Medicare Discount Drug Card Used By 1 In 5

Medicare discount drug card news: Nearly one-in-five (20%) seniors used a prescription discount card in 2022 for at least one of their medications according to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI).

According to recent AAMSI data, some 90% of older adults regularly take at least one prescription drug. Almost 80% regularly take at least 2 prescription drugs, and 36% regularly take at least 5 different prescription drugs. “The affordability of prescription medications is important to individuals on Medicare,” explains Jesse Slome, AAMSI director. “Numerous discount programs today can result in significant savings.”

Pharmacy discount cards allow individuals to search online for the lowest available current prices for prescribed medicines. “The discount will vary by drug as well as by pharmacy, but the cost can be as much as 80 percent below retail prices,” Slome notes.

Most prescription discount cards are available at no cost. They are typically acquired via the Internet or a mobile application (app). Among the leading cards are GoodRX, SingleCare and ScriptSave.

“The card is simply presented to participating pharmacies in the same manner as insurance cards,” Slome explains. “The upside is the potential to save even when you have stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan coverage. However, any medication costs typically are not applied toward insurance deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums. If you take many drugs, this is something to keep in mind.”

Between 2017 and 2021, the overall share of all U.S. prescriptions dispensed with a discount card nearly doubled from 3.3 percent to 5.4 percent according to industry data.

Discount Drug Card: Things To Know

The following are things to keep in mind if you are considering use of a prescription discount card:

Is Your Pharmacy Included? Not every pharmacy will accept every discount card. Your preferred pharmacy has to be in the card’s network, so if you only have access to certain stores or chains, make sure they’re in your card’s network.

Will You Save On Your Specific Medications? Programs typically promote savings of 70% or more off retail prices. But these savings may only be for a limited number of medications. Look to see the actual savings for the specific drugs you take before selecting which card is best for you.

Check Out Supplemental Benefits: Some drug discount cards offer extras and added savings. They can be valuable and worth looking at when choosing.

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About the Author

Jesse Slome

Jesse Slome
Medicare Insurance Expert
Director, American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance

Jesse Slome is a leading Medicare insurance expert and the founder and director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI). Since 1998 AAMSI has served to educate consumers and support insurance professionals who offer Medicare insurance plans.