A few weeks ago, I was wiped out with pneumonia.
My doctor put me on antibiotics, but after a few days, I still showed no improvement. She decided to up my dosage and extend my antibiotic prescription. She called it over to the pharmacy so it would be ready for me, and I dragged myself out of bed to go pick it up.
Except when I got there, the pharmacist informed me they had not filled it. When I asked why, he told me my insurance would not cover it.
“Well, how much is the cash price?” I asked.
He just blinked at me; most people don’t bother asking that question when their insurance denies a prescription. When I just stared back at him, he finally looked it up in the system.
“Ma’am, it will be very expensive. It’s $120,” he replied.
I almost fell over — partially from pneumonia, partially from the ridiculous cost of basic antibiotics. But I remembered an important prescription savings program that can drastically cut your costs.
“And how much with the FamilyWize discount?” I countered.
He returned to the computer, punched in a few keys, and turned back to me.
“That will be $12,” he said.
$12, down from $120 — just 10 percent of the original cost. If I hadn’t known about this program, I would have faced a decision too many people make every day: Pay a fortune for a prescription, or go without and be sick.
With the FamilyWize discount card, you can save hundreds on your annual medicine costs, helping you get the care you need. Here’s how it works.
The high cost of prescriptions
When money is tight, paying for prescriptions can be downright impossible.
In fact, 45 percent of people under the age of 65 who did not have insurance coverage for medicine said they skipped filling a prescription because of cost. 84 percent of working people said they cut back on food or skipped paying bills to get the medicine they needed.
Even if you have health insurance, the cost can be steep. Some drugs may not be covered under your policy, or, like in my case, because you recently had a similar prescription. You have to decide if you pay the cash price or go without necessary medicines.
And going without your medications can have dire consequences.
That came to light in 2011, when a 24-year-old man went to the emergency room due to a tooth infection. The doctors discharged him with prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications.
Without insurance, he could only afford one, and in horrible pain, he opted for the pain medicine. He died days later from the infection, which had spread to his brain.
Affordable access to prescriptions is essential to your health and well-being. Though pharmacies won’t often tell you, there are free programs that can help you get the medicines you need a fraction of the cost. One of the biggest and most well-known is FamilyWize.
How to save money on prescriptions
Dan and Susan Barnes launched FamilyWize in 2005 in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. Through partnerships with United Way, government agencies, and thousands of community organizations, FamilyWize has expanded nationwide, helping to make medicine more affordable for everyone.
FamilyWize negotiates directly with pharmacies to get the best prices, acting like a huge buyer. By working on behalf of people who have no insurance, have high prescriptions costs, or whose insurance will not cover their medicines, FamilyWize gets deals similar to that available to employers and insurance companies.
Once FamilyWize secures these discounts, they pass the savings on to the people using the discount program to get their medicines. On average, people who use the FamilyWize discount card save 43 percent, though you can save as much as 90 percent (like I did) on select medications.
Who is eligible for a FamilyWize card?
Absolutely anyone can use a FamilyWize discount card; there is no income limit. You can use it to save money on all drugs approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). However, over-the-counter drugs like aspirin or allergy pills are not eligible.
The card can be used at major pharmacies nationwide, including Walgreen’s, CVS, or Rite Aid.
If you are insured, the FamilyWize discount cannot be combined with your insurance, but you can use the FamilyWize calculator to see if the discount price would be cheaper than your copay.
If your insurance does not cover your medicine, you can ask the pharmacist to pay the cash price and then use the FamilyWize discount card.
How do I get a FamilyWize discount card?
The card is completely free for everyone. You can print a card from the website, get one mailed to you, or download the FamilyWize app to your smartphone. You can use your card for all of your prescriptions.
Save on healthcare
Medications can be prohibitively expensive, but the FamilyWize program can help you save hundreds on your prescriptions.
If you need help managing your health expenses and getting affordable health insurance, check out this article on choosing a plan on Healthcare.gov.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
Savings example: average savings calculated based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were disclosed. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
Application detail: 5 minutes indicates typical time it takes to complete application with applicant information readily available. It does not include time taken to provide underwriting decision or funding of the loan.
Instant rates mean a delivery of personalized rates for those individuals who provide sufficient information to return a rate. For instant rates a soft credit pull will be conducted, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
Total savings calculated by aggregating individual average savings across total borrower population from 9/2013 to 12/2017. Individual average savings calculation based on single loans refinanced from 9/2013 to 12/2017 where borrowers’ previous rates were provided. Assumes same loan terms for previous and refinanced loans, and payments made to maturity with no prepayments. Actual savings for individual loans vary based on loan balance, interest rates, and other factors.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit SoFi|
|2.47% – 5.87%1||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Earnest|
|2.47% – 8.03%4||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Lendkey|
|2.95% – 6.37%2||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Laurel Road|
|2.48% – 6.25%5||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit CommonBond|
|2.72% – 8.32%6||Undergrad & Graduate||Visit Citizens|