In addition to managing painful and ongoing swelling, many people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) also often contend with juggling the costs of treatment.
An RA patient’s prescription costs can sometimes amount to thousands of dollars annually, depending on their type of health insurance. Fortunately, there are “11 Best Ways to Save on Your RA Treatment,” explained in a new HealthCentral.com slide show featuring Texas Orthopedics’ board certified rheumatologist Dr. Robert J. Koval specializing in treating autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, including RA.
Helping Patients Explore All Avenues
For example, Dr. Koval often uses a “patient coordinator” to help patients manage insurance claims and points them toward coupons and medication samples that can lower costs. The coordinator also can connect patients to financial assistance programs and make managing costs easier.
“A lot of practices, such as our own, have a certain person responsible for helping patients explore all avenues,” Dr. Koval explains.
He also recommends patients get the right kind of healthcare coverage – even if it has high deductibles – because doing so can make them eligible for pharmaceutical company-sponsored co-pay assistance programs. Before buying, check to see how a plan covers medications you’re taking and if your specialists accept that insurance. Dr. Koval notes, “With these (RA) medications, finding some kind of coverage is beneficial.”
Other recommendations include:
Look for Assistance Programs. State or national organizations such as The Assistance Fund, Patient Access Network and Patient Advocate Foundation can help.
Call Your Drug’s Manufacturer. Medication makers often offer programs for patients to pay less – even as little as $0.
Check Online for Best Prices. Since RA drug costs tend to be sizable, so can be the savings – hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars annually. One great app — GoodRX, which allows you to price shop your medications all in the palm of your hand.
Explore Drug Alternatives. Ask your specialist: is there any medication that is less costly or better covered by my insurance?
Try Mail Order Meds. Online pharmacies may provide 90-day supplies at lower cost than 30-day prescriptions (and co-pays are paid every four times a year instead of 12).
Use Your FSA or HSA. If your employer offers a flexible spending account (FSA) to cover medical bills, copays and prescriptions, max it out annually to save on income taxes. A health savings account (HSA) can offer similar tax savings.
Click here to see the HealthCentral slide show.
Get both the RA medical help and prescription bill-cutting guidance you need. Contact Texas Orthopedics and let us help you feel better.