SOS Mom Saver: Make Money on Prescriptions!

I think it's fairly safe to say that regardless of your views on the issue, most of us probably have health care on our minds right about now. I thought I'd use this opportunity to help you think of your prescriptions in an entirely different way.

I have a prescription that I have filled monthly (or every 3 months). I rarely have it filled without getting paid for it in some way. CVS, Walgreens, Target, & many local grocery stores will frequently have offers of gift cards in the amount of $10-$25 if you'll transfer your prescription to their pharmacy. If my script is at Walgreens, I transfer it to CVS & vice-versa.

I have been doing this for many years. I started taking regular meds 5 or so years ago & have been transferring ever since. The only time I didn't was when our insurance company required that all long-term meds be filled through mail-order. This was back before the local pharmacies offered mail-order themselves.

I can't even tell you how much I've made in gift cards over the years. Easily over a thousand. At least. I know that's a serious under-estimate because at one point I was on 3 meds every month every one of which was transferred to a different pharmacy with a new promotion every month. Most of those promotions were for $25-$35 each.

In other words, if you are on regular meds, you pretty much don't have to ever again pay out of pocket even for your co-pay if you play it right. Seriously.

These usually have a fairly long expiration date on them. For example, the most recent one for CVS came out this last Sunday (March 21st), but doesn't expire until May 4th. That gives you plenty of time to need to fill another script. Keep in mind that most insurance companies will allow you to fill one week before a monthly prescription is up & a full month before a 3 month prescription is up. If you're self-pay, you can fill them whenever you like so long as they're not a controlled substance & don't exceed the number of refills allowed by your doctor for the year.

No regular prescriptions to transfer? No worries! This might apply to you too! Most of these coupons specify in that pesky fine print that they also apply to new prescriptions. You never know when someone in your family might unexpectedly need a script filled. I'd say it's definitely worth it to hang on to the coupon until it expires just in case!

You can match these at some Wal-Mart stores, but that varies widely by location. I'd say it's at least worth a call to your local Wal-Mart to find out.

Some stores (not just Wal-Mart, but CVS, Walgreens, etc as well) will even match a competitor's coupon to keep you FROM transferring your prescription. If you're happy where you're at, it pays to ask. Don't think that because one store in a chain (CVS, Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, etc) tells you no that another won't do it. That's not necessarily true. Pharmacies have leniency in how they handle transfer coupons from store to store & region to region. Some will have more freedom than others depending on their district manager & even based on their sales that month (or the previous month). You might get a no this month, but a yes next month because their numbers were bad last month & they have to make up for it. In this case, you truly never know unless you ask...and you very well might get a yes!

Below is the offer that was put out by CVS this past Sunday. Note: This is only to give you an idea of what the coupons look like. This offer is NOT valid unless you have the original coupon which can be found in the weekly ad kept at the front of the stores, mailed to your home, or found in your Sunday paper. You CANNOT copy & print this & have it work!

CVS Prescription Gift Card Offer Thoughts of THAT Mom
It does say good at Nevada stores only. Don't worry. It said the same thing when we lived in Michigan & saw papers in Oklahoma. They make them state-specific so you can't trade for them online & get one from Florida to use in Nevada.

You will want to also note that if you have a prescription for a controlled substance (like a regulated pain killer such as morphine), you may not be able to easily transfer it from pharmacy to pharmacy. Some states as well as some localities have restrictions on this. Don't worry, they won't let you transfer the script if you can't. I just wanted to give you fair warning in case you encountered this.

If you have a regular prescription to fill, do you commonly use transfer coupons like this? If not, why?


Kim Van Klompenberg said...

Hi Amy,
It's late here and I haven't completely read your post, but I wanted to add that here in Holland Family Fare is also offering a $25 store gift card for new or trans. prescriptions this week.
Love ya and miss you :)

Unknown said...

Hi Amy I just wanted to pop on over and say Hi, You just added me as a friend on Hot Coupon World (karenlasvegas), I also have a blog but it has to do with my son and family. Maybe we can get together some day and swap coupons. I live on the Northwest side of town.