharing ministries that bring together people who want to share medical bills outside of conventional insurance, so of course we got to talking about sharing ministries (I’ll be posting David’s experience with Samaritan soon, it’s a great story that proves wrong those who say sharing ministries don’t work for high-cost medical needs).
Anyways, in the course of our conversation, David mentioned the post I wrote on Altrua merging with Blessed Assurance Bulletin, meaning that Altrua members would be eligible for the exemption from having to pay Obamacare’s tax on the uninsured. David referenced it as, and I’m paraphrasing here, “the most recent post on The Self-Pay Patient site, dated October 15…”
Yeah. It’s been a while. I’m happy to be so busy with work that actually pays, but still.
So, I’m going to have to try to be better about posting here, but in order to do that it probably means a lot less of me writing stuff, and a lot more of me cutting-and-pasting from other interesting things I find that I think will be helpful for self-pay patients while not violating any copyright laws.
Like the article below, on prescription drug savings. I’ve covered some of these things here before of course, but one that I haven’t was the bit about re-evaluating your medicines periodically. I know from personal experience (not mine, but family members – I’ve probably had less than a dozen prescriptions in my entire life, thankfully) that it’s easy to allow inertia to take over in terms of medicines, and just assume that since you’ve been taking a particular drug for months or years that you need to keep taking it.
Unfortunately I think a lot of doctors also don’t think much about reviewing medicines, and just keep renewing the same one over and over.
Anyways, here’s some pretty good advice on saving money when it comes to prescription drugs.
Trying to save money on prescription drugs is enough to make you reach for the pain pills. Navigating the annual changes to your health plan, figuring out insurance copays, and finding the pharmacy with the best buys can be daunting…
Dr. Jerry Avorn, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School… says that if you employ a few basic principles, you can simplify the process and save money in the bargain.
1. Go for generics
“Generics are just as good as brand-name drugs… ” Dr. Avorn says…
Dr. Avorn says it’s a common misconception that you always need an identical generic version of a name brand you’ve been prescribed… For example, if you’re taking the statin Crestor to lower your cholesterol, you won’t find a generic version of that particular drug. However, there are generics for five other statins, at least one of which may well be just as effective for you… Consumer Reports now evaluates medications just as it does cars and computers; a useful site is crbestbuydrugs.com…
If you’re paying out-of-pocket, you might want to consider the generic discount plans offered by several drugstore chains and big-box stores, particularly the $4/$10 plans (for one-month and three-month supplies, respectively).
2. Periodically re-evaluate your drugs
One of the most important things you can bring to your annual physical is a bag containing all the medications you’re taking, Dr. Avorn says… Your physician may discover that some drugs duplicate the actions of others, have adverse interactions with one another, or are no longer necessary.
3. Forget about vitamins, minerals, and supplements
The title of a recent editorial in Annals of Internal Medicine sums up current medical opinion: “Enough Is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements.” If your doctor hasn’t prescribed a supplement, you probably don’t need to take one. In fact, in some cases supplements can undermine the beneficial effects of medications you are using.
4. Compare drug prices
Retail drug prices vary enormously from store to store…
The best way to comparison shop for drugs is online. At goodrx.com and rxpricequotes.com, you can type in a drug name and your ZIP code and get an idea of what pharmacies in your neighborhood are charging. Follow through with a phone call to the pharmacy, because prices can change.