We all know the feeling of having to pay too much for medications. It’s even harder for those without insurance or who have to first meet high deductibles before their coverage kicks in.
A new study reveals some eye-opening facts: buying your medicine through Amazon Prime or using GoodRx Gold discount cards could actually be cheaper than what you pay at the counter—even if you have insurance.
The Study Breakdown
Researchers at the University of Toledo looked into how much people usually pay for 20 popular generic drugs.
They compared these costs with the prices you’d get if you used Amazon Prime or GoodRx Gold discount cards. They used data from 2020 to look at actual costs and then checked how those compared to discounted prices in 2023.
What they found was pretty surprising. One out of five times, the medicine was cheaper if bought using Amazon Prime or GoodRx Gold.
When they focused on people without insurance or who were in the early phase of their insurance where they have to pay everything themselves, the difference was even bigger.
For these folks, paying out of pocket was more expensive 40-79% of the time compared to using these discount cards.
How Much Could We Save?
If everyone who overpaid had instead used Amazon Prime or GoodRx Gold cards, they would have saved a lot.
Specifically, they would have saved about $969 million using Amazon Prime and about $1.83 billion using GoodRx. That’s billion with a ‘b’! These are huge sums of money that could have stayed in people’s pockets.
However, the study’s authors caution that discount cards are not a permanent fix. They often depend on special arrangements with other businesses in the healthcare industry, and these arrangements can change.
That means today’s savings might not be around tomorrow. So, while these cards can help, they’re more of a band-aid than a cure.
The Bigger Picture: Policy Changes Needed
The findings highlight a much bigger issue. The cost of medicine is too high, especially for those who are most vulnerable: people without insurance and those who have to pay a lot before their insurance starts to help.
The researchers say that real change will only come from rethinking how we set up and run our healthcare insurance systems. Until we make those kinds of big changes, discount cards can be a helpful way to cut down your medicine bills.
So, next time you get a prescription, it might be worth your while to check out Amazon Prime and GoodRx. You might just save yourself some hard-earned money.
But remember, the ultimate solution is changing the system so that we don’t need to hunt for discounts in the first place.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about a common and unrecognized cause of high blood pressure, and this small habit can greatly benefit people with high blood pressure, and cholesterol.
For more information about health, please see recent studies that Beetroot juice could help lower high blood pressure, and results showing this common plant nutrient could help reduce high blood pressure.
The research findings can be found in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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