Thrifty Thursday: Making your prescriptions "work" for you!

You may have seen those coupons in the paper advertising a free gift card for new and/or transferred prescriptions, but weren’t really sure how it “worked” or maybe it seemed to good to be true. It does work, and it’s very simple. I posted here about how I was able to use my gift card from transferring a prescription to buy groceries for almost nothing out of pocket.

Here’s what I do:

*Every time I see one of those coupons, regardless of the store, I clip it and hang on to it. Most stores (in my area at least) will accept competitor’s pharmacy coupons. This includes CVS, Walgreens, and all of the major grocery stores. Target (in my area at least) does not accept competitor coupons and I’m not sure about Walmart. If you’re a Walmart shopper, it’s worth calling and asking.

*If you’d like to transfer a prescription, all you have to do is call the pharmacy and give them the information off of your prescription (usually your prescription number, the old pharmacy name and number, and the name of the prescription). If you are planning on using a competitor coupon, you may also want to check and see if they honor competitor coupons when you call.

*Pick up your prescription, give them the coupon and you’ve got money to spend! Most stores will only allow you to do this once per prescription.

You probably want to weigh out the pros and cons of doing this. Many insurance companies offer a discount if you do a 90 day mail order supply of your prescription. My retail co-pay for a 30 day supply is $10. My co-pay for a 90 day supply is $10. Even if I pay $30 out of pocket to fill my prescriptions at the “Retail” rather than mail order rate for 3 months, if I have three $30 gift card coupons, I still come out $60 ahead, so it’s worth it to me.

Be sure to check your prescription benefits before doing this. Some benefits only allow for you to fill a prescription a certain amount of times at the retail rate before raising the rate or requiring you to fill the prescription by mail order. Usually, you have 3-4 times that you can fill it at the retail rate and usually, at this point, I’ve transferred the prescription everywhere I want to so that I can get a gift card anyway, so I just switch to mail order.