How to Cut Your Health-Care Costs

Medical debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Thanks to these online tools and tricks, you can get the care you need for less.

PAY LESS FOR MEDICATIONS

Add these websites, apps and strategies to your arsenal and save big.

Stick with a basic

Older treatments that work just as well as newer ones often are cheaper or covered at a better rate by insurers. Drugcompare.destinationrx.com can suggest alternative meds; talk to your doctor to see if you can safely make a swap.

Discover high-quality coupons

The GoodRx app and the website needymeds.org collect information on hundreds of coupons from manufacturers and pharmacies, increasing the chances you'll find one for the drug you take. Recently via needymeds.org, for example, you could find a $10 coupon for the asthma drug Advair, which can cost about $300 per month if you don't have insurance.

Try a trial

Big drug makers sometimes offer free trials of medications. Recently you could get a free 30-day sample of the cholesterol-lowering drug Crestor (retail cost: about $225) by going to the manufacturer's website and filling out a simple form.

Comparison-shop with your smartphone

The free apps GoodRx, LowestMed and WeRx (all Android and Apple) compare prescription-drug costs at chains. Even if you have insurance, the price might be lower than your co-pay. Sam's Club and Walmart offer some generic Rx drugs for $4, for example. Check all three apps; sometimes they find different deals.

Find the right discount card

If you don't have prescription drug coverage, or you need an Rx your insurance plan won't pay for, you might be able to score a deal with a discount card, like the ones offered through AAA and AARP. You also can find free savings cards at websites such as familywize.org and needymeds.org. Just know that not all cards cover all medications, and discounts can vary greatly. Check pparx.org to find a listing of card programs.

NEXT: CHOOSE A BETTER HEALTH PLAN

Pages