An estimated 44 million Americans are currently enrolled in Medicare. That's roughly 15% of the population. Yet, consumers may experience trouble paying for the high costs associated with their prescription medications. Luckily, there are a few ways to save on medication costs while on Medicare, including through discount card programs like Inside Rx.

Federally operated, Medicare is required for those 65 or older, who are unemployed or do not have a health benefit from an employer. There are a few options you can select from when enrolling in Medicare, including original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medigap/Medicare Supplemental Plans. Each plan has different benefits and should be chosen depending on your unique situation. You can learn more about the differences in these plans by visiting our Roadmap for Medicare website, powered by Express Scripts.

Prescription Costs with Medicare

Medicare Part D plans are prescription plans operated by private companies that are approved by Medicare. There are a variety of options to choose from within Part D. When choosing a Part D plan, be sure to check the plan’s formulary list to ensure that your necessary medications, and any medications you may be prescribed in the future, are covered with this prescription plan. If the medications you need are not covered by your plan, shop for prices using a prescription discount card like Inside Rx.

With Medicare Part D, the biggest concern for consumers is referred to as the “coverage gap.” The gap is determined by a dollar amount that is allotted for prescription drug costs annually. If your Part D prescription drug costs, including deductibles and copays as well as what your plan pays for drugs, exceed this dollar amount, you enter the “coverage gap.”

While in the gap, consumers may struggle to pay for the high out-of-pocket costs for their prescription medications. However, there are some tricks and tips to save on medication costs, as outlined below.

Price your medication

Ways to Save while on Medicare

Look for lower copays

Be sure to consider not only the plans premium but also the deductibles and copayments associated with each plan. Plans with preferred pharmacy networks can also provide savings by offering lower copays.

Look into generic alternatives

Generic medications are FDA-approved alternatives of drugs to treat the same conditions as the brand name versions. Generic versions of brand name medications typically have cheaper copays.

Consult your pharmacist

Having a supportive pharmacist is also beneficial when looking for savings. Helpful pharmacists could provide insight on cost-effective alternatives for your prescriptions, answer any questions or concerns you may have, and be a good resource for any available savings cards, discounts or coupons.

Try a prescription discount card

Prescription discount cards, such as Inside Rx, provide discounts on drugs for most consumers, including those on Medicare. Inside Rx may not be used for certain brand medications, but the Inside Rx card can be used on all generic medications and certain other brand drugs. Please review the Inside Rx terms of use to learn more. You can easily download a free savings card on the Inside Rx website and bring it to your pharmacy to see if you can save.

Home delivery options

Some plans consider home delivery pharmacies in their preferred pharmacy network, which could result in savings for purchasing prescriptions in larger supplies. The Express Scripts Home Delivery Pharmacy offers drugs in 30-, 60- and 90-day supplies that could save you money. Simply search a drug using the Inside Rx pricing tool, choose the Express Scripts Pharmacy and change the quantity of the drug to see if you can save using home delivery.

Learning about additional ways to save on prescription medications while on Medicare, more specifically, Medicare Part D, will benefit you when you need it. Be sure to educate yourself on all of your options before choosing a plan for you and your family.