Due to an unfortunate stint in the emergency room this past summer, I single-handedly hit our health insurance deductible for the year. You know what that means? FREE STUFF!
(well, not for my employer or the other people who are paying in this insurance plan, but I digress…)
A few days ago I had my regular checkup with my psychiatrist who is managing the medication regimen that I use for depression. I’m pretty frank with my psychiatrist about money matters, so I always ask what’s the best way to get my money’s worth so that I can maximize my HSA dollars. I was down to my last few pills and was prescribed a 30 day supply of the medication (Wellbutrin, if you’re curious). My psychiatrist told me to fill my prescription ASAP so that I could get a “free” refill before the end of the year. How does that work, you ask?
My insurance company will allow most prescriptions to be refilled every 28 days (or whenever there should be about 90% remaining). By filling my prescription before tomorrow (November 5), I will be able to refill my prescription twice for “free” (remember I hit my deductible for the year) since there are two 28-day intervals before January 1; the last dates that I’d be able to refill are December 3 and 31. If I refilled my prescription every 30 days starting November 5, I will have to refill my prescription on December 5 and January 2. In that scenario, the second time I refill my prescription would be in 2012, so I would have to pay out-of-pocket (minus the insurance discount). By refilling my prescription a little early, I’ll be getting my January allotment of pills for “free” since I will be refilling the prescription this calendar year.
If you’ve hit your healthcare insurance deductible for this year, try to maximize your healthcare expenses before the year is up. You could potentially save a lot of money.
This post was originally published on November 4, 2011. I was going to write pretty much the exact post but remembered this was in the archives.