According to a PBS health report about a retiree on a Medicare Advantage plan, Z. Ming Ma was issued a prescription from her physician that cost $285 for a 90-day supply. “A month later,” the article says, “Ma and his wife were about to leave on another trip, and Ma needed to stock up on her medication.”
But her 90 days weren’t up, so Anthem wouldn’t cover it. “Ma asked the pharmacist how much it would cost if she got the prescription there and paid out of pocket,” the article says.
The total cash price was about $40.
This is not uncommon. In fact, a study from USC demonstrated that nearly 25 percent of all prescriptions filled at the pharmacy cost the insurer less than what the patient paid in a copay. Yes, that means paying cash is more affordable than using your insurance card.