A review of SingleCare (Pharmacy discount card)

A review of Singlecare (pharmacy discount card)

I frequently have customers ask me if there is a way to get their medications cheaper.  I began doing some research since I can't just change the price where I work.  One of the solutions I found was to use prescriptions discount cards.  Through my experience Singlecare is one of the best and below is a a review and why I think so highly of the Singlecare prescription discount card.




What is SingleCare?

A healthcare company dedicated to helping people save money on their prescription medications and other healthcare services.  They offer a free prescription discount card for prescription medications in addition to discounted medical care, dental, vision,  and video visits with a physician, counselor, or dietitian.  

What makes SingleCare different?

The main difference is that SingleCare  offers discounted services for medical, dental, and vision in addition to a free prescription discount card.  They also offer video visits with a physician for minor conditions, counselors, and dietitians. SingleCare has a network of high quality providers that are willing to provide services for reduced rates for members.

SingleCare is not an insurance.  Therefore, you have completely transparent pricing. You know what you are going to pay for the service you select BEFORE you go to the provider.

Unlike other prescription discount cards SingleCare is NOT affiliated with a PBM (pharmacy benefits manager). You can read all about dirty scoundrel PBM tactics here.   SingleCare negotiates directly with pharmacies to provide you with the best savings.  They actively monitor their pricing and have a goal of beating their competitors pricing >80% of the time.   Yes, you read that right!  They are ACTIVELY working to reduce prescriptions prices for YOU!

There is only one other discount card I know of that is provided by a company that is not affiliated with a PBM.  In my experience these are the best discount cards offering the best, most reliable pricing to their customers without ulterior motives.

When using your free SingleCare prescription savings card you are not subject to prior authorizations, quantity limitations, and formulary exclusions that are commonly associated with prescription insurance plans.  SingleCare's pharmacy network consists of over 35,000 pharmacies nationwide including all of the major chains like Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Kroger, and others.

New as of March 28th 2018!
Singlecare has a unique feature in partnership with Penquin Pay, which allows patients to get 0% financing to help pay for more expensive medications over time instead of having to cough up the entire amount all at once.  I explain the process in more detail below.

The website:  SingleCare.com

The SingleCare.com is fresh and inviting.  The site is easy to navigate and the search function is front and center when the page first loads making it quick and easy to get started.  More details are listed about the program as you scroll down the page.  At the bottom are the links to the apps on both Google Play and Apple App Store.  Hidden among the many links at the bottom is a blog that has tremendous articles on maintaining health, the state of healthcare in America, and may other interesting topics.  They also have a live chat and a concierge customer service 800 number to call for assistance.

How does it work?

Using SingleCare to save on your desired service is easy.  Go to the SingleCare website to get started.
Here is a quick video overview courtesy of the SingleCare Youtube channel:

For medication savings:

  1. Search for the medication by entering the drug name and your zip code
  2. Adjust the quantity and dosage to match your prescription
  3. Compare prices and select the pharmacy you want to fill your prescription at
  4. click the "Get Free Coupon" button  
  5. Create a FREE account or sign in if you already have one
  6. select if how you want your coupon delivered, Text, Email, or print.  If you are on a mobile device the coupon will automatically display as well as provide the above options.
  7. Take or transfer your prescription to the desired pharmacy with the SingleCare coupon
  8. Fill your prescription and SAVE!

For other healthcare services:

  1. Search for the healthcare service you want or click the icon for the specialty you are looking for
  2. Select a procedure
  3. Compare prices 
  4. Select a provider and click "Book Appointment"
  5. Create a FREE account
  6. Go to your appointment, provide the provider your SingleCare information and get the procedure done.
  7. After your visit the provider will confirm the services provided and your billing method will be charged the agreed upon price. 

What I like:

SingleCare's discounted prescription pricing is often lower than your prescription insurance copay so always compare pricing using the app or website to save the most money.  Not being affiliated with a PBM allows them to negotiate prices directly with pharmacies.  Although this typically reduces how large their pharmacy network is, all of the major chains are contracted so access should not be a large concern.

The pricing quoted is accurate unlike some of the other discount cards that are run by PBMs.  Since they negotiate the prices directly with each pharmacy in their network there aren't any middlemen to mark anything up or change prices on a whim.

Click now to get $5 off the first prescription you fill at CVS or Walmart using the Singlecare prescription discount card.


If you are away on vacation and become sick or if you have restrictive network insurance you can utilize the affordable video physician visit service instead of paying an out of network insurance copay. If you have a large deductible, like my family does, with each physician visit costing over $125 the discounted video service for only $40 is very cost effective for.

On the prescription pricing page there is also information about medication and its uses if your physician didn't explain them to you .  This is nice quick overview but the best practice is to please ask your pharmacist for details when you fill your prescription.

The video services are fantastic and affordable at only $40 for a physician visit, $79 for a counselor, and $25 for a dietitian.  You can seek care 24 hours a day 365 days a year without leaving your house or waiting in a waiting room.   You don't even have to put pants on! HAHA.  How convenient is that?!

The app is AWESOME!  It is much easier to use than the website and you can obtain the prescription discount coupon information without having to register with an account and it is much  easier to edit the medication information to match your prescription.  Another benefit is that a map view feature of the participating pharmacies and the prices is available but is a sort of hard to find option.  It is a located as a little icon in the upper right corner of the search results page.



The new "Pay over time" feature, started in March of 2018, on select medications is great.  It offers individuals the ability to pay for expensive medications over a period of 4, 8, or 12 weeks with a 0% loan through a partnership with Penquin Pay.    You just select the feature when searching for your medication on the website or app, provide some information to obtain the loan, and a digital credit card will be funded and sent to your phone or email to use to pay at the pharmacy.


Things I didn't like:

In order to get the discounted drug pricing via the website you have to register with name and email.   I would prefer to just have the prescription discount coupon printable, emailed, or displayed on your mobile device without this extra step.   [Edit 4/21/17: they already took this feedback and changed the website to be able to obtain the coupon without registering!] Although you can skip the registration for prescription drug pricing if you download the mobile app.

They have a smaller network of pharmacies than most discount cards, but like I mentioned, I don't think that will be a major concern since all of the large chains are contracted.

The medication pricing tool on the website automatically prices a commonly prescribed strength and quantity of the medication submitted without an obvious way to change these parameters to match your prescription.

The website pharmacy pricing tool on the website does not have map view until after you click on pharmacy and then only shows the locations for that particular chain.  I would like to see the map view on the very first page of the query results that includes all locations and the prices within a certain radius, similar to the app functionality.

The Pay over time feature is only linked to a single medication.  If you use Singlecare for multiple medications which cumulatively add up to be a large sum of money this feature isn't available.  I'd like to see Singlecare offer this feature for individuals when the total amount of all of their medications purchased using the Singlecare card is above a certain threshold such as $50 or more.

Who can benefit the most from using Singlecare?

The true answer is everyone!  If you are insured and are prescribed a medication that isn't covered by your insurance present your Singlecare card and see if the discounted price is affordable for you.  medications that are commonly not covered by insurance are Adderall, Robitussin AC, phentermine, viagra, cialis, benzonatate, OTC medications like loratadine (claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), omeprazole (Prilosec), fluticasone (Flonase), and Miralax, vitamins and supplements like ferrous sulfate, magnesium, B12, B6, Beer's list drugs like  cyclobenzaprine(Flexeril), methocarbamol (Robaxin), and zolpidem (Ambien).

Although, individuals with high prescription deductibles or are uninsured,  and seniors in the medicare part D coverage gap will likely benefit the most.

People that have high prescription deductibles that are primarily on generic medications and won't ever meet their deductible before years end will benefit greatly.  There is no real reason to use your insurance unless they provide a sizable discount during your deductible phase.    Most of the time you are paying the pharmacy's inflated usual and customary pricing during your deductible phase of your insurance coverage.  Using a prescription discount card like Singlecare can save your a substantial amount of money!

If you have a health savings account (HSA) to pay for your medical and prescription expenses.  You situation is very much like the scenario above.  Extended the power of the money you have contributed to the HSA by using a discount card and getting your medications for as cheaply as you can.

Seniors that fall into the medicare part D coverage gap, AKA the donut hole, pay a higher price for their medications.  During this phase generic medications may be cheaper to buy using a discount card.  If you use a discount card to pay for your medication during the coverage gap the it doesn't count toward your out of pocket expenses but if you don't expect to get out of the coverage gap and into the catastrophic phase then saving all that you can with a prescription savings card is the way to go to reduce your overall money out of pocket until everything resets on January 1st.  The good thing is you have to option to use your insurance OR the discount card whenever you want to.

See some real savings:



Summary:

The services offered by SingleCare fill a void left by the traditional healthcare system.  The discounted prescription prices are very competitive when compared to other prescription discount cards and are the best I have found in many cases.  The app is very useful and well designed allowing the user to search for discounted prescription medication pricing easily and even has a very nice map view function.  The video provider visits are a convenience service that help keep you healthy or help you get better without having to leave your house.  Please take the time to visit SingleCare.com or download the SingleCare app and see how much their free discount membership can save you on your prescription medications and other healthcare services.  If nothing else just get a card and have it placed on your file at the pharmacy just in case.

Don't forget to also check out my personal experience with Blink Health and how I saved money on my wife's medication.

Disclaimer:  These opinions herein are my own honest thoughts. As a pharmacist my first priority is the health and well being of my patients, part of that is the affordability of their medications.