Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to school with food allergies... tips and ways to reduce medication costs!

This topic may seem a bit different from others, but for parents who have children with allergies and asthma, this time of year can be challenging. It means time to refill medications and send children to a new teacher or even new school.  That often can be stressful.  Today I want to provide a few practical tips to help make that transition a little smoother and in particular tips on how to reduce prescription drug costs for your child - and for you!
Some practical things to do:
  • Have an emergency plan signed by your doctor and understood by you, your child and all adults at your child's school.  Set up parent meetings right away and communicate clearly signs of a reaction and how to handle it. 
  • Have copies of the plan with all medications.  It can be helpful to make a copy and fold it in half so that you have a two sided document.   Shrink it as small as you can make it and still have it big enough to read quickly.  Then laminate the plan and make several copies.  Staples or copy center will do it for just a few dollars.  One laminated card goes with each and every emergency medication.  This way your emergency plan and all phone numbers, medications and action steps are right there for anyone who is with your child to act as necessary..
  • Practice using expired pens or other medical emergency medications.  Use grapefruit and walk your child through how they would use the medication.  This helps them feel confident that they would know what to do if in an emergency.  It also helps them to understand what you would do if they had a reaction.

  • Paying for medications can be tricky.  They can be expensive but it does not always have to be.   For brand products just about every pharmaceutical company will have a website for the product.  Go to the "medication name".com.  If that does not work, look at the manufacturers name and go to the main website.  Form there find medications and products and click on the product you want.  You should see a tab saying "savings" or "coupons".  You will need to put in information making sure you meet eligibility requirements however it only takes a minute or two.  It can be done standing right at the pharmacy for many different brand medications.  Once you fill out the eligibility information - simply download the pdf and hand your phone with the information to the pharmacist.  Sometimes a text message can be sent right to the phone.  You will be surprised on how much you can save.  Sometimes it can mean hundreds of dollars.  This is true of any branded medication.  Try it for all the non generics you need to purchase.   
  • The other source of stress for parents refilling medications this year has been expiration dates less than 12 months out.  The companies have recognized this is an issue and are offering extra coupons and savings.  If that happens to you, contact the company customer service number and they will walk you through what you need to do. It is well worth your time!
I hope this information is helpful and can provide you a few tips for getting organized as you send your child to school this fall.  Knowing your child is safe,  has a plan and the necessary medication will help you feel less stressed and more confident going into this new school year!
If you are dealing with anxiety or stress on a regular basis and are interested in learning if counseling or coaching services are right for you, check out my website or feel free to call for a free phone consultation at 908-337-3710.
Have a great school year!

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