Clark Howard: How To Save On Prescriptions

ATLANTA,None — With health care costs going up, many employers are encouraging their workers to use a mail order pharmacy.

In some cases, it may save you money. But as Channel 2 Action News consumer adviser Clark Howard explains, sometimes, it's cheaper to avoid mail order.

Take Mevacor, a cholesterol drug, for example.

At drugstore.com, a 90-day supply of Mevacor cost $215.92. The generic version, Lovastatin, cost $59.99.

But Clark says he can beat that price.

Michael Jacobs, of Buck Consultants, is an expert on prescription prices.

Here's what he said you should do if you have insurance.

First, pull out your insurance card.

"Call your vendor ... ask what your co-pays are for both retail and for mail types of programs," Jacobs said.

Mail order plans will vary depending on your health insurance plan. Clark checked his insurance plan and a 90-day supply of Lovastatin in the mail will cost him $20.

But Clark still wondered if he could beat the mail order price.

"The other thing I would suggest is start going to your retailer websites, and see if they have a low-cost program, specifically if it's generic," said Jacobs.

Clark tried the Kroger site and found a list of prescriptions that only cost $10 for a 90-day supply. Lovastatin is on the list.

The medicine Clark could get for nearly $60 at drugstore.com, or $20 through his insurance provider's mail order program, would only cost him $10 at Kroger.

Clark said tons of stores have cheap prices on generics, so before you automatically assume that mail order is cheapest, check out the prices at the stores first.