Will an Online Canadian Pharmacy Accept Insurance?
high drug prices
Everybody wants to see lower prices when they purchase their prescription meds. Whether you’re one of the millions of uninsured Americans or you have healthcare coverage, you likely agree.
Here’s the thing: If you’re insured, you assume that your copay will be lower than the out-of-pocket cost for your medications. If you’re insured, you’re paying money each month – very likely, quite a lot of money – banking on that assumption.
Increasingly, you wouldn’t be so lucky.
Believe it or not, nearly one in four insurance copays are higher than the out-of-pocket cost of the drug.
Between the rising premiums people are paying for insurance plans and the inflated copays they’re handing over for prescriptions, insured Americans may be paying far more than is necessary for medications.
So, if you’re wondering whether an international online pharmacy will accept your insurance, here’s our answer: No, an online Canadian pharmacy cannot accept your insurance.
However, the out-of-pocket expense for paying for the drug directly is often lower than your co-pay.
A lot of people use online Canadian pharmacies. Not all of them are insured. And even if you do have insurance, we’re willing to bet that buying your meds from Canada online can offer a better experience – and lower out-of-pocket costs – than the average brick-and-mortar pharmacy.
Buying Drugs From Canada May Result in Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs
American patients tend to think of insurance as a safety net, but, more and more, it can just be a confusing letdown.
As Geoffrey Joyce, USC economist, says: “You have insurance because your belief is, you’re paying premiums, so when you need care, a large fraction of that cost is going to be borne by your insurance company.”
That may not always be the case.
Now, as you see stories about people with insurance handing over co-pays as high as $285.00 for a $40.00 drug, it’s natural to be curious.
Is insurance really helping Americans out as much as they think? How can it possibly be more expensive to buy meds through our (also expensive) insurance plans? Can Canadian online pharmacies save insured Americans money?
Why Insurance Co-Pay Prices are Higher Than Prices for Meds from Canada
When the costs for prescription medications go up, even insured people end up paying more money for them.
Why are the drug prices so high to begin with – and what role does insurance play in making prescription drug prices higher than they need to be?
Below, we’ll lead you through a medication’s journey from the manufacturer through insurance and pharmacy to you.
Higher Prices from Drug Manufacturers
The retail price for a drug initially relies on many different factors. For example:
- How many patients the drug can treat
- The other similar drugs on the market
- How much life improvement the drug can offer
While the basic formula for a prescription drug price may be simple to state, the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t necessarily make it easy to figure out how much a specific drug costs.
Simply put, it’s not in their best interest to do so.
Drug manufacturers have indicated that they’re trying to keep prices low. However, these manufacturers have been plagued by the same supply chain issues, increased demand, and inflation affecting every industry over the past few years.
As a result, retail drug prices keep going up.
This means that the base price the drug manufacturer offers to the insurance company may be (much) higher than ever before.
Higher Prices at the Insurance Company
Every insurance company can negotiate its own drug costs. They’ll take a look at what the drug manufacturer is able to offer and start a conversation about how to get the best deal possible.
In theory, this is great. Insurance companies may be able to get themselves (and, hypothetically, the patients they cover) a better price.
In reality, this creates wildly confusing price discrepancies.
Since there are thousands of different insurance companies in the United States, there’s no guarantee that one company’s lower price will mirror another’s. Patients need to spend exorbitant amounts of time trying to figure out which company offers the lowest prices for the medications they need most.
To make matters worse, almost no insurance companies offer transparent pricing structures, which means these patients need to call different companies multiple times in hopes of getting a straight answer.
Navigating the complexities of insurance is costing Americans incredible amounts of time and energy.
And, of course, insurance is simply costing Americans more money.
Premiums, or the payments Americans make to insurance companies in order to have coverage, have been steadily increasing for decades.
Insurance premiums rose 20% from 2011 to 2016. They went up a further 22% between 2016 and 2021. It doesn’t seem like that trend will reverse anytime soon.
Higher Prices at the Pharmacy Counter
When a pharmacy works through insurance to charge you more than necessary for medication, it’s called a “clawback.” Here’s how it works:
When you get a prescription filled and show up to pay with your insurance, the pharmacist will run your information through their system to figure out how much you owe. The amount you pay right then, out of pocket, is commonly called your ‘co-pay.’
A Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), a third-party negotiator, will determine your co-pay.
Because of the PBM’s relationship with both the pharmacy and insurance company, it will almost always be in the third party’s financial interest to overcharge you for the medication.
Even though the medication you need may only cost $40.00, because you’re purchasing it within the insurance system, you may hand over a co-pay of $50.00 (or more).
This may not seem like much, but a few clawbacks here and there add up.
In a study run by the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, researchers found that over 9.5 million prescriptions that were filled in a six-month period, customers overpaid (via co-pay) some $135 million.
Lower Prices, Better Perks: Purchasing Meds from Canada
Between clawbacks, rising premiums, higher prices from drug manufacturers, and a distinct lack of customer-friendly perks, it may seem that purchasing your prescription meds through insurance isn’t as great an option as you previously thought.
Buying drugs from Canada may present a better alternative for several reasons.
Online Canadian Pharmacies Don’t Charge Inflated Co-pays
You don’t find any dubiously-high co-pays at our online pharmacy for one simple reason: We don’t work with American insurance.
Instead of arbitrary co-pays or nefarious clawbacks, you’ll find consistently low prices.
We source medication from drug manufacturers all over the globe. Because we’re able to look far and wide, we are often able to find better deals than American insurance companies and pharmacies.
Additionally, as we don’t deal with insurance, we’re able to sidestep much of the logistics and paperwork that comes with America’s complex insurance system.
That results in lots of time saved for our team.
We pass those savings straight to you.
Online Canadian Pharmacies Won’t Suddenly Decide to Stop Covering Your Medication
Sometimes, drugs can become so expensive that insurance companies won’t cover them anymore.
In other cases, an insurance company will decide to cover only one of a specific class of drugs – or only the generic version of a medication.
If your doctor prescribes a specific medication (brand name or otherwise) that your insurance doesn’t cover, it places you in a tough situation.
And, possibly, even a dangerous one: the Harvard School of Public Health found that when insurance companies don’t cover needed medications, 50% of affected patients won’t fill the prescription.
Other patients may decide to purchase their required meds, but may try to space out the doses to save a little money. This is called medication nonadherence, and it’s very dangerous.
This practice can reduce the efficacy of the desired treatment and even result in further illness (and more required medications).
Online Canadian Pharmacies Don’t Deal With Deductibles
Your insurance plan may require you to reach a deductible before it actually helps you with any health costs.
As premiums go up, many Americans are opting for a High Deductible Health Plan. With this type of coverage, patients handle all or the majority of their health costs out of pocket, until they hit a certain threshold.
These plans are usually cheaper than more immediate coverage. This has historically made them an excellent option for young, healthy people who rarely need their insurance.
For people who require chronic medications, these high-deductible plans are much less helpful. They might spend thousands of dollars on their required prescription drugs before insurance does a thing.
Even worse, for some plans, prescription medications don’t count towards that deductible. This effectively negates the benefit of insurance for people who don’t spend much on medical care but do have ongoing needs for medications.
Online Canadian Pharmacies Help the Millions of Uninsured Americans
If you don’t have health insurance, you’re far from alone.
In 2020, 28 million Americans did not have health insurance at any point during the calendar year.
Even if insurance were an unproblematic solution for those who can afford it, clearly, those 28 million Americans deserve access to affordable medications, too.
That’s one of the reasons we don’t work with insurance: We want to assist everyone, not just people who are able to buy coverage.
Whether you don’t have insurance now or worry that you could lose it in the future, online Canadian pharmacies will be there to connect you with your required medications.
Want to See Just How Much Cheaper Meds from Canada Can Be?
We have a huge range of prescription and non-prescription products available for our customers! We’re particularly proud to offer steep savings on some of the most expensive medications prescribed in America, such as:
- Synthroid, a medication that can help with hypothyroidism, which retails for $0.78 per pill. We sell it for $0.30 per pill (61% savings!).
- Estring, a $550.00 hormone replacement therapy, is available through us for just $108.00 (80% savings!).
- The Flovent HFA Inhaler, an expensive asthma treatment that retails for $255.00. Here, you can buy it for $41.00 (84% savings!).
No matter what type of medication you need, we’re excited to make this process easy for you.
Buying Drugs from Canada? Here’s Exactly How You Can Save
Health and finances are two incredibly stressful subjects for most people.
We don’t think that skyrocketing insurance and drug costs should force anyone to choose between their health and their financial stability. That’s why we work directly with you to provide access to low-cost brand-name medications.
As long as you have a valid prescription, you can search for and buy the medications you need online at NorthWestPharmacy.com in just a few clicks.
If you do have insurance and you’d like to pursue reimbursement for any orders made through NorthWestPharmacy.com, we’re happy to facilitate that! Just let us know, and we’ll provide a proper receipt for insurance purposes if your insurer reimburses out of country medication purchases.
As drug prices in the United States continue to rise, we understand that you need a simple, stress-free avenue to get the medications you and your loved ones need.
We also understand that buying medication online can be confusing and stressful, particularly if it’s your first time.
We’re here to make the entire experience as simple and straightforward as possible by:
- Being transparent about our safety standards. We follow all of the guidelines set forth by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) and the International Pharmacy Association of British Columbia (IPABC). Websites certified by these organizations are reputable, safe, and secure.
- Giving you three different ways to order your meds. Want to speak with someone about your order and receive step-by-step instructions? Call us to place your order. Want convenience and privacy when you fill your prescription? Order online. Prefer fax or traditional mail? We can help you there, too.
- Staffing a reliable customer service desk. We understand that you need to be confident your order will go well. Whether you need to speak with a pharmacist about your prescription or would like to ask a question of our friendly service team, we’re here for you seven days a week.
Interested in learning more about what we offer? Check out our online pharmacy reviews! We’ve had hundreds of thousands of reviews, and average 4.8/5 stars.
When you’re ready to place an order, call NorthWestPharmacy.com at 1-866-539-5330 (or start the ordering process online). We look forward to helping you save money on your prescription medications!