Allergies can put a major dent in your wallet. Between prescription medications, over-the-counter pills, allergy shots, and doctor’s appointments, allergy treatment costs can quickly add up. But you don’t have to break the bank to get relief from stuffy noses, itchy eyes, and endless sneezing. With some smart strategies, you can slash your allergy costs in half this season.
After years of paying outrageous prices for my own allergy care, I’ve discovered clever ways to cut costs dramatically without sacrificing my health and wellbeing. Read on for my best insider tips for saving big time on allergy treatment.
Tip #1: Seek Out Generic Medications
Brand name allergy drugs like Claritin and Zyrtec can run $30 or more for a monthly supply. Meanwhile, generic versions of these same active ingredients often sell for under $10. Ask your pharmacist if a generic is available for any prescription allergy meds you take. For over-the-counter treatments, always opt for the generic store brand. You’ll get the same results for a fraction of the price.
Tip #2: Buy Allergy Medicines in Bulk
Purchasing larger quantities of the allergy medications you take regularly can seriously cut costs. Warehouse stores like Costco sell big bottles of generic allergy pills for cheap. You can also find great deals by shopping online pharmacies and using services like Amazon Subscribe & Save for scheduled deliveries. Paying a higher upfront cost means paying less per pill over time.
Tip #3: Use Coupons and Loyalty Programs
Never pay full price for brand name allergy products when coupons abound both online and in weekend newspaper circulars. Allergy sufferers can save 20% or more on must-have medications by using promo codes and printable coupons from sites like GoodRx.com. Sign up for rewards programs through drugstores and superstores for exclusive discounts on the items you buy regularly.
Tip #4: Ask for Free Samples
Don’t be shy to request free samples of medications anytime you visit your allergy doctor. Pharmaceutical reps provide doctors with plenty of samples to hand out to patients. With a couple freebies in your pocket each appointment, you can stock up on the latest allergy treatments without cracking open your wallet.
Tip #5: Buy Allergy Supplies in the Off-Season
Like winter coats and swimsuits, allergy medications and products follow a seasonal cycle. Prices always peak when demand is highest. Shop for allergy essentials like saline spray, air purifiers, allergen covers and OTC meds during the fall and winter when inventories are high but demand is low. You’ll score rock-bottom prices on the items you’ll need in spring.
Tip #6: Look for Special Discounts and Rebates
Keep an eye out for special promotions exclusively for allergy sufferers. Sign up for pharmacy discount programs and download mobile apps to receive coupons and alerts about deals. Some allergy medications offer rebates when you provide your receipt and other documentation. Put in the effort upfront to score cash back months later.
Tip #7: Fill Prescriptions at Low-Cost Pharmacies
Independent pharmacies and drugstore chains like Costco often provide generic prescription medications for far less than big retailers. Shop around and compare prices between local pharmacies. Also, check if your employer or health insurance plan offers discounted prescription benefits at certain participating providers. Filling your prescriptions at the right place could save you a bundle.
Tip #8: Buy Online from Verified Pharmacies
While using caution, you can take advantage of cheaper prices on allergy medications at reputable online pharmacies like HealthWarehouse.com and AllergyZone.com. Only order from licensed pharmacies that require prescriptions and have licensed doctors on staff. Verify an online pharmacy through organizations like the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
Tip #9: Talk to Your Doctor About Alternatives
Sometimes effective allergy relief doesn’t require expensive brand name drugs at all. Talk to your allergist about prescription-strength generic options that might work for you. Also discuss supplement alternatives that may provide symptom relief at a fraction of the cost. Your doctor may suggest natural solutions like quercetin, butterfly stinging nettle, and freeze-dried neti pot saline packs.
Tip #10: Get Shots at Your Doctor’s Office
Allergy shots provide long-term relief by gradually desensitizing your immune response over time. Administered in-office, these injections can minimize the need for endless OTC and prescription allergy drugs. Get vaccinated at your doctor’s office instead of independent clinics to save big on administration fees. Also check if your health insurance covers allergy shots.
The key to slashing allergy costs dramatically is vigilantly hunting for deals and rebates, shopping smart, using generics whenever possible, and discussing inexpensive alternatives with your doctor. While allergy care will always require some investment, implementing these practical strategies can help you achieve 50% or more in seasonal savings. Say goodbye to outrageous allergy expenses and keep more money where it belongs – in your wallet!