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Helpful Retiree Resources

These links are provided as a source of potentially useful information for members.  The NRLN takes no position either with respect to the validity of the information or with respect to other purposes of the sponsoring persons or organizations. Click on the link to access the website.  

If you have ideas for other links, please share them with the NRLN through an email to contact@nrln.org or call toll free 1-866-360-7197.

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Prescription Drugs ideas provided by NRLN members.

  • Health Link offers a prescription drug savings card.
  • Costco and Sam’s Club offer many prescription drugs at discounts without having to be a member. Simply enter the store and say you are going to the pharmacy. Or, you may order online without being a member.  Costco toll free phone is: 1-800-607-6861; Costco Drug pricing webpage.
  • Sam’s Club toll free phone is: 1-888-746-7726
  • Discounts on many prescription drugs are offered by www.goodrx.com . You print the coupons for the pharmacy of your choice.
  • In Nov 2013 I paid a $200 copay for a 30 gram tube of Carac .5% Fluorouracil (manufactured by Valeant) and last month my dermatologist wrote a prescription for me to buy more from COSTCO. The news is: Manufacture’s price to COSTCO (according to their pharmacist) for a 30 gram tube: $2,900My copay – I did not askThe COSTCO pharmacist offered a generic 30 gram tube of Fluorouracil .5%:Price to COSTCO        $1,300My copay – $840What a deal!I called my dermatologist who referred me to Philidor Pharmacies (toll free phone: 1-855-744-5791) with pharmacies based in Hatboro, PA and Los Angeles, CA and Service Centers in Hatboro and Phoenix, AZ. Philador specializes in dermatological products that most Medicare D plans or other plans will not cover. Philador told me that they negotiate pricing with Valeant (and maybe others soon) who want to avoid distribution channel markups, including retail pricing for high cost drugs. Without the benefit if Medicare D or any other insurance, I paid $75 for the Carac brand, 30 grams, .5% and no charge 3-5 day delivery.
    • Type Prescription Drug Savings in Google Search or Bing Search.
  • Use the Medicare site every November and plug in all the drugs to get annual cost which can vary significantly between companies. Don’t forget to check the mail order price which is usually much less. I have one plan for myself and another for my wife. My plan would cost more for the drugs she takes and visa versa. Don’t just go with the plan you had last year. I think drug companies rely on automatic repeat business because it is a pain to understand the plan differences. I have changed several times over the years because the drug companies play games with pricing and placing drugs in tiers. There are no government guidelines for what drug goes in what tier. The same drug can be in different tiers based on dosage. I have to think the more popular doses would be in a higher tier.
  • My wife was prescribed capsules for one of her meds. Capsules can be much more costly than tablets. Check with your doctor because frequently they aren’t aware of these subtle facts.
  • Extended Relief (ER) meds can cost more than taking the same drug several times a day. One of my meds was ER had a copay of $90. So I take a reduced dose which is non ER three times a day for $10 copay.
  • If a drug is newly prescribed during the year and not on the formulary ask for an exception. I did that and they obliged. Don’t be afraid to lean on them. They want your business. You can also ask for a tier reduction if the copay is high.
  • Don’t look at whether or not a company has a deductible. Look at the annual cost unless cash flow early in the year is a problem. One plan can have a deductible and larger monthly premium than other plans and still be the best on an annual basis.
  • I spend about 20 hours a year working the ever changing Medicare D site. It is tedious but I like to know as much as I can. I have helped non computer literate friends of mine save a lot of money by getting them in the best plan for the meds they take.
  • Massachusetts has a group of trained people called SHINE. They are required to train for 40 hours and are at senior center every year to assist in choosing a Medicare Part D plan.
  • One thing I will recommend to all seniors on Medicare Part D, that enroll with a provider who has their primary medications in Tier 1. I discovered that different Medicare Part D providers put the same medication in different Tiers. A medication in Tier 1 is much cheaper than same medication in Tier 2. Also some providers reduce the cost to zero if 3 month’s supply is ordered with their mail order pharmacy. For example, I get Tamsulosin (generic for Flowmax) completely at zero cost form the Humana Medicare Part D plan.

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