Email Drug Price Updates Save Time and Money

In an earlier post, I described how Rosa used the GoodRx prescription drug discount card and website to save money on her generic maintenance drug prescriptions and how GoodRx also offered pricing updates via email.  I’m writing this post to report Rosa’s experience with the email drug price update feature.

How email price update works

Rosa signed up for the free email drug price update feature.  When there is a price change affecting one of the drugs that Rosa has listed on GoodRx, she receives an email.  For example, she was notified that one of her drugs was added to the Walmart list of drugs that sell at the $10.00 per 90-day supply price.  Through her insurance, she had been paying $5.00 per 30-day supply for that drug, so the price change update saved her $5.00 per 90-day supply.  Another time, she received an updated discount price for a 90-day supply of a different drug that had only qualified for a 30-day supply discount previously.  By taking advantage of the 90-day discount, Rosa saved $4.00 every 90 days. So far, the email price updates have reduced Rosa’s prescription drug costs by $9.00 every 90 days or $3.00 per month.

No more drug price research

In addition to the price savings, the email updates save Rosa time: she doesn’t have to research the price of each drug every time she refills a prescription, and she doesn’t have to check with Walmart repeatedly to determine which of her drugs are on the $4.00 30-day supply and the $10.00 90-day supply lists.

Save money and time when purchasing maintenance prescription drugs by utilizing the GoodRx email drug price updates.

K. C. Knouse is the author of True Prosperity: Your Guide to a Cash-Based LifestyleDouble-Dome Publications, 224 pages

Insurance Review Adds Value to Coverage

Rosa and I have heard that it’s a good idea to periodically review our insurance coverage with our agent to confirm that we have the right coverage for our current life situation; things change in our lives and our insurance coverage should reflect those changes. However, we have always been leery of a review of our insurance policies, because we thought it was just an excuse for the agent to pitch more coverage. Rosa and I recently lost the insurance agent who handled our homeowner’s and auto policies to retirement. Our new agent recommended a review of our homeowner’s and auto insurance coverage. Our experience with this new agent convinced us of the value that could be derived from a periodic review of our insurance coverage.

Computer software makes reviews quick and informational

We met with the agent who engaged us in conversation in an attempt to get to know us, our current life situation, and our plans for the future. The agent reviewed both the homeowner’s and auto policies with us. He was able to bring up the policy details on the computer. The monitor was turned at an angle so we could see the information and follow along. The agent experimented with different combinations of coverage and deductibles and updated the premiums as we watched.

Changes in coverage and deductibles results in better value

The homeowner’s policy came under review first. The current coverage exceeded the replacement value of the house by $13,000. The agent suggested we reduce the coverage to match the replacement value of the house and that we also reduce the deductible from 1% to 1/2% of the replacement value of the house. We balked at the reduction in the deductible, because we new it would add to the cost of the policy. The agent ran the numbers, and although there was a slight increase in the premium, it wasn’t enough to keep us from making the adjustments to the deductible that the agent suggested. He pointed out that if we had just one claim within the next 15 years we would come out ahead: we would realize more in savings due to the reduced deductible than we would pay in extra premiums. The odds are good that we will have a claim within the next 15 years; we’ve had three claims for hail damage to our roof in the 30 years we have owned the house. That’s an average of one claim every 10 years.

The agent then suggested we triple our liability coverage. We balked again, but he said it would only make a difference of a few dollars a year to triple the liability coverage. He ran the numbers, and he was correct.  The additional liability coverage added less than five dollars to the annual premium. If we had known how little it would have cost to increase our liability coverage for the house, we would have done it years earlier.

We made no changes to our auto policy as a result of the review.

Additional discount lowers overall cost

Once we had settled on the changes to the policies, which added about $26.00 to the annual premium of the homeowner’s policy but did not affect the auto policy, the agent reviewed our discounts. As a result, he discovered a discount for which we were eligible that had not been applied to the homeowner’s and auto policy premiums. The additional discount more than offset the increase in the premium for the homeowner’s policy, and we ended up with a net total reduction of a couple of bucks for the combined annual premiums of the two policies.

Your mileage may vary

Some caveats about reviews of insurance coverage:

  1. Our agent suggested changes but did not pressure us to make those changes. Be aware that some agents may try to take advantage of a review to pressure you into purchasing coverage you do not need.
  2. You can always rescind the changes that were made during a review if you don’t feel comfortable with them later on. Your premium will be affected only for the time during which the changes were in effect.
  3. A review of your insurance coverage may not yield any changes or extra value.

The review of our homeowner’s and automobile insurance policies resulted in better coverage for less cost. That translates into increased value for the money we spend on homeowner’s and automobile insurance. Maximizing value is our goal any time we spend money, so we will continue to request a periodic review of our insurance coverage.

K. C. Knouse is the author of True Prosperity: Your Guide to a Cash-Based LifestyleDouble-Dome Publications, 224 pages

Time Warner Cable Internet vs AT&T DSL Direct: Round Two–Service

In an earlier post, I explained why I changed my internet service provider from AT&T DSL Direct to Time Warner high speed cable internet.  Now, after several months of uninterrupted service from Time Warner, I have had an opportunity to experience Time Warner’s customer service and compare it to my experience with AT&T customer service.

My experience with Time Warner customer service

A service interruption of over 30 minutes last week prompted me to call Time Warner’s customer service line.  This is only the second service interruption that I am aware of in the several months that I have been with Time Warner.  The previous interruption lasted only a couple of minutes, the time it takes for the modem to reboot.  After going through the automated phone tree, which took two or three minutes, I was advised by the computer that there was an outage of service in my area and that technicians had been dispatched to fix it.  Sure enough, a few minutes later my service resumed.  End of story.

My experience with AT&T customer service

Service interruptions with AT&T were frequent, especially when it rained.  Most lasted a few minutes, but there would be the occasional outage that lasted an hour or more.  At those times, I would call AT&T customer service.  The automated phone tree provided no help, so I would elect to talk to technical support.  After waiting for many minutes, I would be connected to a technician.  In response to my inquiry about a problem with their network, the technician would put me on hold while he or she ran a check on the data line.  The technician would always come back and say there was no problem with the network.  I would then be put through a series of diagnostic tests which I had already performed prior to phoning customer service: power cycle my modem, power cycle the router, reboot the computer, check my network cable connections.  After 20 to 30 minutes of diagnostics, the technician would invariably conclude that I needed a new modem and offer to sell me one for $75.  I always declined and hung up the phone.  Eventually, my internet service would return.  This scenario played out exactly this way every time I had an extended service interruption and called customer service.  In the end, the problem was always with AT&T’s network—always, never with my modem, router, or cable connections.  If I had followed the technician’s advice, I would have purchased numerous modems that I didn’t need.

I expect to receive honest, factual information from customer service delivered in a timely manner.  Time Warner gave me that kind of response this time; AT&T never did.

K. C. Knouse is the author of True Prosperity: Your Guide to a Cash-Based LifestyleDouble-Dome Publications, 224 pages