Reducing your prescription drug costs

Ways to Reduce your Prescriptions Drug Costs
1.      Switch from Name Brand Drugs to Generics
·         Be sure to talk with your doctor before changing any medications!
2.      Increase the Dosage and Cut the Medication in one-half
·         For example, if you are taking 50 mg of a medication, see if the doctor will write a script for 100 mg tablets and have you cut them in half. This will decrease your co-pays in half.
·         This will not work for all medications. Be sure to check with your doctor first!
3.      $4 Generics and Pharmacy Discounts
·         Check with your pharmacy to see if any of your drugs are offered on their discount lists.  Many large pharmacies continue to expand their listings. Examples are Wal-Mart, Kroger, K-Mart, SAMS, and others. 
·         There may be a small membership fee. 
·         The cost of these drugs are outside of your Part D plan and the cost will NOT apply towards the donut hole and catastrophic levels.
·         Ask if there is any other discounts during the gap based on arrangements your Part D plan may have made with the pharmacy.
Places to Contact for Assistance with your Prescription Drug Costs
1.      Illinois CaresRX
·         This is a state subsidy available to Illinois residents that qualify
·         Works with Part D plans to lower co-pays, and covers 75% in the gap and pays for the premium cost. 
·         For those who qualify they can switch to one of the selected drug plans midyear as soon as the state approves the application and switching plans. 
·         The SHAP program can assist with the applications
·         To qualify, must meet the following:
o   Be enrolled in Medicare
o   Current Illinois resident
o   Annual Income Levels (including all income)
§ Singles - $21,780
§ Married - $29,420
o   Assets are NOT counted
2.      Pharmaceutical Manufacturer
·         Many drug manufacturer have programs to discount or cover the cost of medications for those within a certain income level
·         Contact the Pharmaceutical Manufacturer to request any information
3.      If you are a veteran, contact the VA
·         If you served in the military, you may qualify for significant reduction. Contact the VA for details and qualifications.
4.      Patriot Prescriptions
·         Located in Normal, IL
·         Provides 20% - 80% discount on many drugs manufactured in the USA through Canadian pharmacies.
·         Provides personalized service to people anywhere
·         Contact information:
15 Susan Dr
Normal IL
5.      Bureau of Prescription Health
·         Service which seeks low or no cost drugs from drug manufacturers during the donut hole
·         Income qualifications are higher than normal
·         Contact Information:
6.      Prescription Assistance and Discount Programs Chart
·         Ten internet sites provide a variety of information sources
·         Some are discount programs, others provide drugs from pharmaceutical manufacturers as no cost for those who qualify
·         For a copy of the chart, contact Illinois SHIP at 800-548-9034
7.      Preachers’ Aid Society and Benefit Fund
·         PASBF has budgeted money to assist those whose drug costs have caused a hardship
·         One of the questions on the application is if you have tried other methods to reduce your drug costs
·         Applications can be found at or by calling 217-529-3221