(BPT) - With rising out-of-pocket medication costs and difficulty navigating prescription pricing options, many Americans are cutting corners on their health and prescription adherence.
An estimated 18 million people — 72% of U.S. adults — reported they could not pay for at least one doctor-prescribed medication for their household during the prior three months, according to a West Health and Gallup survey. But neglecting to fill a medication as prescribed can be dangerous to one’s health and wellness.
A next-generation prescription savings app and website, Cuverd™ (pronounced “covered”) empowers people to search for all their Rx savings options. Through the app, insured patients can now understand their medication coverage, estimated copay, and additional eligible savings to reduce their copays.
Cuverd also compares the user’s copay to the lowest cash discount price for their medication to automate the lowest out-of-pocket costs. Uninsured, high-deductible insured, or Medicare-insured patients can also find the lowest cash discount price for their medications.
People are often unaware of their prescription’s price until they get to the pharmacy. If the cost is out of their budget, they may leave without the necessary medication. For others, if they choose to purchase their medicine, they may decide to skip days or take less than prescribed to make it last longer. Price can also be difficult for the 90% of Americans with health insurance — high copays and deductibles keep prescription drug costs out of reach for many.
So how can you lower your prescription drug costs and keep your family on all their needed medications?
The experts at Cuverd have these tips to help you save money on your prescriptions:
1. Use digital tools in the exam room.
Cuverd is the first prescription savings platform that lets you look up insurance coverage and estimated copays right when a new medication is prescribed. The app is free to download and use, navigating all savings options in real-time to deliver the lowest “out-of-pocket” price per medication for users.
Within seconds of entering your information, the mobile app factors in many variables, including medication coverage across 7,000 employers and health plans; estimated copays; eligibility for additional copay savings and other programs; and comparisons to “cash” prices from leading discount card partners.
2. Talk to your healthcare providers.
Cuverd also provides information on less expensive medication alternatives for patients to discuss with their health care providers if the prescribed medication is not covered. This can help ease the important step of discussing prescription medication costs in the medical office with your healthcare team. Inquire about your options for lowering your costs, including generic prescriptions and other alternatives.
Remember, you are not alone if you struggle with this topic, so don't feel ashamed to ask about your options. Cuverd helps you discover the insurance coverage and cost of your medication before you leave the medical office, so you are not surprised at the pharmacy.
Dr. Gaurav Chaturvedi, internal medicine physician and medical director for a top 10 health care system, has seen the value of using Cuverd during office visits for his patients.
“High costs cause patients to abandon their prescriptions 20-30% of the time and leads to frustration at all levels — for the patient, the health care provider and the pharmacy — and adds more work and time to provide an alternative to the patient,” he said. “Unlike other Rx savings apps that only show cash prices, Cuverd provides insurance coverage and available savings for each medication, or less expensive alternatives, that can help my patients start and stay on their prescribed therapies.”
3. Adhere to prescriptions.
One of the best ways to save on prescriptions, prevent medical events and protect your overall health costs is to take medications as prescribed. The adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" applies, so taking the medications your doctor says will help you feel your best today will also help you live a healthier life in the future.
Independent data suggests that patients who enroll in copay savings programs stay on therapy an average of 50-70% longer. The lower costs included in Cuverd integrate copay coupons from pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide direct activation so more patients can get these important savings and support. The Cuverd app can also set reminders that alert users to when it's time to take medication and refill it. Set these alarms or use another system that works for you to keep yourself on track so you don't forget or are tempted to skip taking your medications.