Prescription drugs can take a big bite out of your budget. Your Medicare plan may offer cost-saving benefits that can be worth checking into to help keep more cash in your pocket. Explore some of the following ideas to help save money on your prescription medicine.

Pick a Network Pharmacy. Your Medicare prescription drug plan may have a pharmacy network. This is a group of pharmacies that offer extra savings and discounts to plan members. Your plan might also have a special arrangement with certain “preferred” pharmacies that could mean additional savings. Check your plan materials for information about network pharmacies.

Follow the Formulary. Your Medicare prescription drug plan has a formulary that lists the specific drugs it will cover. Drugs on your plan’s formulary cost you less than drugs not on the formulary. Also, many formularies are tiered – meaning they divide drugs into groups based on cost. Typically the lower the tier, the lower your cost will be. You might be able to switch from a high-tier drug to one on a lower tier to help reduce your costs. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.

Give Generics a Chance. Generic drugs are the same as brand-name drugs in safety, strength, and quality. They usually cost less, too. The lower cost of generic drugs could help you avoid the Medicare Part D coverage gap (aka the donut hole) or pay less when you’re in it.

Make Mail-Order Your Pharmacy Choice. Many Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans offer a mail-order pharmacy service. Co-pays could be lower than getting refills at the pharmacy. Plus, you may save even more by ordering a 90-day supply of your drugs at one time.

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