10 Ways to Find Affordable Prescription Medications

Ways to Find Affordable Prescription Medications

Every American knows that healthcare costs are expensive. Even if you have health insurance or Medicare, it isn’t always easy to find affordable prescription medications. Once you reach your annual spending limit, there is a coverage gap. This leaves patients to pay out of pocket for the medicine they need. And every year, the prices for these medications continue to rise, with nearly 30% of all prescriptions remaining unfilled due to the cost. However, your health shouldn’t suffer because of your insurance plan or finances. So, here are a few tips to help make your healthcare expenses more manageable.

10 Ways to Find Affordable Prescription Medications

Pharmaceuticals can be expensive, but you shouldn’t have to choose between paying your bills and getting the care you need. Here are 10 ways you can find affordable prescription medications to reduce your healthcare costs.

1. Generic Brands

The easiest way to immediately reduce your total bill at the pharmacy is to ask about generic brands. Name-brand pharmaceuticals can come with a steep price tag. However, there is usually a more affordable, generic substitute that is just as safe and effective. Next time you need a refill, ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is a lower-cost option for you. Just be aware they may need to write a new prescription. But, it could save you serious cash.

2. Alternative Prescriptions

If there isn’t a generic version of your medication, there may be an alternative that is just as effective. Doctors don’t always know the cost of prescription drugs or which ones are covered by your insurance. But, there may be similar medications that would be covered by your insurance plan. Explain your situation to your doctor, and see if there is an alternative medication they could prescribe instead.

3. Comparison Shop

Despite what people may think, the prices of medication aren’t fixed. Sites like GoodRx are a great starting point. You can check prices at local chain stores like Walgreens, CVS, Walmart, Target, and RiteAid to get an idea of the savings.

Prices can vary between pharmacies as well. And believe it or not, sometimes the over-the-counter cost is even lower than your copay. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shop around and compare the prices of different pharmacies near you. Don’t forget to check smaller, local ones as well. And if you are willing to put in the time, you could save even more by refilling different prescriptions at various pharmacies. It may be time-consuming but could be worth the savings.

4. Online Pharmacies

Shopping online for your medications could net you significant savings. However, if you decide to purchase online, make sure you are using a reputable vendor. Look for sellers that are accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and only deal with drugs that have received FDA approval. Another good sign that it is a legitimate business is when it is connected to a physical pharmacy in the US. But if the prices seem too good to be true, they probably are.

5. Change Your Insurance Plan

Just because you have had the same insurance coverage for years does not mean that you have the best plan for you. Sometimes there are gaps.

Even Medicare offers different levels of coverage, including some that help bridge those gaps in coverage. These plans will help you pay for monthly prescriptions, but they may come with a higher premium. Before you make any changes, check with your provider to see if the medication would be included under a different plan.

6. Help from Your Doctor

If you are struggling to pay even discounted costs, ask your doctor for help. Many pharmaceutical reps visit practices and provide free samples of their medications. Your doctor may be able to provide a few free samples to help you get by. However, this can’t be your prescription plan.

Your doctor may also be able to request additional discounts that you won’t have access to. Or, they may also be willing to write prescriptions in bulk. Some pharmacies offer discounts for larger purchases, so this is one more way you could find affordable prescription medications.

7. Prescription Assistance Programs

Prescription Assistance programs are another option for low-income earners. Some drug manufacturers provide name-brand prescriptions for little or no cost to those who qualify. There are also federal and state assistance programs that help with medication costs for those on Medicare.

The enrollment process can be time-consuming and challenging to navigate. Many people have reported that a single mistake has resulted in the denial of their application. However, you could always hire a medical advocate to act as a liaison through the process. Their fees are usually reasonable and include assistance with pre-qualification, preparing the application, submission, managing refills, and re-enrollment.

8. Retailers with Prescription Assistance

There are also many retailers that offer free or low-cost pharmaceuticals for members who pay annual membership fees. They build brand loyalty by reducing the price of high-volume meds like antibiotics, prenatal vitamins, diabetic medications, and other common prescriptions.

Since you are dealing with national retailers with pharmacies that handle high volumes, they can afford to reduce prices below copay. The slight cost for these medications can be recaptured in profits through other prescriptions you fill through their pharmacy. However, be aware that eligibility and tier-pricing frequently change. So, be certain to check prices from month to month.

9. Apply for Extra Help

The federal government also has a program offered through Medicare and Social Security to offer Extra Help to the lowest income earners. This program helps people with limited incomes get access to resources so they can get the care they need. Namely, it lowers prescription costs. As of 2022, it reduced the cost of generic medications to $3.95 However, this will rise to $4.15 in 2023. And for name-brand, it is $9.85 now but will increase to $10.35 next year.

10. Prioritize Your Health

Although many people find creative ways to make their prescriptions last longer or find cheaper suppliers, you should follow your doctor’s orders and take your medication as recommended. Changing dosage or using unapproved medications could have serious repercussions on your long-term health. And, it could lead to even more healthcare costs. So if your doctor feels that you require certain medications to lead a healthy lifestyle, you need to factor this into your budget.

Although healthcare costs can become overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with a chronic disease or injury, your health shouldn’t suffer because of the expense. There is help out there, so don’t be afraid to explore your options.

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6 Tips To Financially Prepare for a Critical Illness

Financially Prepare For A Critical Illness

We all hope for the best in life, but there are times when things go wrong. One example of this is when there is a critical illness in the family. Not only does it take a toll on the sick family member, but it can also take a toll on the family finances. Here are 6 tips to financially prepare for a critical illness.

1. Have an Emergency Fund To Cover Unexpected Medical Costs

No one knows when they or a family member will get sick, so it’s important to have an emergency fund to cover unexpected medical costs. Try to save at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses in case you need to take time off work or make any other financial changes.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, start by putting away a small amount each month until you reach your goal. You can also use a high-yield savings account to earn interest on your savings.

If you have high-deductible health insurance, you may want to consider opening a health savings account (HSA). An HSA can help you pay for qualified medical expenses with pretax dollars.

If you’re already facing medical bills, there are a few options to help you pay them off. You can set up a payment plan with your provider, look into hospital financial assistance programs, or see if you qualify for a charity care program.

2. Invest in Critical Illness Insurance

Critical illness insurance is a type of insurance that pays a lump sum benefit if you’re diagnosed with a covered illness. The benefit can be used to help pay for medical expenses, make up for lost income, or cover other financial needs.

If you have health insurance, it likely doesn’t cover everything. Gaps in coverage can leave you with high out-of-pocket costs, which is why critical illness insurance can be a useful addition to your financial safety net.

Before you purchase a policy, make sure to understand the covered illnesses and benefits. Some policies only cover certain conditions, while others have benefit limits. You’ll also want to compare premiums and coverage levels to find the right policy for you.

3. Review Your Health and Life Insurance Policies

If you have health and life insurance, it’s a good idea to review your policies at least once a year. Make sure you understand what’s covered and what isn’t. You may also want to consider increasing your coverage if your needs have changed.

For example, if you have a young family, you may want to add or increase your life insurance coverage. If you have a chronic illness, you may want to make sure your health insurance covers your condition.

It’s also important to keep up with premium payments. If you miss a payment, your policy could lapse, leaving you without coverage when you need it most.

If you’re not sure how much coverage you need, talk to your financial advisor. They can help you assess your needs and find the right policies for you.

When it comes to insurance, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Having the right coverage in place can give you peace of mind and help you financially if something goes wrong.

4. Make a Will and Designate a Power of Attorney

If you don’t have a will, now is the time to make one. A will allows you to designate how your assets will be distributed after your death. Without a will, your state’s laws will determine how your property is divided, which may not be in line with your wishes.

In addition to making a will, you should also designate a power of attorney. A power of attorney allows someone to make financial and legal decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself.

Making a will and designating a power of attorney are important steps to take to protect yourself and your family. If something happens to you, they can help ensure that your wishes are carried out.

If you don’t have a will or power of attorney, talk to an attorney about drafting them. They can help you understand the process and make sure everything is in order.

Having a plan in place for what will happen to your assets and your care if you’re unable to make decisions can give you peace of mind.

5. Update Your Beneficiary Information on All Accounts

If you have any accounts with beneficiary designations, make sure the information is up to date. This includes retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and investment accounts.

Your beneficiaries are the people who will receive your assets after your death. If you don’t update your beneficiary information, your assets may not go to the people you want them to.

It’s a good idea to review your beneficiary information at least once a year. If you’ve had any major life changes, such as getting married or having children, you’ll want to update your beneficiaries accordingly.

You can typically update your beneficiary information online or by contacting the financial institution where the account is held. Make sure to follow their instructions to ensure the changes are properly made.

Keeping your beneficiary information up to date is an important part of financial planning. By updating your beneficiaries, you can make sure your assets go to the people you want them to.

6. Talk to Your Family About Your Wishes if You Become Critically Ill

No one likes to think about what would happen if they became critically ill. But it’s important to have a plan in place in case something does happen.

Talk to your family about your wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care. Make sure they know your preferences and how you want them carried out.

It’s also important to designate someone to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so yourself. This person is called a healthcare proxy. They will be responsible for making sure your wishes are followed.

Talking to your family about your wishes can be difficult, but it’s an important part of financial planning. By having a plan in place, you can make sure your wishes are carried out if something happens to you.

Making financial preparations for a critical illness can be daunting, but it’s important to do. By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and your family financially if something goes wrong.

Do you have any other tips that could help others prepare for a critical illness? If so, please share in the comments below.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Body Parts

3 Reasons Why You Should Insure Your Body Parts

Purchasing policies for specific body parts is not a typical topic of conversation in the insurance world. Although in most cases it is celebrities who want this kind of coverage, there are also instances in which other people could benefit from it. For example, if your income depends on the use of a particular appendage or body part, it could affect your livelihood. Therefore, here are a few reasons why you should insure your body parts if you fall into this category.

3 Reasons You Should Insure Your Body Parts

While it might seem like a strange notion to you, many people have insured their body parts in the past. Certain careers, such as athletes, entertainers, and artists depend on their skills or appearance to earn an income. Here are some of the most common reasons why people have decided they should insure their body parts.

1. You want to protect your assets.

Without a doubt, entertainment companies are willing to shell out big bucks to insure their cash cows. This is even more important if the celebrity is known for a trademark feature or aspect of their appearance. Whether it is Julia Roberts’ smile or Tom Jones’ chest hair, these entertainers are instantly recognizable because of them. So, it makes sense to protect your source of income. As former playmate Holly Madison said after insuring her breasts for $1 million, they are important “assets.” If anything would happen to them, it would affect their ability to work and bring in income.

Looking at it from the professional sports franchises’ perspective, each athlete is vital for their business to make money as well. If their all-star athletes aren’t able to play, they lose money in ticket and merchandise sales. Therefore, sports teams often have a general disability policy if their stars have an accident that keeps them from playing. These types of policies are available from most standard insurers. However, you will need to find more specialized insurance companies if you want to insure a body part. Athletes like David Beckham and Cristiano Renaldo did exactly this, insuring their legs with multi-million dollar policies to protect the assets that helped make them famous.

2. You will have disability insurance should you have a career-ending injury.

One of the most important reasons why you should insure your body parts is because the policies provide coverage in case of death, damage, or dismemberment. Not only do people want to protect their assets, but also make sure they have a source of income if they have an accident or career-ending injury. Taking out disability insurance for specific body parts would supplement their income if they are no longer able to perform their craft or skill that they depend on to earn money. Actors and models purchase policies to protect their appearance while athletes insure the body parts they rely on to play at the professional level.

However, they aren’t the only occupations that can benefit from customized insurance policies. Musicians and artists sometimes insure their hands or vocal cords in case they can no longer perform or create. Chefs and wine tasters have also been known to insure their taste buds as well. If they were to lose their sense of taste or smell, it could cost them their entire livelihood.

3. It could generate more business with free publicity.

Another reason some people suspect that celebrities insure their body parts is to generate publicity. As ridiculous as this may sound, stories like this grab headlines and get people talking. If the story stirs up enough buzz, it creates a lot of free publicity.

In fact, a supermarket in the UK used this publicity stunt to generate more income. They insured the taste buds of their senior wine buyer for 10 million pounds (about $17.3 million). What seemed like a crazy idea turned into a huge profit for them. The story was picked up by three magazines and six national newspapers. Then, following the story, the supermarket’s wine sales increased by 19%.

Some have suggested that celebrities do this as well. While the rumor has never been confirmed, there was gossip that Mariah Carey insured her legs for $1 billion. However, the timing happened to coincide perfectly with the beginning of her “Adventures of MiMi” tour. Whether the rumor is true or not, Carey still made $27.9 million in box office sales that tour.

How Do You Insure Your Body Parts?

Although these insurance policies aren’t exclusively available to celebrities, they do cost more than the average person can afford. These are not your standard insurance policy. They will personalize it to each client’s specific needs. So, you should expect to pay a high price for their attention to detail.

If you decide to insure your body parts, options are limited. Most people who want to insure their body parts must consult with one company that has become internationally known for selling specialized insurance. Lloyd’s of London has provided some of the most famous insurance policies for celebrities for over 100 years. One of the first celebrities to seek such a policy was silent film star, Ben Turpin, who bought $25,000 of coverage to insure his crossed eyes. However, they continue to sell specialized policies today to many celebrities worth millions of dollars.

The Most Expensive Body Parts Ever Insured (Reportedly)

Even though it is possible, it is still not common practice to insure body parts. However, several celebrities have gone to great lengths to protect their assets. Here is a list of the ten most expensive insurance policies (reported but not confirmed) ever purchased.

  1. Mariah Carey’s legs – $1 billion
  2. J-Lo’s butt – $300 million
  3. Cristiano Ronaldo’s legs – $144 million
  4. David Beckham’s legs – $70 million
  5. Michael Flatley’s legs – $40 million
  6. Julia Robert’s smile – $30 million
  7. America Ferrera’s smile – $10 million
  8. Daniel Craig’s body – $9.5 million
  9. Tom Jones’ chest hair – $7 million
  10. Bruce Springsteen’s voice – $6 million

The celebrities have made headlines with their unusual insurance policies. However, this list is likely to expand and change as more people decide to view their bodies as assets worth insuring.

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Can I Sell My Life Insurance Policy In Canada?

Yes, you can sell your policy in Canada1


Budget and Invest sometimes tackles difficult financial questions.  One which has come up consistently is: Can I sell my life insurance in Canada?  Read on for the answer to this question.

What’s a life settlement?

When a person with insurance sells the policy they have, this is referred to as a life settlement, also sometimes known as a viatical settlement. The sale price is typically more than the policy’s cash surrender value, but also less than the death benefit.

When you do this, you get your lump sum immediately, though at the expense of your policy. Then, the new policyholder will pay the monthly premiums, and will also receive the full benefit upon your death.

So, can you sell your life insurance in Canada?

Yes, you can sell your life insurance policy in this way in Canada. Selling life insurance in Canada is complicated, however, because it can only be done in certain areas. What’s more is, even in the areas where selling your life insurance is allowed, it’s still only allowed by certain companies under certain circumstances.

For example, the life insurance company Sunlife Insurance never allows a life settlement, regardless of where in Canada you are.

Where can you sell your life insurance in Canada?

In Canada, a life insurance settlement is legal in the provinces of Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec only. In recent years, there have been several attempts to make selling life insurance policies legal in Ontario, too. But, since this means fewer profits for insurance companies, these attempts have been totally blocked.

What are the problems with selling life insurance?

As we just touched upon, there was recently an attempt to amend Ontario’s insurance act, in 2017. All was going swimmingly until the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (also known as the CLHIA) began to protest voraciously against the attempt. This was partially because life settlements would mean less profits. But, the CLHIA also argued that giving Ontarians the ability to sell their life insurance opens seniors with policies up to financial abuse.

Still, people who support viatical settlement say that it gives people in dire financial circumstances who need immediate financial assistance, a good option. After all, a viatical settlement pays you far more than a cash surrender value, and it’s a better idea than just letting your policy lapse. From your insurance company’s point of view, though, a policy lapse is a good source of profit.

Are there alternatives to selling your life insurance?

So, unfortunately, for one reason or another, selling your life insurance simply isn’t legal in many parts of Canada, and is even still frowned upon by some insurance companies in provinces where it is allowed! If you live in one of these provinces though, don’t despair, because there are a few equally lucrative alternative options to life settlements.

How do you transfer life insurance in Canada?

One of these alternatives to a life settlement is the option of transferring your life insurance policy. Instead of selling your policy, simply change its beneficiary!

However, do be aware that the new policy owner has to have insurable interest in the life of the person insured. To have this, the new policy owner must be likely to suffer a financial loss when the person insured passes away. Transferring your life insurance policy is covered under the Ontario Insurance Act.

So, if you have someone in your life who has insurable interest, this person will be allowed to take over your policy, pay your premiums, and become your policy’s beneficiary.

People typically transfer their life insurance policy to someone like a child or grandchild.

Since there may be tax implications arising from a life settlement transaction, make sure that you get in touch with a tax lawyer.

Then there’s the Personal Health Spending Account, or PHSP. You’re probably well aware that most benefits programs for employees in Canada have certain restrictions and limits on their usage. And, if you don’t have access to a plan like this, of course, you must pay for health care using your own money.

This is what the PHSP is great for. The PHSP is a government benefit that yields a good health care strategy to people who are owners of incorporated businesses or are self-employed. If you are someone who claims expenses on your income tax, you may not be able to take full advantage of the Personal Health Spending Account. However, if you are considering getting life insurance for healthcare, the Personal Health Spending Plan can make a great alternative. Check out WEALTHinsurance.com to find out more about this.

What about compassionate assistance?

Many insurance companies also offer the option for a compassionate payment after a terminal diagnosis. After the diagnosis, your insurer will pay a portion of your death benefit before you pass away.

Generally, a compassionate assistance payment warrants a person to have a diagnosis of less than two years to live. But, the payment can help you out in whatever way you like — a gift to a caregiver, a flight around the world, or even hotel rooms for family to be nearby.

Compassionate payments are not taxed. Do be aware that a compassionate payment will reduce the size of your death benefit, however, since it’s an early payment of the benefit. You also must still pay your monthly premiums, too.

What are policy loans?

Rather than having to deal with life settlements, the life insurance industry prefers to make it easy to access a portion of your death benefit before the event of your death. This is done with a policy loan.

A policy loan lets you borrow money from your insurer by using the cash surrender value of your policy as a form of collateral. The interest that then accrues can be paid either while you are alive, or added to the cost of the loan, so that when you die, the outstanding balance will get deducted from your death benefit payout.

This all sounds simple enough, right? But there are a couple of other things you should know about policy loans. With this type of loan, you are only able to borrow an amount up to the value of your cash surrender value. Sometimes you are permitted to borrow only a certain percentage of your value, like 80%.

On top of this, you still have to pay your premiums, meaning you still run the risk of your policy lapsing.

Plus, despite the popularity of term life policies, you can only take out a policy loan on a whole life insurance policy, since term life insurance policies have no cash surrender value for you to borrow against.

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