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Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH
Do you cringe when you drive by your pharmacy? Are prescription costs eating up so much of your budget that you are wondering if you will have to stop taking your medication? Will that end up jeopardizing your health in the long run?
Good news! Pharmacy prescription drug discount programs like Blink Health can help lower your out of pocket costs. However, like with anything that sounds too good to be true, you need to know a few key facts about these programs. Is Blink Health really legit?
Finding a good Blink Health review that is not just another advertisement can be difficult. Is Blink Health the best pharmaBcy prescription discount program out there? What are the pros and cons? Are your family and friends who have tried the app really giving you the full story?
Don’t worry, I have you covered.
Pharmacist get asked about pharmacy prescription discount cards all the time. As a drug expert, we can give you the low down on these programs. Here at BestRxforSavings, we are dedicated to helping you save money on medication.
1. What is the Blink Health pharmacy prescription drug discount savings card?
Did you see an ad on television, online, get a flyer at the pharmacy or receive a Blink Health card in the mail? Does an offer like this claiming to be a FREE way to save up to 80% on medications seem to good to be true?
Blink Health is a company that offers a free (more on this below) prescription discount card. It claims to save you up to 80% on prescription medications. They have a website and mobile app that allow you to search for prices at pharmacies near you on your medication. Simply pay Blink Health online and then take your receipt to the pharmacy to pick up the medication.
They contract with pharmacies to get discounts on prescription medications. It is important to remember this is NOT insurance. The size of the discount will vary drug by drug and pharmacy by pharmacy. While these discount cards do save money, the average savings is normally much less than 80%.
You can get information on medication prices by simply going to the Blink Health website and searching based on the drug name and dosage. After that, results with prices will display from several pharmacies. Select the one you want and then you can pay online. It is important to have the receipt or the app on your phone showing proof of purchase before going to the pharmacy.
At the pharmacy, they will receive payment from Blink Health prescription discount card and you do not have to pay anything additional at the pharmacy. Making the process very simple.
Certain services are offered by Blink Health in addition to prescription savings. This includes items listed below.
- Blink Health pharmacy plus, which offers home delivery options.
- The Blink Health pharmacy will also check your insurance and compare it to the discount price, a feature other pharmacy prescription discount cards do not offer.
- $5 off your first prescription filled with Blink Health
- You can see a doctor online via telemedicine to obtain a prescription for certain diseases.
- Quick save program offers bigger discounts in exchange for you creating an account and providing Blink Health with more personal information.
2. Do you need a prescription to order from Blink health?
The Blink Health app and website allow you to search by individual drug or most popular drugs.
Like other pharmacy prescription discount card programs, Blink Health offers savings on any prescription medication. That means if you take a drug that is Over The Counter (OTC) you will not be able to search and find it. Therefore, you will not be able to receive a discount in those cases.
Keep in mind that some drugs sold as OTC’s do have prescription strengths. In those cases you would be able to find the prescription strength versions.
Dietary supplements, vitamins, herbal products will not be available for discounts via Blink Health app or website.
3. What pharmacies participate with Blink Health?
Blink Health claims to work at 35,000 pharmacies across the U.S. That number correlates to roughly half of all pharmacies in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and is likely a little inflated. Major chain pharmacies that are included would honor Blink Health discounts at all of their stores. The table below lists some of the largest pharmacies that accept Blink Health.
|Safeway||ShopRite||Stop & Shop|
Smaller local chains or independent pharmacies may also accept Blink Health. That is not the case for most other pharmacy prescription discount card programs. If you use one of these pharmacies ask them about price matching to other pharmacy prices shown using BlinkHealth. That enables you to keep all your prescriptions at one pharmacy. Many times to keep your business they will do that!
4. Do pharmacies lose money with Blink Health?
Blink Health is “free” for you to use, so how do they make money?
There are different types of discount cards and they make money in slightly different ways. Blink Health is free to the user because they make money off of the data they collect. Marketing of data is big business! While they may not share your personal details directly with marketers or pharmaceutical manufacturers, rest assured they can get paid for the rest of the information collected.
They also offer the advantage of working directly with a pharmacy to get a discounted price. Therefore, the insurance middleman who run some discount programs don’t get a cut of the savings. Blink Health also keeps part of the discount the pharmacy is offering in exchange for driving traffic to them.
5. Is Blink health safe to use?
Below are some important points you need to know about how Blink Health uses your data. Some are directly from their terms and conditions. These are not a reason stop you from using Blink Health prescription discount card, but be aware how your data could be used.
1. Blink collects your personally identifiable information (“PII”), including health information, through the Blink Services. When you choose to provide such information, such as when registering to become a Blink member so that you may receive information and updates regarding the Blink Services. PII can include your name, prescription and over-the-counter medications, health condition, address, telephone number, e-mail address, Social Security number, date of birth, healthcare coverage, pharmacy, and physician.
2. Marketing by Blink. Blink may also use your personally identifiable information to deliver advertisements and marketing communications to you that we believe may be of interest. These advertisements and marketing communications will be delivered solely by Blink. Marketing communications that you receive from Blink may include (i) advertisements for the Blink Services, (ii) advertisements for prescription drugs, and (iii) advertisements for other healthcare services or other goods or services.
6. Can you use Blink Health with insurance?
You can NOT combine any pharmacy prescription drug discount card with insurance. Blink Health is no exception to this rule.
However, it is important to remember you should ALWAYS look at prices of medications that are covered by your insurance using the Blink Health pricing tool. Why?
The answer is simple but shocking to most people. Your insurance copay does not guarantee you the best price! In many cases the Blink Health prescription discount card will be cheaper than your copay. See the example below.
|Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion SR) 150mg #30 tablets|
|Blink Health discount price||$8.68|
Comparison shopping using the Blink Health prescription discount card is a great way to save money! In addition to retail pharmacies they offer a home delivery option as well. Blink Health pharmacy partners with several pharmacies to offer mail order services if you would rather have your medications delivered to your home.
What about drugs not covered by insurance?
When insurance is not going to foot the bill for your drug, you should always shop around using a pharmacy prescription drug discount app like Blink Health.
Some examples of this include:
1. Have a high deductible health plan (HDHP)?
- The pharmacy is not going to offer up the discounted price to you, instead you need to know that this is available and search for the best price.
- Keep in mind that any time Blink Health prescription discount card is used that will NOT apply toward your deductible.
If you use a discount card to pay for your medication during the coverage gap in Medicare it doesn’t count toward your True Out Of Pocket (TROOP) expenses either. However, if you don’t expect to get out of the coverage gap and into the catastrophic phase then saving all that you can with a prescription discount card is the way to go. This would reduce your overall money out of pocket until everything resets on January 1st.
2. Drugs that Medicare and commercial insurance commonly do not cover are used to treat the following health problems.
|Weight loss||Cough and cold|
|Sexual dysfunction||Sleep aides|
|Muscle relaxers||OTC medications|
- For these medications pharmacy prescription drug discount cards may be the only way to get money off of the full cash price!
7. Blink Health pharmacy plus…is it a membership?
Some other pharmacy prescription discount programs offer membership options. These require you to pay a small amount each month to get even deeper discounts. Blink Health does not offer a membership option currently. However, they do offer Blink Health pharmacy plus.
Blink Health pharmacy plus will check your insurance price and compare it to their discount price. This is an important distinction that makes Blink different than other pharmacy prescription discount cards. Their competitors do not have a pharmacy of their own that will check insurance prices for you.
How does it work?
Blink Health pharmacy plus takes over your prescriptions in the following ways. :
1. Select order online or have your doctor send the prescription to Blink Health pharmacy.
2. Pay online
3. The medication is shipped to your house from a participating Blink Health pharmacy.
It appears that Blink Health is using other pharmacies to actually fill the medications even though they are doing the front end pharmacy logistics. Meaning they do all of the things it takes to fill a prescription legally besides dispensing the drug and shipping it.
8. Is Blink Health legitimate?
Yes, Blink Health is a legitimate prescription discount card. Let me provide you with some facts to back up that statement.
Blink Health quick facts
- Blink Health has been in business for 5 years.
- They have a customer service phone number you can call that is available 8am-10pm EST Monday through Friday and 9am to 7pm EST on weekends.
- Accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since March of 2018.
- Received an A+ rating from the BBB
- BlinkHealth.com is listed as a safe website by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). They are the organization that regulates pharmacy laws state by state. Their safe website verification is intended to help patients know if they can trust online pharmacies.
- Legitscript.com has certified Blink Health for legality, safety and transparency.
In addition to the above Blink Health offers a price match guarantee. However this applies only to generic drugs.
How does Blink Health set their price?
Knowing how prices are set before you go to the pharmacy can save you from heartache and frustration. Prices pharmacies pay to acquire drugs changes very frequently, like several times per day!
Like all pharmacy prescription discount cards prices are negotiated with pharmacies individually. Currently Blink Health offers discounts on about 15,000 medications, which sounds like a lot but there are still many medications they do not offer a discount for. They also work with a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) called MedImpact, which allows them to offer a single price across many pharmacies for certain medications. This is also how they are able to verify insurance costs via the Blink Health pharmacy plus program.
Keep these things in mind before you go to the pharmacy.
1. Blink Health prices come from many sources such as:
- Published price lists
- Claims of prescriptions that have been filled in the past
- Price data provided by pharmacies
2. Blink Health prices can change at any time.
3. No prices are guaranteed, they are estimates.
4. Most of the savings with discount programs comes from generic drugs, which can have many different manufacturers making generics of the same medication.
- Therefore, if Blink Health uses one manufacturer but the pharmacy has pills from a different one the prices will not match.
9. Pros of Blink Health prescription discount card:
1. It is free to use, just remember your data is being shared.
2. No problems that you run into with insurance such as:
- Prior authorization
- Formulary problems
- Drug not being covered
- Quantity being limited
- Step therapy required
3. No eligibility requirements for use.
4. No commitments, you can stop using card at any time.
5. Price match guarantee on generic drugs.
6. Free home delivery option available for almost all medications.
7. Automated refills can be scheduled to be delivered, which could save time.
8. Offer to save even more if you refer family or friends, $15 for each person you refer.
9. Most pharmacy prescription discount programs will be large chain pharmacies only. Blink Health also includes many local pharmacies and independents. Normally these pharmacies can’t afford to offer large discounts required by other discount programs.
10. Cons of Blink Health prescription discount card:
1. Prices can change unexpectedly.
2. Prices may change between refills.
3. Over the counter drugs are not able to be searched and priced. Only medications that are prescription strength.
4. Blink Health can’t be used on medications for humans that are prescribed for pets.
5. Currently only 15,000 drugs are available with discount. Therefore, many drugs are not included in the service.
6. When you pay with a Blink Health prescription discount card the amount you pay after the discount DOES NOT APPLY TO YOUR DEDUCTIBLE for insurance or toward out of pocket maximum amounts.
11. What do the customer reviews say?
The Better Business Bureau website has over 72 patient reviews on Blink Health. They received 2.5 out of 5 stars, which is not the great overall. However, like with any review keep in mind most reviews are left by people who had some kind of issue or problem.
You can click here to view the BBB page for Blink Health. You will notice they also have over 27 complaints. That may make you think twice about using Blink Health That many complaints seems like a lot, but is not that many when you think about how often Blink Health is being used. In addition, the majority of complaints center around issues with the see a doctor for a prescription service.
Let’s face it, medications can be confusing. Strange strengths, dosage forms, quantities can lead even someone familiar with medication to pick a variable that is not correct. When that happens and the patient thinks they have the right price, only to find out it doesn’t match, naturally they get angry. Several of the reviews on the BBB site appear to be related to this type of situation.
This problem could be magnified for Blink Health because you pay for the medication online. This is before the pharmacist could potentially help fix any problem they see with your prescription at the counter. Call your pharmacist before you pay for the medication via Blink Health to ensure you don’t run into these issues.
I would point out that the number of negative reviews where customer service saying one thing and doing another seems higher than it should be. Keep that in mind before using Blink Health.
Helpful tips from the reviews
- The price quoted may change day to day or even within a few hours.
- Make sure you print the receipt and take it with you, or have it available on your phone.
- Quoted prices do not always match, Blink Health customer service says that prices are estimated and final price comes from the pharmacy.
- Prices may increase after you have the first fill and when you go back for the next.
- Obtaining a new prescription (they are only good for a year) after the first time can be a challenge for some patients.
12. What is similar to Blink Health and is there anything better?
Blink Health is similar to other pharmacy prescription discount card programs. Most offer websites and apps or the option to print off a physical card that can be taken to the pharmacy. Blink Health is slightly different in that you pay online and take the proof of purchase to the pharmacy. In addition, they make there money the same way. Here are some of the most common Blink Health competitors:
- US Pharmacy Card
- Drug Discount Network
- Script Relief
Read my overview on pharmacy prescription discount cards for more details.
The main difference(s) between Blink Health and it’s competitors include:
- Discount amounts
- Prescription writing by Blink Health associated medical professionals
- Blink Health pharmacy plus
- Option to compare your insurance costs to discounted costs for you
- Referral program
13. What is the best Rx discount card?
This question is going to depend on what prescriptions you take and what area of the country you live in. The Blink Health website and app has fewer big chain pharmacies, but more local and independents. They do not have as many medications available for discount, but have deeper discounts on certain medications.
There is not a one size fits all approach to pharmacy prescription discount cards!
Therefore, the BestRxforSavings best practice is to put all the drugs you take in a medication list and then spend some time comparing prices utilizing all the drug discount card apps or websites.
Some pharmacies may offer price match guarantees as well. That way you don’t have to drive all over town to different pharmacies or always use different discount apps.
Below is a table showing how Blink Health stacks up against SingleCare and GoodRx for the top 10 prescription medications (by number filled). Keep in mind this is for a midwestern U.S. location and drug prices change frequently.
|Lisinorpril 10mg, #30 tablets||$4.00||$4.00||$3.50|
|Atorvastatin 20mg, #30 tablets||$7.60||$6.77||$6.99|
|Levothyroxine 100mcg, #30 tablets||$4.00||$4.00||$18.08|
|Metformin 500mg, #60 tablets||$4.00||$4.00||$3.96|
|Amlodipine 10mg, #30 tablets||$8.89||$6.86||$3.50|
|Metoprolol tartrate 25mg, #60 tablets||$4.00||$4.00||$3.50|
|Omeprazole 20mg, #14 capsules||$10.56||$5.61||$3.50|
|Simvastatin 20mg, #30 tablets||$4.19||$4.23||$3.50|
|Losartan 50mg, #30 tablets||$8.37||$7.79||$7.70|
|Albuterol 8.5 gram, #1 inhaler||$27.25||$19.47||$36.24|
How to get the Blink Health app
As you can see in the picture below you can get the Blink Health app by simply going into the app store on your phone. It is available in the Apple app store or in the Google play store for android devices. Just look for the icon below.
Click here to get Dr. Jason Reed’s exclusive list of medication questions you MUST ask your doctor, for FREE!
Share your story
Have you tried using the Blink Health app, website or discount card? Also, please share how much it saved you. Chime in below with your comments and thoughts.