Understanding Prescription Discount Cards: How Do Prescription Discount Cards Work?

Medication and healthcare are expensive. Often, people put off filing their prescriptions because of the exorbitant cost of drugs. Even if you have health insurance, there’s usually a co-payment or a deductible, making it unaffordable to get the much-needed medication.

This is where prescription discount cards come in. A prescription discount card can be a literal lifesaver, allowing you to get your prescription at an affordable price.

What is a Prescription Discount Card?

A prescription drug card is a type of membership program that allows you to buy prescription medication at a discounted price. Medication can be discounted up to 80%. However, each prescription card offers different discounts and covers different drugs.

How to Get a Prescription Discount Card

Prescription discount cards are free and available to everyone, whether you have insurance or not. Before signing up to get a card, you must do your research because not all cards are accepted at all pharmacies, and each card will give you discounts for different drugs.

Look at the different prescription discount cards available and choose one accepted at a pharmacy that is convenient for you and offers discounts on the drugs you need.

You’ll either be sent a physical card, a link where you can print the card yourself, or a digital card. Some prescription discount card companies have apps where you can check information about their network of pharmacies and the drugs they cover.

Read the company’s privacy policy and ensure that the discount card you sign up for is HIPAA compliant to keep your personal information safe. They can sell your personal information to other marketing companies if they’re not.

How Prescription Discount Cards Work

Behind the scenes, discount card companies negotiate and enter into agreements with pharmacies that they want to be in their network. They agree on the drugs that will be discounted and the discount amount. When patients purchase their prescription using the discount card, the pharmacy will pay a transaction fee to the discount card company.

Pharmacies are happy to offer a discount and pay the fee because it increases foot traffic in the pharmacy. Without the discount, patients will likely opt out of filling the prescription because of the high cost of the medicine.

The pharmacy relies on the discount card to bring customers into the pharmacy who will then impulse buy other items bringing in more money for the pharmacy.

How to Use Your Prescription Discount Card

Patients who have a discount card must present it to the pharmacist. The pharmacist will use the information linked to the discount card to process the prescription instead of the patient’s insurance.

To receive the most benefit from the discount card, you must compare the price you will pay through your insurance with the price you will pay using the discount card. The prescription discount card is particularly useful if you are on a high deductible plan, if your copay amount is high, if your health insurance doesn’t cover the medication you need, or if you don’t have insurance at all. If you have pets, make sure your card covers pets’ medication as well.

It’s important to remember that you can’t use your prescription discount card with your insurance, you have to pay cash, and it does not count towards your insurance deductible.


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