How a new website and mobile app could save you money on prescription drug costs
You care about your health, but it can be expensive. Between doctor’s visits, co-pays, and prescription medication, the final bill can be more than you expect. But what if there was a way to make it cheaper?
This week on “Take Care,” Matthew Chaiken tells us about his new company Blink Health, and how they’re able to cut out the middle man when it comes to buying prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Chaiken co-founded Blink Health with his brother Geoffrey in 2014, and they launched the company’s website and mobile app this past February.
One of the most useful things Blink Health provides is the ability to look up the price of a drug before going to the pharmacy, according to Chaiken.
“[Prescriptions] are basically the only product that people buy where they have no way of knowing what the price is before they make the purchase,” Chaiken said.
Blink Health allows patients to compare the price of a medication they would get at a pharmacy with their insurance company and the price they could get it for through Blink Health to ensure the highest savings, says Chaiken. The company offers discounts and price checks on over 15,000 medications, while still allowing you to pick it up from the pharmacy you know and trust.
“[Patients] can pay for the medication right there on the website and we’ll give them a proof of purchase called the blink card, and when they go to the pharmacy to fill their medication like they always do, instead of showing their insurance card they’ll show that blink card to the pharmacist and they’ll pay nothing at pick-up,” Chaiken said.
According to Chaiken, you still need your prescription for both purchase on the website and pick-up at the pharmacy for verification. But if you still feel leery about purchasing your medication online, Chaiken assures that Blink Health complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and all personal information is safe. He adds that the website and mobile app are also secured by trusted software.
“Trust is paramount, and so we do everything and follow all the best practices to make sure patient information is always safe and secure,” Chaiken said.
Purchases through Blink Health are accepted at almost every independent pharmacy around the country, such as Walgreens, Target, and CVS to name a few, says Chaiken. But what you may be wondering now is: how is this possible?
Blink Health is partnered with a company called MedImpact, which negotiates low prices for medication with pharmacies. But instead of paying a markup with your insurance company, you get whatever price was originally negotiated by MedImpact when you buy medication through Blink Health, says Chaiken. In other words, the profit your insurance company would normally make is cut out of the equation and left in your pocket.
“What our technology does is it enables consumers, for the first time, to directly access prices that were historically reserved for the largest insurance companies,” Chaiken said. “We sort of cut a lot of fat out of the system, and that’s how we’re able to offer consumers much lower prices.”
Even if you’re not tech savvy, Chaiken says the Blink Health website and mobile app are very user friendly and easy to navigate.
“If they do have any trouble they can always call our customer support line,” Chaiken said. “We get everyone through the process; we want everyone to save, and we make sure they can do that.”