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4 Costco Healthcare Perks You Probably Don’t Know About

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Costco members know they can boost their personal finances by buying in bulk on household essentials, but many shoppers are likely missing the steep discounts they offer on healthcare expenses.

The price for routine medical care and prescriptions is costly. In fact, roughly half of Americans say they struggle to keep up with their healthcare expenses, according to a study by KFF. And if you are one of the 25.6 million people living without health insurance, these four healthcare perks at Costco can help keep you and your dependents out of debt this year.

1. Optical services

Even with vision insurance, eye care isn’t cheap. My last visit to the eye doctor cost me just under $400 for new frames and lenses, which is more than my monthly grocery budget, and, yes, that was with insurance.

Thankfully, Costco offers affordable exams, glasses, and contact lenses and takes most major insurance plans. Here’s what you can expect in terms of pricing:

  • Exam: This varies based on location, but you can expect to pay between $60 and $120 without insurance.
  • Glasses: Frames start at $59.99, but the final price will depend on what type of lens you select.
  • Contacts: Costco offers a variety of top name brands as well as a Kirkland Signature daily lens option. A 90-pack is $58.99 but as with most Costco products buying in bulk is where the steep savings are. From now until June 30, 2024, you can save $95 when you purchase eight boxes.

If you prefer the (more affordable) monthly lenses on the other hand, you can get a 12-pack of Acuvue Vita for $86.87, or about $14.48 monthly.

2. Member prescription program

Costco’s member prescription program is a membership benefit that can help members and their dependents get low-priced prescriptions. It’s not insurance, but it can offer those without health insurance huge discounts (up to 80%) on popular medications. It can also be beneficial for those who do have insurance, as it can help you save on drugs not covered under your current plan.

While you’ll typically get the lowest price by shopping in-person at a Costco warehouse, you can also use your membership card to access these discounts online and at other retailers. For cost comparison, I searched for my wife’s thyroid medication (Levothyroxine) and here’s the breakdown:

Retailer Levothyroxine Sodium (Generic)(50 mcg, 90 tablets)
Costco pharmacy $10.79
Costco prescription home delivery $12.79
Safeway $14.99
Albertsons $14.99
Data source: Costco.com

These are prices without insurance. But even with insurance, we were only paying slightly less (about $10) for the same 90-day supply. So, for the uninsured, Costco’s member prescription program could put your medication on par with what you’d pay with a health insurance plan.

3. Pet medications

I hate taking my cats to the vet. Not only because it’s hard to get them in their carrier, or because I hate seeing them sick, but also because I know I’m going to walk out of there with a huge bill. And no, Costco does not have a veterinary clinic (yet), but it can help you save up to 40% on pet medications.

Next time you take Fido in for a visit, have the veterinarian write out the prescription. Then, take it to the Costco pharmacy or have them send it directly to your nearest Costco. On the flip side, you could also look into pet insurance if you want to try to avoid big veterinary bills altogether.

4. Virtual care providers and therapists

Recently, Costco partnered with Sesame — a healthcare marketplace connecting healthcare providers with consumers — to offer its members special discounts on certain healthcare services, such as the following:

Service Price
Prescription refill $29
Virtual primary care $29
Virtual therapy $79
Health check-up (lab panel & consultation) $72
Data source: Sesame.

This partnership means Costco members can access same-day virtual appointments with a variety of healthcare professionals. And unlike many insurance plans, there are no hoops to jump through in order to see a specialist. It’s a really great deal, especially if you’re not currently insured.

All in all, if you or your family have been struggling with rising healthcare costs, Costco could help you cut back on your expenses. You might even want to check out the Executive membership, as you can earn 2% cash back on your purchases.

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We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers.
The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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