Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday Time to Tackle: Comparing Pharmacies

Often it seems that saving money means spending time.  Every so often, though, just a little bit of time spent researching ends up saving both money and time.
Our medical insurance changed recently, and I decided to learn more about their prescription-by-mail program.  I had recently filled our prescriptions at our usual pharmacy (Costco), so I had the receipt in hand to compare costs.  Also, I learned that Costco has a prescription-by-mail program too, and their prices are listed online.  So, I spent a few minutes comparing the costs of our medications.  I thought I might be able to save money by filling a 90-day supply online, instead of going to the pharmacy each month.  What surprised me, though, was the difference in price between Costco and the insurance company's mail-order supplier:

$133.2--monthly medications picked up at Costco (x3)
$103.01--3-month supply of medications through Costco's mail-order program
$219.17--3-month supply of medications through the insurance company's mail-order supplier

I definitely will not be changing to the other supplier, but I will be switching to Costco's mail-order program. By switching to mail-order, I'll save about $10 a month, or $120 a year.  The meds will ship for free, and the pharmacy offers an automatic refill program.  I won't have to call in the refills every month, nor will I need to spend time nor gas to pick them up.  Not bad for a few minutes of comparison shopping!

Have you every been surprised after comparing prices?

Thanks for choices.

Linking to:  Tilly's Nest, Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Pin It

5 comments:

  1. I've just started using Costco pharmacy here in Canada and have found a substantial difference in price .It pays to shop around .I'll have to check and see if we have the mail order .Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  2. I use a mail-order pharmacy for the medications that I use long-term; however, I still use a local pharmacy for short-term or new medications. I don't want to fill a three month prescription and then have the doctor tell me to stop using it after one month.

    I found that mail-order pharmacies typically charge less for a three-month script than a local pharmacy, but it can take up to two weeks to receive a new script from them. Refills come much faster.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great comparison shopping! Currently I am looking at health insurance companies...ugh.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic! Good for you that's a lesson for all of us! all it takes is a little research!

    ReplyDelete
  5. My husband needed an MRI, so scheduled with the lab I always go to for my blood draws. He received a call from the insurance company saying the MRI there would be $3,000 or so. If he went to a different lab, and have the same doctors read it, the cost would only be $700. We were very grateful, considering we have one of those high detuctible insurance plans. Could not believe the difference, and made us very aware of the fact that we need to shop around.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!