Readers asked us to research prescription discounts for seniors, so we sent our Senior-List-Sleuths on a quest to scour the internet (or “series of tubes” if you’re a fan of the late Alaska senator Ted Stevens) to see what we could find. Here’s a nice list of prescription discounts and discount clubs for seniors to be aware of.
In many cases, these prescription discounts and discount clubs are available to anyone with enrollment in provider programs. Without exception, each of these programs is either free, or available for a nominal fee. This is great news for boomers and seniors, and it’s great news for folks that need some assistance (especially if they aren’t carrying insurance).
List of Senior Discounts on Prescriptions
AARP: With the AARP Prescription Discount Card (provided by Catamaran), AARP members and their families can access an average savings of 38% off prescription drugs (regardless of age or health status). Must be a member of AARP to access benefits. AARP boasts acceptance by 64,000 pharmacies nationwide.
Rite Aid: Sign up for the Rite Aid Rx Savings Program. Save 15% or more on thousands of brand name and generic prescription drugs1 by signing up for the Rite Aid Rx Savings Program. When you sign up, you’ll receive Rx Savings Card that gives you access to special discounts at Rite Aid pharmacy, including:
CVS Pharmacy: Enroll in the CVS Pharmacy Health Savings Pass program. It’s easy and costs only $15 annually (per person). Whether you have limited prescription insurance or no coverage at all, you can sign up and start saving immediately. This is not an insurance plan, it’s a prescription savings program. Under this program you can also receive 10% off MinuteClinic services inside select CVS/pharmacy stores.
Walgreens Prescription Savings Club: Another great option for folks without insurance coverage. Walgreens Prescription Savings Club members get special discounts off the cash price of thousands of brand-name and generic medications as well as other benefits when they use their Prescription Savings Club Card. Additionally, if you don’t save at least the cost of your membership fee in one year, Walgreens will give you the difference.
Kmart: The Prescription Savings Club at Kmart can be yours for a $10 enrollment fee. You and the family are then covered for certain generic drugs (starting at $5 for a 30-day supply and starting at $10 for a 90-day supply) * View Drug List. In additional you’ll receive savings on non-preferred generics up to 65%, as well as 20% off brand name medications. 20% savings on flu immunizations and 10% savings on all other immunizations (e.g. shingles, whooping cough, hepatitis A&B, etc.). You can even get discounts on pet medications with a prescription from your vet.
Target: The Target Prescription Savings Program entitles seniors (and others in the household) savings of 10-50% on prescription medications (off of retail). One membership works for everyone in your household, and you can use your card at any (Target) Pharmacy. In addition if you sign up for Target’s Pharmacy Rewards, and fill five eligible prescriptions, you’ll get a certificate for 5% off a day of shopping. (Hey, every penny counts!)
Consumer Reports On Drug Costs
Did you know that Consumer Reports has secret shoppers that visit pharmacies (and other businesses) to investigate business practices? When it comes to pharmacies, secret shoppers found that simply asking for discounts (like senior discounts, membership programs, or other incentives) tended to yield savings opportunities on prescription meds. (Note: This is also a strategy we advocate when looking for senior discounts at restaurants.) Additional prescription savings opportunities identified by Consumer Reports were:
- Paying Cash – Some consumers report that NOT using their insurance benefit for certain meds has yielded savings. Larger (big box) chains offer hundreds of popular prescription medications for just $4 per month, or $10 for a 3 month supply.
- Join discount clubs like we’ve identified above.
- Filling 90 day prescriptions could save you additional co-pays.
- Shop around. All pharmacies are NOT created equal. Making a few phone calls could save you some serious money.
Government Help For Prescription Costs
In addition to these corporate prescription drug clubs, there are government agencies that can offer assistance and advice as well. Answers.USA.Gov offers this advice for those that need some help with prescription drug costs. Click through to our piece on Government Agencies Available to Help With Prescription Drug Costs.
The biggest lesson here is that consumers need to ask around. Don’t assume that the price is the price. Shop around and ask a lot of questions. If you have advice for our community, please let us know what you’re doing to save on prescription drug costs in the comments section below!