Eight questions to ask before buying a drug discount card

With prescription drug prices going through the roof, everybody and their brother is offering drug discount cards these days. Unfortunately, a lot of these cards are scams. Warns the McAllen (TX) Monitor:

Be wary of drug-discount cards or plans that charge fees, experts said. And watch out for hidden costs. Some scammers have made money by “helping” people sign up for discount programs that are actually available for free, the attorney general’s office reports. In 2005, the attorney general sued Senior Rx Support of Dallas, a mail-order prescription service, for offering to help with discount forms for a fee, and then asked participants to lie about their income.

Stay away from companies that charge a fee for information on free or low-cost drug programs — that information is free from your doctor, pharmacist or an organization called the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, the FTC says.

The paper recommends asking the following eight questions before buying a discount drug card:

  1. Is there an income or age limit?
  2. Who does the plan cover?
  3. Is there a fee?
  4. What is the copayment, if there is one?
  5. Do you have to use a “participating pharmacy,” and where are those pharmacies?
  6. Does the plan cover brand-name and generic drugs?
  7. Can I get a detailed description of the card’s coverage?
  8. What are the options for canceling this card?

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