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Need to get antibiotics without insurance? You’re not alone, there are times when many people find themselves in hardship, or temporarily without insurance provision.
Here we’ll run through the options available to you to get antibiotics if you do not have insurance. But first, here’s the quick reference answer to start us off, then we’ll dive into the details.
How to get antibiotics without insurance? The options available to get antibiotics without insurance are:
- Pay the market price, which on average is below $20 for most antibiotics
- Ask your prescriber for generic antibiotic options
- Carry out a price comparison to obtain antibiotics at the lowest price
- Explore discounts, loyalty, or other programs that can get you antibiotics at a lower price
One of the options you should explore is the Patient Assistance Program from Prescription Hope as an easy means to obtain your meds at a very low price.
Also, check out our article on what to do when you can’t afford your medications.
Once you’ve done that, then read on for further options to get antibiotics without insurance.
You can get a Prescription for Antibiotics Without Having Insurance
Before we get into great detail, let’s define whether you need to have insurance to get a prescription for antibiotics.
Many automatically think insurance is required to get a prescription for antibiotics because the main purpose of an insurance plan is to cover the cost of expensive medications – which are usually prescription medications, like antibiotics.
If you’re asking whether you need to be enrolled into an insurance plan to get a prescription for antibiotics, then the short answer is no, you do not have to.
You can discuss whether you need a prescription for an antibiotic when you get yourself checked at a doctor – and if the doctor feels an antibiotic is necessary for your respective medical condition.
So, a doctor can prescribe you an antibiotic whether you have insurance or not.
Over-the-Counter Antibiotics When You Don’t Have Insurance
It’s natural to search for over-the-counter antibiotics, and it can be tough finding somewhere where you can obtain them without insurance.
This ultimately can also be an even more expensive route – not to mention stressful.
If you’re opting for over-the-counter antibiotics because you don’t have insurance or find it expensive for a doctor’s visit, then it’s probably likely you don’t have a prescription and may not have had a consultation with the doctor.
Unfortunately, doing this is potentially not good for your health and can, in fact, be detrimental to your condition and overall well-being. It can also lead to antibiotic resistance without proper medical attention.
Typically, oral antibiotics are not approved for sale over the counter in the USA. But here’s the full guide on what antibiotics pharmacists can provide.
There are certain over-the-counter topical antibiotics you can get which can be used on the skin. Since they are topical medications, they cannot be taken orally and are taken only in the form of a direct application using an antibiotic cream, ointment, or spray.
Using this route, you may be able to get these antibiotics over the counter, whether or not you have insurance. You can also arrange to have your prescription transferred to another pharmacy if you need to.
Common Over-the-Counter Topical Antibiotics Include:
- Neosporin (bacitracin, neomycin, polymyxin B)
- Polysporin (bacitracin, polymyxin B)
- Triple antibiotic, generic (bacitracin, neomycin, polymyxin B)
- Neosporin + Pain Relief Ointment (bacitracin, neomycin, polymyxin B, pramoxine)
These antibiotics don’t require a prescription, nor do they present a huge cost.
So, even if you don’t have insurance, you can obtain them fairly easily at a reasonable out-of-pocket cost.
However, if you require antibiotics for reasons other than those we’ve discussed, then you may have to pay for a doctor’s visit and get a prescription, which you can then get filled.
Or you may be considering taking a break from antibiotics. In which case, read our article on whether you can start your antibiotics again.
Options to get Antibiotics Without Insurance
Although this may be expensive for some, when you’re getting a prescription for an antibiotic or after you get a prescription, there are some things you can do to get antibiotics without insurance at a reasonable price.
Let’s go through some of the options in more detail.
1. Pay the Market Price
The first and most obvious thing you can do is pay the market price for your antibiotics.
The market price, on average, is below $20 for most antibiotics. As long as you have a valid prescription to obtain them, you can get them filled at any pharmacy.
Depending on your circumstances, this could represent an expensive one-off cost compared to what you would pay under an insurance plan.
The type of antibiotic you need could range from very inexpensive to expensive. You should often be able to afford them at a reasonable price even if you’re not under insurance.
2. Ask Your Prescriber for Generic Antibiotic Options
If you’re aware that the doctor has prescribed a brand name antibiotic, you can request generic options.
You can also explain to your doctor how you’re not covered by insurance and are looking for reasonable options. This should work in most instances.
Generic medications typically have the same active ingredients, dosage, and administration method as brand-name medications but at a fraction of the cost most of the time.
However, if your doctor feels that a generic version won’t provide the same output, then your doctor may turn down your request.
3. Carry Out a Price Comparison
With the advancement of information technology, many pharmacies are linked to online platforms where you can inquire about medications and their prices easily.
This means that affordable antibiotics are not out of reach when you don’t have insurance.
After you have a prescription for the antibiotics you need, you can check multiple different pharmacies for that drug and the price they charge. It is often surprising how much the prices for the same drug will vary from pharmacy to pharmacy.
So, doing some quick research to determine what each pharmacy is charging for the antibiotic you need can save you significant money.
4. Explore Discounts, Loyalty, or Other Programs to get Antibiotics
There are many loyalty and discount programs offered by large retailers, supermarkets, or pharmacies. These programs can facilitate antibiotics at a reasonable rate when you don’t have insurance.
Aside from this, there are several state or national medication assistant programs where you may be able to obtain antibiotics at a low price when you don’t have insurance coverage.
Certain drug replacement programs provide medication-free or at a reduced cost to eligible patients.
Some of the eligibility criteria for this program include patients facing financial difficulties, legal residency status, and patients under the care of a healthcare provider licensed and authorized to prescribe, dispense, and administer medications.
Discuss these programs with your treating physician, or find out more about how Patient Assistance Programs work.
Even some drug manufacturers offer free or very minimal cost medications for patients who can’t afford them.
You can contact the drug manufacturer and inquire if you’re eligible for such programs, if available and when you’re uninsured. We work with over 1500 medications across many drug providers, so we can make that assessment for you.
Finally, you can also explore some mail-order options. Mail-order pharmacies allow you to order a 3-month supply of medication if approved by your doctor, which can be cheaper.
Through this method, you may get bulk discounts that will reduce your cost to get antibiotics without insurance.
We hope this has given you a better understanding of how you can get antibiotics without insurance. If you are without insurance but still require medication beyond antibiotics, then it can be very difficult to afford.
This is why Prescription Hope exists. Check out the medications we work with and enroll in our program to see if you are eligible to pay just $50 a month for each prescription drug you need.