The Basics of Prescription Drug Plans

By hrlineup | 20.02.2020

Did you know that one American spends an average of $1200 on prescription drugs annually? The public bears the high drug costs through taxes and premiums. Why is drug cost so high in America compared to other countries and what should be done to cut down the costs? Most of the citizens feel that bringing down the cost of drugs should be a priority. A prescription drug plan is, therefore, a priority for the government. It is an option for individuals desiring to prescription drug coverage which is aimed at reducing the drug costs.  A prescription drug plan (PDP) only covers prescription drugs. We lay down the basics of drug coverage, the benefit plans, and the cost aspects of prescription drugs.

Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare prescription drug coverage is a benefit for those who have Medicare. If you are eligible for Medicare and you fail to get the drug coverage, you will be charged a late enrollment penalty. To get the coverage, you join a plan courtesy of an insurance company that is approved by Medicare. The plans differ in drugs covered and associated costs.

Employer Drug Benefit Plans

The cost of drugs in the US has been rising rapidly making employers and insurance service providers change the benefit packages to cut costs. Employers are trying to improve the medical benefits by implementing approaches that are in line with their strategy. However, cost-sharing remains a challenge.

Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs.

  • Use Generic Drugs.

These are cheaper and similar in purpose as branded medications. If you cannot get a generic, ask for a generic version of that drug.

  • Buy in Bulk.

Get a prescription that may last longer, say for 90 days to enjoy the economies of scale. This approach is ideal for long-term medications.

  • Seek Assistance

Consider services of prescription assistance programs that are offered by the government, drug makers or non-profit making organizations. These programs stipulate income requirements. You can also directly consult the medication manufacturer.

  • Update Your Plan if you are on Medicare.

Medicare plans keep on changing in terms of co-pay arrangements and medications covered. Take advantage of the annual enrollment period and change your plan appropriately.

  • Conduct a Market Survey.

The drug prices vary depending on whether a pharmacy uses middlemen or buys directly from the manufacturer. Check the prices from various pharmacies online. This strategy can enable you to save a lot of money in the long-run.

Employer Prescription Drug Costs

Prescription drug prices remain exaggerated in America due to government-granted monopolies given to manufacturers. This makes it difficult for drug organizations and manufacturers to negotiate prices. This has been debated in various health care forums in the past.


Prescription drugs are quite expensive especially when bought out of pocket. Health insurance can cover a portion of that cost depending on the plan you choose. Prescription drug coverage becomes part of a health plan. You can shop for a plan during the annual open enrolment sessions or consult your employer. Pay attention to benefits and see how prescription drug medications are covered.