Are Online Canadian Pharmacies Helpful if I Have Insurance?
high drug prices
In the United States, costs for prescription drugs are rising precipitously. So are out-of-pocket costs for the many Americans who require medications for their physical health and everyday quality of life.
Unfortunately, this is true of both the millions of uninsured Americans and those who have healthcare coverage. This may come as a surprise to many who believe their insurance premiums will shield them from steep healthcare or medication expenses.
If you face skyrocketing charges for your needed medications, you may have some questions. Are drugs cheaper in Canada? Do a lot of people use online Canadian pharmacies? (Spoiler: the answer is yes to both questions.)
Purchasing your medication through a certified online Canadian pharmacy is as safe and simple as buying from a corner store. What’s more, by purchasing your medication internationally, you can save up to 90% over retail and enjoy a lot of convenience over other cost-lowering methods.
Cutting prescription drug coupons (or downloading an app) no longer cuts it for America’s prescription drug needs. You need an easier, more effective solution you can trust. One that doesn’t involve savings cards or scouring the internet for manufacturer-approved discount cards.
Here’s how online Canadian pharmacies are helping millions of Americans — even those already paying for health coverage.
Can Online Canadian Pharmacies Help Even if You Have Insurance?
In theory, having health insurance should help reduce your out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications. Otherwise, why would you pay so much for premiums? Right?
But here’s the thing: When drug companies increase the cost of prescription medications, even insured parties end up with higher out-of-pocket expenses.
In 2020, US News and World Report reported a consistent rise in drug prices over the past decade at three times the rate of inflation. One recent study reported an increase in list prices for many brand-name drugs of about 17% between 2015 and 2017.
Patients with insurance plans including required deductibles and co-insurance payments saw a nearly identical increase in their out-of-pocket costs. Ultimately, these patients paid almost 15% more for their medications.
Prescription Price Projections
It’s expected that costs for prescription medications will continue to rise due to the steep costs of raw materials and soaring operational costs (as well as other factors). Therefore, it’s reasonable to expect at least a portion of that cost to be passed along to consumers. Experts agree, projecting price hikes for prescription drugs at least through the end of 2021.
Recent years have shown us even insured Americans are paying more and more for prescription medications. According to one recent CNBC poll, 20% of those surveyed pay more than $100 a month out of pocket for their prescriptions. 40% say their insurer declined to cover a prescription at least once in the past year.
As a result, many United States citizens are being forced to make difficult decisions regarding their health. According to sources interviewed, Harvard School of Public Health officials found when insurance plans don’t cover needed drugs, nearly half of the people affected simply don’t fill the prescription.
Even if they do fill the prescription, many people try to make the medication last longer by taking less than their prescribed dose. The main issue here is that medication must be taken as directed in order for it to be effective.
The more expensive prescription medication becomes, the less likely people are to adhere to the instructions given by their physician. In the short-term, it may seem like they’re saving themselves money. However, in the long-term, medication nonadherance is extraordinarily expensive.
Clearly, even those with insurance are in need of an affordable way to source prescription drugs. Their steadily increasing insurance costs don’t help — making a way to find cheaper meds an absolute necessity.
How Costs are Shifting from Providers to Enrollees
The Kaiser Family Foundation’s (KFF) yearly employer health benefits surveys have shown increases in enrollee costs for many years now.
In 2019, the average single premium had increased by 4%, and the average family premium by 5%. In 2020, single and family premiums increased by another 4%. Each time, these increases were higher than the rate of inflation and worker wage increases.
In other words, prescription medication costs are increasing, insurance costs are increasing, and Americans are not making more money to cover those rising costs.
Meanwhile, insurance companies are profiting. While at the start of 2020 insurers were worried about how they’d do financially, another Kaiser Family Foundation study found insurers remained profitable through the end of the year.
The Blame Game
As healthcare and prescription medication affordability spirals out of control, nobody wants to take ownership of the problem (or pay the rising costs).
The drug industry blames insurance companies.
In turn, insurance companies pass skyrocketing costs to employers, because they realize they won’t be the ones responsible when the bill is due.
Then, according to one expert at George Mason University, employers respond by passing rising healthcare costs to their employees. After an assessment of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, economist Priyanka Anand found that every time employer health care costs rose by one dollar, the overall compensation of the affected employees was cut by as much as 52 cents.
With their diminishing pay, American workers are being forced to choose the most affordable health insurance plans possible. This leads Americans — in startlingly high numbers — to choose high deductible health plans, or HDHPs.
In fact, since these plans are usually lower-cost for employers as well, US News & World Report has found many employers are offering perks to encourage employees to select HDHP options.
A KFF analysis of the distribution of health plan enrollment found 31% of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance plans chose an HDHP in 2020 — up from 24% in 2015. (Other sources have found the number of Americans with an HDHP may be as high as 51%, especially when taking options such as individual health insurance into account.)
Unfortunately, HDHP options may not provide much help for Americans who require prescription medications.
High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs)
High deductible health plans are exactly what they sound like: insurance plans with higher deductibles, or thresholds the insured party must meet before their insurance kicks in.
HDHPs come with lower premiums and therefore, can be a good way to save money on health insurance — assuming you rarely use your insurance. For example, healthy people who take few (if any) medications will likely benefit because they don’t require much medical attention.
If you require a lot of medications or medical support and you’ve been pushed to an HDHP, your experience may be very different.
Until you reach your deductible (and also possibly afterward), you’ll be paying out-of-pocket for any medications you need. This means you’re at the mercy of rising costs, paying rates negotiated between your insurance company and the pharmaceutical company that will be anything but cheap. (After all, neither of those parties has any incentive to keep your costs low.)
For some, this may not sound too terrible, depending on the price of their medication. For example, if their medication costs $500.00 per month, and their deductible is $5,000.00, they could at least hope they’d save $1,000.00 at the end of the year.
However, there’s a catch — the money you pay for prescription medications doesn’t necessarily count towards your deductible.
In our above $5,000.00 example, the customer would need to pay for their $500.00 per month medication and $5,000.00 in other medical costs before their insurance would cover a dime.
And, of course, all of this would be on top of their (rising) premiums.
Many Americans simply aren’t making enough to cover these growing costs.
If you don’t require a lot of qualifying medical support, or if you really only need prescription medications to manage your health, you may never meet your high deductible — and insurance won’t help at all.
This makes finding a safe-yet-creative way to source medications increasingly essential, regardless of coverage.
Are Drugs Really Cheaper in Canada?
The short answer is yes, absolutely. If you’ve never purchased medications from an online Canadian pharmacy before, the amount you could save will surprise you.
For example, for some of the most common medications prescribed in America, the savings can be stratospheric:
- Estring, a famously expensive hormonal replacement therapy, costs upwards of $550.00 in the U.S. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can find it for about $108.00.
- Synthroid, a medication formulated to help treat hypothyroidism, can be found in the U.S. for $0.78 per pill. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, its price starts at about $0.30 per pill.
- The Flovent HFA Inhaler costs $255.00 in the United States. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can purchase it for about $41.00 per inhaler.
All told, NorthWestPharmacy.com can provide savings of up to 90% on prescription drugs.
And even better, your prescription will be mailed right to your door.
How to Buy Prescription Meds from Canada
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we make purchasing safe prescription medications simple. You can order online, by phone, or by fax. Here’s how it works:
- Locate your needed medications by browsing our site. You can also use the category tabs and search function to find what you’re looking for.
- Once you have everything you need, proceed to check out. For online purchasing, simply click over to your shopping cart. We’ll guide you through account creation, shipping, and payment. For mail and fax, print and fill out our customer agreement and order form. Or, if you’d rather place your order with a service representative directly, give us a call at 1-866-539-5330.
- For any prescription items, we will require proof of prescription. You can upload, fax, email, or mail us this information.
One question we often get is how common it is for Americans to purchase medication from an online Canadian pharmacy. The truth is, it’s more common than you think. Americans make up about 90% of our customer base.
However, we understand it’s easy to be nervous about purchasing medication online — especially if it’s your first time doing so. This is only one of the reasons we make your safety our number one priority.
Are Online Canadian Pharmacies Safe?
Despite widespread skepticism of online solutions and even skeptical website advisories, properly certified online pharmacies are just as safe as your brick-and-mortar go-to’s.
There are certainly those who aren’t in favor of online Canadian pharmacies, but the root of their concerns don’t genuinely appear to be due to safety issues. Instead, it’s a matter of competition. Those who perpetuate the myth that online Canadian pharmacies aren’t safe are often funded by large United States pharmacy chains or Big Pharma lobbies and don’t want to endorse alternatives because it will reduce the profits of the corporate special interests that back them.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we’re here to protect your safety and your savings. We maintain strict safety standards from unbiased organizations, including the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC).
We’re proud to have a 4.8-star rating on TrustPilot and Shopper Approved, with over 400,000 reviews from consistently satisfied customers.
As part of our CIPA and IPABC requirements, a pharmacist reviews each prescription against the patient’s health history to check for contraindications. Customers also have access to our pharmacists to answer any questions.
How Online Canadian Pharmacies Can Save You Money
United States drug prices are increasing dramatically and don’t appear to be slowing anytime soon. Even if you’re insured, there’s a very good chance your out-of-pocket expenses are rising as well.
If your health and financial situations are forcing you to make uncomfortable or even dangerous decisions, you should know prescription drugs are often cheaper in Canada, and CIPA-certified online Canadian pharmacies and international drugstores are safe for you to use.
You can find both brand name and generic medications for less by relying on NorthWestPharmacy.com for your pharmaceutical needs.
We’re here to help you find the prescription drugs you need, and we understand a big part of that is being able to chat with knowledgeable, friendly representatives. Whether you call or email us for information, you can expect timely answers from a person you can trust. Our representatives can help you understand your prescription, navigate the ordering process, and more.
Please don’t hesitate to give NorthWestPharmacy.com a call at 1-866-539-5330, and we’ll help you find what you need. We look forward to helping you save money!