GoodRx in Action: An Uninsured Family Struggles With High Prescription Costs

Elizabeth Davis
Posted on

We get lots of questions from folks who don’t understand how GoodRx works. Over the next few months, we’ll provide a few short examples from Americans who have used GoodRx to understand and control their healthcare costs.

Imagine if your family’s prescriptions cost almost $1,000 per month. All out of your pocket.

Jason, a father from Jackson, New Jersey, found himself in exactly that position. He has a steady job as an insurance claims investigator, but his company doesn’t provide health insurance. In the past, his wife’s career as a teacher provided the family’s insurance coverage.

With a preschool-aged daughter and the new addition of twins this past December, it became much more difficult for both parents to return to work. They tried a number of different solutions, but ultimately decided that Jason’s wife would stay home with the kids, and they’d make it work somehow.

When Jason’s wife resigned in August, she was immediately dropped by her insurance, and new insurance plans wouldn’t start coverage until October 1. That meant one month of paying out of pocket for all prescriptions and medical expenses, and hoping it didn’t push them over their budget right away.

This isn’t the first time they’ve been uninsured. After the birth of their first daughter, at the height of the 2008 recession, Jason’s wife was unable to find a new teaching job for 18 months. Knowing what lay ahead, Jason spent time investigating the available health care plans and other ways to save.

Jason came across GoodRx while looking for ways to reduce their health care costs. Unsure of how GoodRx’s discounted prices worked, he called several pharmacies and was relieved to hear that they were all familiar with GoodRx.

He printed coupons for a couple of medications and took them to CVS, where they confirmed they would accept the discounts as soon as he transferred his prescriptions.

At his old pharmacy, Jason was quoted $196 for 90 tablets of Adderall (amphetamine salt combo) and $200 for 60 tablets of Wellbutrin XL (bupropion XL). At CVS with a GoodRx coupon, he paid $59.95 for the Adderall and $118.55 for the Wellbutrin. Total saved at CVS? Over $218.

After his success at CVS, Jason also transferred some prescriptions to Target for more savings.

Jason was also quoted $125 at his old pharmacy for 60 tablets of Lexapro (escitalopram), $30 for 30 tablets of Ativan (lorazepam), and a shocking $387 for 30 tablets of Lunesta (eszopiclone). At Target with a coupon, it was only $24.85 for the Lexapro, $5.61 for the Ativan, and only $34.85 for the Lunesta. That’s more than $475 saved.

For one month of prescriptions, Jason reduced his costs from $938 to $243. If he continued to be uninsured, that would be a savings of around $8,340 a year. Thankfully, this month, Jason and his family will have insurance again. Even so, Jason expects to continue getting a lower price using a coupon on some high co-pay prescriptions like Lunesta.

Drugs featured in this story

Filed under