How Do Prescription Discount Cards Work?

Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any other country in the world. In fact, pharmaceutical spending per capita in the U.S. was $1,112 in 2016, and that number is expected to grow by 6.3 percent per year until 2025.

For those with multiple prescriptions or those who rely on monthly prescription renewals, retail costs and insurance co-pays add up over time. Believe it or not, there are ways to decrease your pharmacy bill without health insurance. Prescription discount cards provide discounts on both generic and name-brand medications—all you have to do is download your card.

What is a Prescription Discount Card?

A prescription discount card is a free, downloadable card that can be presented at participating pharmacies in order to receive discounts on your prescriptions. When you go to pay for your medications, all you have to do is present your card to your pharmacist and they’ll calculate your discounted price. That’s it!

With Community Cares Rx, your prescription discount card is pre-activated and valid for all family members in your household. There are absolutely no restrictions on who can receive discounts with the card. No matter your age, income, or health, your discount card will get you discounts on your prescriptions at more than 57,000 participating pharmacies in the U.S.

But how does a free, printed card get me discounts? We’re glad you asked! Our parent company, Paramount Rx, is a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PMB)—meaning they operate as an intermediary to negotiate drug pricing with participating pharmacies. Those negotiated discounted prices are then offered to you at our partner pharmacies, but only if you present your Community Cares Rx prescription discount card.

How Much Can You Save with a Pharmacy Discount Card?

Prices vary depending on the drug and pharmacy, but with the Community Cares Rx prescription discount card, you can receive up to 20 percent off brands and up to 70 percent off generics, with the average discount off the pharmacy’s normal price clocking in around 50 percent.

Prices can vary among participating pharmacies, so we suggest doing your research to find the best price in your area. In order to determine your discounted price prior to reaching the checkout counter, you can either use our free drug pricing tool or call the member service phone number located on the back of your card.

It’s important to note that sometimes a pharmacy’s retail price for your medication may be lower than the discounted price offered by your Community Cares Rx prescription discount card. In these situations, your pharmacist will ensure that you always receive the lowest price possible by charging you the retail rate.

Health Insurance Considerations

If you have insurance that covers a portion of your prescription costs, your Community Cares Rx prescription discount card cannot be combined with your insurance to receive a lower rate. Prescription discount cards can only be used in lieu of health insurance to pay for your medications and cannot be used to get a discount on insurance co-pays.

Rather than having to pay the required insurance co-pay on your medications every time you head to the pharmacy, you can ask your pharmacist to determine whether your insurance plan or prescription discount card would get you the cheaper price. In the long run, if the discounted price of your medications is lower than your insurance co-pay for the same medications, you could save hundreds of dollars on necessary prescriptions each year by opting to use your card rather than insurance. 

Prescription discount cards are a great option for those whose insurance only partially covers their prescriptions or requires a high deductible, those whose prescriptions are not covered by their insurance, and for those who do not have health insurance at all. At the end of the day, a Community Cares Rx prescription discount card can bring down your out-of-pocket costs on potentially lifesaving medications.