7 Easy Ways to Save Money If You Have Arthritis.
Sometimes Arthritis can hurt our wallet as much as it hurts our joints. According to a 2013 study*, the average medical cost for someone with Arthritis was over $2100 per year. Multiply that by 66 million people. That's 140 billion dollars a year in medical bills. So, faced with these daunting and somewhat sickening numbers we've compiled a list that for you to help you save some of your hard earned dollars. Put them all to use and you can save a considerable amount of money, especially when added up over several years.
1. Review your medications and see which can be eliminated or replaced with over-the-counter varieties.
Make a list of everything you are taking. Ask your doctor if there is a way to shorten the list or perhaps if their are cheaper alternatives that are still effective. You may be surprised at how many unnecessary medications you're buying.
2. Ask your doctor if he has any free samples of your prescription drugs.
Since we are talking with the doctor anyway there is no shame in asking if they have any free samples. Pharmaceutical companies load doctors up with samples of their products, so it is very likely they have a small mountain of sample prescriptions stashed in one of their drawers. This can save you hundreds of dollars over the long run.
3. Get a pharmacy discount card.
The unfortunate reality of this disease is you may be spending lots of money at the pharmacy. Start now and get a discount card, many of which give you 5-15% off.
4. Buy your pills in bulk.
If you take medication and you know you're going to need a lot of it, buy bulk. Large quantities almost always come with a reduced price per unit. This can be a substantial amount. It can seem like a bit of a shock to the wallet in the short, but if you can afford it, bite the bullet and you'll be better off in the long term.
5. Consider buying generic versions of prescriptions you are buying.
Many of the medications on the market are of similar quality and ingredients. The main difference is price. Don't pay $200 for a brand name drug that does the same thing a $20 one will do just as well. The REASON Branded drugs are so much more expensive is because of patents. After a drug has been patented it can't be copied until the patent ends, usually a period of around 17 years. During that time pharmaceutical companies ramp up marketing efforts to ensure a return on there investment of developing and testing the drug. Hence the large sticker price. After 17 years the patent is null and competitors jump in, copying the active ingredients in the drug and selling the medication for a reduced price without the brand name.
6. Find out if you qualify for a drug assistance program.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about these programs as they will likely have the most insight. If all else fails, use the google machine.
7. Consider online pharmacies.
Because they lack a physical retail location, and the costs associated with it, consider using an online pharmacy. Prices are usually substantially cheaper for the exact same products. The only difference is you may have to wait a couple extra days to receive your order, but have the added benefit of not waiting in line at the pharmacy.
Hopefully some of these can be put to use! Comment below to let us know other ways that you can save money when enduring Arthritis!
Disclaimer: These are opinions and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your doctor or pharmacist when making any medical decision.