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This post is sponsored by SingleCare, a provider of free prescription discount cards and savings on prescriptions, dental, vision, and video doctor visits. All opinions expressed are 100% genuine and the property of FinanceSuperhero.com.
As a veteran teacher with 10 years of service under my belt, I can confidently say that back-to-school time is simultaneously one of the best and worst times of the year. Students, teachers, and parents, of course, ride high on the adrenaline that only a new school year can bring. At the same time, heading back to school has its challenges:
- Mountains of paperwork.
- Hundreds of dollars of costs for school supplies and clothes.
- Expensive doctor visits.
- And of course, don’t forget that early round of cold and flu viruses.
The list goes on, and on, and on. And to top it all off, back to school time always seems to be one of the easiest times for kids to get sick, need a prescription, or suddenly show signs of vision trouble.
None of this is cheap.
Time and time again, the number one complaint I hear from parents during the back-to-school season is rising costs on just about everything. (And if I’m being honest, it makes me glad my son is only six months old.)
The worst part is most of these costs are unavoidable!
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that I get incredibly excited about saving money on expenses and purchases that I can’t avoid. To me, saving money on goods and services I have to buy isn’t just exciting. It’s simply smart money management!
I recently learned about SingleCare, a free medical discount plan which offers savings on prescriptions, dental, vision, and video doctor visits. As you’ll see below, I believe their suite of offerings is yet another “no-brainer” move to make if you’re looking to save money on your family’s unavoidable medical costs this back-to-school season.
What is SingleCare?
As an overview, SingleCare is a site and app that helps people in the US save money on the prescriptions and medical services (specifically, vision visits, dental visits, and video doctor visits) they need. Their free platform helps users compare costs for healthcare services and prescriptions and receive quality care without worrying about networks, deductibles, or coverage limitations.
SingleCare helps members save money on medical costs in a few ways:
- Members may use their free prescription savings card (SingleCare calls it a pharmacy savings card) to access better prescription costs at over 35,000 of their partner pharmacies nationwide. Pharmacies include CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Kroger and more.
- SingleCare helps members stop overpaying for dental care by partnering with quality providers and passing on savings to members.
- SingleCare partners with Walmart Vision Centers across the country to handle billing and to make routine eye care more affordable for consumers.
- Finally, SingleCare partners with MeMD to offer affordable doctor visits via phone or computer. For example, the average cost of an adult dental exam in my area is $107. I was able to find an adult dental exam for $41 through SingleCare.
How Much Does SingleCare Cost?
By developing partnerships with providers, SingleCare is able to help members save money on prescriptions and medical visits as outlined above. The best part, in my opinion, is that they do this at no cost to their members.
You read that correctly: free.
Yes, SingleCare’s agreements with partnering providers do allow them to collect a small administrative fee, but they only make money when members save money.
There are no premiums, sign-up fees, ongoing fees, or other costs. Members pay only for the the services and prescription goods they receive during provider visits and pharmacy visits.
SingleCare Provides Discounts, Not Insurance
To be 100% clear, SingleCare is not insurance, and they’re 100% transparent about this fact. They are constantly working to expand their network of partnerships to offer access to great doctors at great prices, but their services are not designed to be a replacement for health insurance, dental insurance, or vision insurance.
I like to think of SingleCare like a wifi extender. You wouldn’t toss your wifi router in the trash after buying an extender because they work in tandem; your extender can help your internet connection in ways your router cannot. SingleCare and your existing insurance work together in a similar way.
Can I Use SingleCare if I Already Have Insurance?
In short: members can use SingleCare on a situation-by-situation basis.
There are no exclusions for SingleCare membership, including no exclusions on pre-existing conditions. However, if you are paying for a prescription or a dental or vision visit through insurance, for example, then SingleCare is not applicable for your visit. You can always ask your pharmacist to ring up your prescription twice so you can compare the insurance price and SingleCare price.
Pro tip: you CAN pay for services provided through SingleCare using eligible funds from your Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flex Spending Account (FSA)! This can especially valuable if you have an employer provided high deductible health plan with available HSA funds.
That said, many dental and vision insurance plans (and even some medical insurance plans) do not cover all services. For example, if you have already reached your annual benefit limits on your dental insurance plan, any services you receive would qualify as 100% out-of-pocket expenses.
Real life example: Three years ago, I underwent an unexpected emergency procedure to extract an infected tooth. And because I had already reached my annual benefit limit for the calendar year, the costs of the procedure were sky-high because they were 100% out of pocket. To be embarrassingly honest, I was so desperate to escape the excruciating pain that I would have paid just about anything to have that tooth pulled. If I had been a SingleCare member at the time, it would have offered a great opportunity to save a ton of money. I also could have saved money on prescriptions I received to manage my pain afterwards.
To get a sense of what your visit may cost, you can view pricing for common procedures on every provider’s detail page. You can also search for a symptom or reason for a visit, and see a list of providers in your area as well as estimated cost of treatment for your condition.
How Can the SingleCare Help Me Save Money on Prescriptions?
The pharmacy savings card is one of the strongest benefits to SingleCare membership, in my opinion, because it is accepted nationwide at over 35,000 pharmacies (CVS, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger, just to name a few). The process is simple: bring your SingleCare card to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to process your prescription using the BIN, GRP, and PCN numbers on the card.
Before you head to the pharmacy, you can use the SingleCare website or mobile apps (available on the App Store and Google Play) to search for a specific prescription and its cost. Then you can easily compare the SingleCare prescription cost to the regular cost under your existing insurance plan.
On average, you may save 50% on your prescription drugs when using your discount card. Savings vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, so it’s a smart move to check prices in your area. You could even save more money by processing your prescription with SingleCare than by processing it through your medical insurance plan.
How Will I Know I’m Actually Saving Money?
In my opinion, one of the best strengths SingleCare offers its members is transparency. They are very open about the fact that they only make money when members save money, and they take great care to explain exactly how they help members save money.
To get an idea of what your visit may cost before you make an appointment, you can view pricing for common procedures on every provider’s detail page, just like in the image below, which is directly from my SingleCare account in the Chicago area. You can also search for a symptom or reason for a visit, and see a list of providers in your area as well as estimated cost of treatment for your condition. This makes price shopping easy.
For each SingleCare visit members have, SingleCare providers submit an itemized list of the exact services provided during the appointment. This statement clearly shows the price and savings for every service provided, so there is no guesswork involved.
It’s even easier when it comes to checking on potential savings on prescriptions. All it takes is a few simple clicks and keystrokes on the SingleCare site or app.
Why Should I Sign-Up for SingleCare?
In addition to offering significant savings through the prescription discount card, SingleCare offers members greater transparency when it comes to service costs at partner providers’ offices. After creating a free account, you can estimate the cost of their service visit or prescription drug prices without paying any fees or premiums. This puts you in control and helps you make informed decisions about your care.
Because SingleCare is not insurance, members are only responsible for paying for the specific services they receive during provider visits. These charges are directly billed using the payment method selected by members when they establish their account. Again, there are no surprise fees or added expenses, as SingleCare includes their small administrative fees as part of the costs displayed on their website.
Lastly, SingleCare is a well-trusted provider in their industry. They have received a 4-star TrustPilot score and an overall TrustScore of 8.5/10.0.
After in-depth research and evaluation, including reviewing personal service estimates and prescription drug prices, SingleCare has earned our full recommendation. It is a risk-free way to save money on prescriptions and other unavoidable medical-related expenses that can quickly put a damper on back-to-school time, not to mention a dent in your emergency fund.
We believe some members may benefit from SingleCare more than others –in particular, members with poor insurance benefits may realize the greatest savings–but the SingleCare suite of services has something to offer for everyone.
For more information about SingleCare and to become a member for free, use this special invitation for FinanceSuperhero readers.
SingleCare is a medical discount plan. It is NOT insurance. This program offers you the opportunity to locate providers of various types of medical services who will offer their services to you at discounted rates. The range of discounts for medical or ancillary services provided under the plan will vary depending on the type of provider and service received. You are fully responsible for paying for all health care services but will be entitled to receive a discount from those health care providers in accordance with the specific pre-negotiated discounted fee schedule. This program does not guarantee the quality of the services or procedures offered by the providers. Except for prescription drugs which you will pay directly to the pharmacy at the time of purchase, all other services received through a program provider will be charged to the credit card on file in your member account. The charge will include an administrative fee for use of the program. Towers Administrators Inc. is the licensed discount medical plan organization with its administrative office located at 4510 Cox Road, Suite 111, Glen Allen, VA 23060. SingleCare Services, LLC is the marketer of the discount medical plan organization including its website, singlecare.com, with its corporate office located at 4100 Regent Street, Suite S, Columbus, OH 43219. For additional information, including an up-to-date list of providers, member terms and conditions, or assistance with any issue related to program membership, please contact member support any time at www.singlecare.com, or by calling toll-free 844-234-3057, Monday through Friday 9am-9pm EST.