A dose of epinephrine is essential for people who suffer from severe allergic reactions. The usual treatment is with an EpiPen, although generic epinephrine auto-injectors are also available. If you suffer from severe allergic reactions, you should carry one with you at all times.
The only way to ensure that you have access to this life-saving drug when you need it is to have good health insurance coverage. If you don’t you’ll be in for quite an expense as EpiPens are expensive. So, how much does an EpiPen cost without insurance? Find out below.
How Much Does An EpiPen Cost?
You’ll have to pay quite a high price for an EpiPen at the pharmacy, although prices differ widely. Generic versions are available, but in some cases, these are even more expensive than brand-name EpiPens.
Prices range from $650 to $735 for a brand-name EpiPen depending on the type you buy, and which pharmacy you buy it from.
For generic versions, you could end up paying anywhere from $320 to over $600.They often come in two-pack cartons.
How Much Are EpiPens With Insurance?
Once again, the costs vary. That’s because different health insurers offer different health plans, with varying levels of coverage.
Expect to pay between $100 and $200 for a two-pack of EpiPens, but it does depend on your coverage. Although some insurers may cover the cost entirely, many require a copay or deductible for this drug.
The Cost Of EpiPens By Pharmacy
The brand-name EpiPen is most affordable at pharmacies including CVS, Stop n Shop, Walmart, Duane Reade, Wegmans, and Price Chopper. You can expect to pay between $650 – $690.
The generic versions are cheaper at pharmacies in CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Kroger, and Wegmans. They fall within the pricing range of $340 – $420
At Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Kroger, you’re looking at about $730 for the brand-name EpiPen.
Generic versions are most expensive at Stop n Shop and Price Chopper.
Always check prices at pharmacies near you, especially if your health plan doesn’t cover the costs. Up to 98% of Medicare prescription drug plans cover the cost of epinephrine auto-injectors like EpiPen. This may apply to generic versions though, so be sure to check that with your healthcare insurance provider.
Types Of EpiPens
There are two categories of EpiPens; one suitable for children and one for older teens and adults.
An EpiPen Jr Auto-Injector contains 0.15 mg and is for patients who weigh about 33 to 66 pounds. The regular EpiPen is for patients who weigh 66 pounds or more and contains 0.3 mg of epinephrine.
To buy any EpiPen, you’ll need a prescription from your doctor. Within the ranges of generic epinephrine auto-injectors, the delivery methods may differ slightly, but they work in the same way.
The needle administering the epinephrine may be required to be left in for as little as 2 seconds, or up to 10 seconds. This will depend on the brand. Other sight differences such as the length of the needle, may also apply.
While they all do the same thing to the body – rescue the body from anaphylactic shock after a severe allergic reaction – the brand name EpiPens tends to be favored. Doctors will usually prescribe the brand-name product, which is generally a more expensive option.
Are EpiPens Covered By Insurance?
Yes, they usually are, although the cost is not always covered 100%. That is why your choice of a brand name or generic can make a big difference, as some of these are much more expensive in certain places.
Why Are EpiPens So Expensive?
The fact is, the EpiPen cost with or without insurance can be high. But why are these auto-injectors so expensive?
Epinephrine auto-injectors have traditionally been expensive, as there was one manufacturer responsible for about 90% of the anti-allergy injectors on the market for a long time.
Unfortunately, brand-name EpiPens are still expensive, although this may change as more generics compete in the market.
Another reason why EpiPen costs seriously impact your budget is that they expire after about a year. And whether or not you have an allergic reaction during that year, you have to have one with you at home, school, or work. Therefore, the cost of continuously replacing EpiPens year after year can be staggering. Three packs in a year could cost you more than $2000 if you don’t have insurance.
Most health insurance providers will cover the costs of a generic version, but not always the brand-name one. Medicare will cover it too, but not the total cost. It depends on your coverage and your pharmacy’s cost.
Tips For Saving Costs On EpiPens
Of course, there are ways of saving costs on EpiPens. Let’s look at a few of these.
Buy Generic Epinephrine Auto-Injectors
Most generic epinephrine auto-injectors are more affordable than brand-name EpiPens. Speak to your doctor about prescribing these. Ask about how the delivery method or dosage may differ from what you are used to.
Other epinephrine auto-injectors that function similarly to EpiPen are:
- Adrenaclick, and its authorized generic, Impax
- Teva’s FDA-approved EpiPen generics
- Auvi-Q EpiPen FDA-approved EpiPen generic manufactured by Kaleo
Depending on your health plan coverage and the pharmacy where you fill your prescription, the costs of these generics (and your costs aside from insurance coverage) may differ.
Take Advantage Of Medical Coupons Or Special Deals
The price of an EpiPen without insurance is quite high. So look for special online deals on epinephrine injectors, or coupons for these products. However, these may apply to certain brands only. Always be sure that you are getting the right one for your needs.
This does not mean you’ll be able to buy your EpiPen without a prescription. You’ll always need a prescription, no matter which brand you use. Anyone claiming to sell it to people without a prescription should be viewed as suspicious.
Buying from anyone other than a reputable pharmaceutical manufacturer or dealer is not advised. You may receive a drug that is not the correct substance or the correct dose., putting you at risk of adverse reactions.
Don’t fall prey to such scams as it can mean the difference between life and death in the case of an emergency. Speak to your healthcare provider about the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, and its treatment with an EpiPen. Then you will know exactly when to use it, and what to expect.
Apply For An EpiPen Savings Card
An EpiPen savings card can save you up to $300 on an EpiPen 2-Pak carton and can be used for up to 6 cartons per year. This does not apply if you are covered by Medicaid or similar state-funded healthcare, or if your health insurance provider covers the entire cost of your EpiPen.
To be eligible for these savings, you must meet certain criteria, such as being a US citizen, covered by commercial insurance. It is also not available for citizens in Massachusetts or California. If you are unsure about whether you qualify for these savings or not, check out the details here.
Get Comprehensive Health Insurance That Covers EpiPens
Of course, the simplest solution is to get health insurance that covers the total cost (or most of the cost) of EpiPens. This is just a good idea in general, for the health of your family. But health insurance can be costly, too. So what do you do if you feel that you can’t afford comprehensive health insurance?
Affordable health insurance is available to all US citizens who need it, regardless of whether or not they have a job. We can advise you of your health plan options when you don’t have a job, or earn a low income.
The Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, makes affordable healthcare a reality for all US citizens. If you don’t know how to sign up for it, or need help comparing the health plans offered by it, we can help.
The rules are slightly different from state to state, but all states offer Obamacare enrollment. Some criteria have to be met to qualify for it. But if you qualify, we can help you with the sign-up process, including comparing health plans to find the best deal.
EpiPens are a vital life-saving product that everyone who suffers from severe allergic reactions has to have. As it has a short shelf life, the cost of continuously replacing what is already an expensive item can become quite a problem.
But with good health insurance, this needn’t be an issue. Affordable health plans are available, even to those with low or no income. At Enhance Health, we make it easy to access affordable healthcare.
Contact us today for expert advice about your health insurance options. We’ll help you find a plan that provides coverage for EpiPens so that you don’t need to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on this life-saving medicine.