Looking for brand-new ways to slash costs on everything from prescription meds and doctor visits to tests and insurance? These saving-savvy tips will help.
To nab 80 percent off Rxs:
If you’re an Amazon Prime member and don’t have insurance, Amazon’s new pharmacy (Pharmacy.Amazon.com) will save you up to 80 percent on generic drugs and up to 40 percent on brand names. If you have insurance, you can find out whether using it or skipping it will save you more cash, thanks to an automatic checker that tells you the price difference before you make your purchase. Bonus: Customers can get their meds shipped via free two-day delivery or pick them up at more than 50,000 participating pharmacies.
To spend less on doctors:
Research shows that primary care visit fees have been climbing since 2002. But new full-service clinics at drugstores, staffed with primary care doctors and nurse practitioners, offer a wide range of services similar to those at your doctor’s office (like managing chronic ailments and administering diagnostic tests) at much lower rates. Where to find them: Walgreens’ Village Medical clinics will be rolling out to 700 stores within five years, CVS is planning 1,500 CVS HealthHUBs by the end of 2021 and Walmart Health will have dozens of clinics in several states this year.
To reduce hospital fees:
Does your health insurance have a high deductible and you need a service from a hospital, such as a diagnostic test (like an MRI) or surgery (like a knee replacement)? You can now pinpoint which hospital near you offers it at the lowest price, thanks to a federal rule that took effect this year requiring hospitals to make public the costs they’ve negotiated with insurance companies. You can save hundreds of dollars by comparing prices between hospitals in your area. To find a hospital’s prices, visit their website or call their billing department.
To slash Medicare costs:
Have a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) that covers vision, dental and hearing, but want to pay less? You can switch to a different Part C plan from January 1 to March 31 each year. A reason to make the change now? Walmart’s partnered with a variety of Medicare Advantage providers (including Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and UnitedHealthcare) to offer plans at lower costs. Find them at WalmartInsurance.com or call 833-486-0615. Don’t have Part C and missed the enrollment period? You may still be able to sign up. Visit Medicare.gov/plan-compare.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.