High-deductible health plans (HDHPs), those that require members to spend a large amount before they see any help from their insurance, are becoming the norm. In 2009, about 7% of large employers in the US offered only high-deductible plans. That percentage has more than quadrupled to 39% today.
But just because HDHPs are becoming the standard doesn’t mean they’re actually helping all of their members. High-deductible plans, while they promise a low monthly premium, can hit members with a surprise price tag of more than $1000 when an emergency arises. Many simply cannot afford to pay this expense and often choose to go without medical care.
So how do you save on your medical costs, still reach your deductible, and ultimately benefit from your insurance coverage? We’ve got some tips to help you below.
First, what is a high-deductible health plan (HDHP)?
High-deductible health plans require you to spend a large amount (typically about $2,000) before insurance starts to pay their share. You’ll be responsible for all of your healthcare costs during this deductible phase. HDHPs are often paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA), a savings account often offered by employers that can only be used for healthcare expenses.
When you have a high deductible plan, it can be hard to sort out what your insurance will cover and what it won’t. With HDHPs, it’s highly likely that you’ll have some sticker shock at the pharmacy counter, especially if you’re picking up expensive drugs.
How do you save on medications anyway?
Fortunately, there are many opportunities to save on your prescriptions, even when you’re in the deductible phase. You can often get a lower price by not using your insurance at all.
GoodRx provides discounts and coupons on prescription drugs, which can make the price of your medication cheaper than your insurance copay. They can be especially helpful if you’re tied to a high deductible.
Here’s how to save in three easy steps:
- At the pharmacy, ask your pharmacist how much your medication will cost through your insurance.
- Compare that price to GoodRx’s best price. (Download our mobile app so you can compare prices right at the counter!)
- If GoodRx has a better price, ask your pharmacist to use the GoodRx discount instead of your insurance.
In many cases, GoodRx can support your deductible requirements and work with your HSA. Here’s how you can take advantage of these benefits:
Using GoodRx to contribute to your deductible
If you purchase a medication with a GoodRx coupon and the drug is covered by your insurance, you can submit your receipt to your insurer and count that towards your deductible. That way, you’ll still be able to take advantage of your insurance coverage later (see this info sheet from the IRS).
This applies to almost all types of insurance plans, including those from private insurers, commercial health exchanges, Medicare and Medicaid. You’ll want to contact your individual provider to find out what information they’ll need from you and how to submit it.
Using GoodRx with your HSA
You can use funds from your HSA for GoodRx purchases. Prescriptions purchased using a GoodRx coupon or discount card usually count as qualified medical expenses (see the full list here). For more background on what an HSA is and how they work, take a look at this article.
Does it matter if my insurance doesn’t cover my prescription?
No. Even if your insurance plan doesn’t cover a drug you need, you can always use a GoodRx discount and your HSA, as long as it’s for qualified medical expenses as specified by the IRS. You just might not be able to send the receipt to your insurance provider or count it toward your deductible. Again, you’ll want to check with your individual plan to find out their specific requirements.
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