Your Guide to Prescription Cards and Rx Coupons
What Are Rx Discount Cards?
A prescription card (or, Rx discount card) is a card that provides great discounts (even up to 90%) for prescription medication. These cards are also known as drug discount cards or prescription discount cards. They are provided by different companies, that have agreements with many pharmacies around the country. These agreements allow anyone to simply walk in a pharmacy with their prescription and use a discount Rx card or Rx coupon to pay less for medication.
Are Rx Coupons Different from Prescription Cards?
The short answer is – not really.
Prescription card companies provide either Rx cards, Rx coupons or both. They should both provide the same discount, unless mentioned otherwise (such as paid memberships, or for prescription cards that work only with a select pharmacy). In order to use these Rx coupons, simply search for your drug of choice on one of the sites (such as HelpRx) and show it to your pharmacist.
You can use that same pharmacy coupon as many times as you want, even for other medications. However, some people would prefer using a card, that you can carry in your wallet and easily reuse. That prescription card can also be used for the exact same discounts, for as much as you like and for other medications as well. While using an Rx coupon doesn’t require to provide any personal details, an Rx card might. Some companies require your personal details in order to ship the card to your home.
How Do Rx Discount Cards Work?
Prescription discount cards are very easy to use. All you have to do is search for your prescription drug on their respective sites, and choose your dosage, type etc. Once you do so, you will be presented with the discounted prices in pharmacies near you (you might be required to enter an address or zip code for accurate listings).
When you decide on a pharmacy, simply follow the instructions on how to get your discount card or Rx coupon. Most discount cards or Rx coupons can be either printed, texted or emailed. All that is left is to get to your pharmacy of choice and show your card or Rx coupon to the pharmacist, along with your prescription. The pharmacist will use your prescription card or pharmacy coupon and will tell you what the updated discounted price is.
Who Can Benefit from an Rx Discount Card?
The main beneficiaries from prescription discount cards are people with no health insurance. We all know how expensive medication can get, let alone when you’re not covered by insurance. With so many great Rx discount services today, paying full price is unjustifiable. However, people with health insurance can also save money using Rx discount cards.
You can actually get a better price by using an Rx coupon than with your health plan, as you will sometimes find your copay or deductible is actually higher. In addition, Rx discounts are especially useful when your prescription is not covered by the health plan, or if you've exceeded your plan's limit. Please note however, that it cannot be used in combination with insurance, only instead.
Are Rx Discount Cards Insurance?
Nope. Drug discount cards are NOT insurance. These are simply medical discount plans, which anyone and everyone can use to get lower prices. You also don’t even have to be a US citizen to use it.
How Can They Offer These Prices?
Most prescription card companies have a contract with a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). These PBMs are third-parties that have contracts with pharmacies and negotiate discounts, and can then offer these negotiated prices for a fee. The prescription card companies can market these prices and gain a small commission from the pharmacy in return, whenever the pharmacy coupon is redeemed. However, the customer should always see the final price, so there won't be any surprises at checkout.
There are also discount cards such as SingleCare, which negotiate the discounts on their own. This allows them to skip the fee and offer even lower prices. In all cases, the eventual winner is the patient using the discount, which pays a final price that is much lower than the original price tag.
Can Rx Coupons Be Used in Every Pharmacy?
Together, the various discount cards and coupons are accepted in virtually every "big name" pharmacy. The list comprises of CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger, Target, Costco, Fred Meyer, Giant Eagle, Fry's, Publix, Meijer, Randall's, Rite Aid, Safeway, Duane Reade and many more.
However, some discount coupons are only accepted at specific pharmacies, so you should make sure the specific discount card you wish to use is accepted at the pharmacy network of your choice. In order to avoid confusion, when you visit one of the discount sites, you can choose the pharmacy from which you intend to get your prescription. In any way, it is always best to follow the instructions you get in each site, as they are most accurate.
How We Rate Rx Cards
In the world of prescription discount cards, determining which card offers the best prices is not an easy task. In fact, it’s nearly impossible since there are many factors to take in. What makes it most difficult is the fact that the best deal for one person’s prescriptions won’t necessarily be the best offer for another. However, it should be taken into consideration that certain drugs or drug combinations are much more popular than others.
Hence, we’ve compared certain drug packages that are most widely used. In addition, since drug prices can change between locations, we made sure to check prices in different locations and pharmacies across the US. Companies featured on this site are companies the present prices on their site. We wanted to make sure we’re able to check prices and keep the site up to date. We also don’t like showing up with an Rx coupon without knowing the expected price in advance.