The Best Place to Fill Prescriptions Without Insurance

If you are one of the tens of millions of Americans buying prescriptions without insurance either by choice or by circumstance, this article is for you. Medication pricing is very murky and most people think they are stuck paying the astronomical prices at your local chain pharmacy. The reality is, if you are uninsured or have a high deductible plan you have a number of options to save money when buying your medications.

The best places or services I have found to get prescriptions cheaper without insurance are:

  • TRUSTED (The key word here) Online Pharmacies
  • Prescription discount services
  • Prescription discount cards at your local chain pharmacy
  • Grocery store or Independent pharmacy discount programs

I’m going to go into the details of what to look for and how to use each service to get the best prices on your prescription medications.

Can you get prescriptions filled without insurance?

The largest majority of Americans don’t remember the days before prescription insurance was a thing. The reality is it hasn’t been that long. For medicare beneficiaries it’s even shorter as prescription coverage, known as part D, was the product of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and didn’t go into full effect until 2006.

Despite what many people think, you have the right to not use your insurance, if you have any, and pay out of pocket yourself for your prescription medications. Many pharmacies will tell you that you have to use insurance, especially for controlled substances, but it is not the case. No laws exist that force you to use insurance.

So, can you get prescriptions filled without using insurance? YES, you just have to pay out of pocket for them yourself. In some cases you will actually get a cheaper price by NOT using your insurance due to a deceptive tactic PBMs use called clawbacks.

Now we can discuss how to get the cheapest prices on prescriptions without insurance.

Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies can be some of the cheapest place to get prescriptions without using insurance. Even if you do have insurance, many times online pharmacies like can beat your copay.

How do online pharmacies have cheaper prices?

Online pharmacies can provide cheaper prices for prescriptions without insurance due to their efficiencies. Without the significant overhead costs of large buildings, countless aisles of convenience goods, and all of the associated expenses the online pharmacies are able to set lower prices and still make a respectable profit.

Many online pharmacies don’t even contract with insurance companies streamlining their dispensing process. In a typical retail pharmacy much of the delay for patients and headache for staff members is due to insurance policies and procedures.

Some online pharmacies even cut out the middleman drug wholesaler and obtain their medications directly from the drug manufacturers at even lower prices which they directly pass along to their customers.

Finding a legitimate online pharmacy: Not all online pharmacies are the same

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), states that in an ongoing study that over 95% of the 11,943 online pharmacies they reviewed were fraudulent. Social media platforms are contributing to the use of these scam pharmacies.

How to ensure an online pharmacy is legitimate. The 6 signs.

To ensure you are using a legitimate online pharmacy there a some key signs to look for.

  1. Accredited by a respected source such as the NABP
  2. High ratings with the Better Business Bureau
  3. A prescription from YOUR doctor is required
  4. The physical location is clearly displayed on the website
  5. The pharmacy license can be confirmed with the Board of Pharmacy in your state as well as the state of their physical address. (Both must be true to be legal)
  6. You are able to call and speak to or video conference with a live pharmacist

The good news is I’ve done the homework for you. Check out my recommended online pharmacy page to see the pharmacies I have personally vetted that meet the standards above.

Prescription Discount Services

Unknown to many Americans, technology startups like Blink Health, Hippo, and GoodRx Gold can help reduce the cost of prescriptions for individuals without insurance.

These services essentially use the power of the large group of their users to obtain the power to negotiate lower prices with pharmacies. Blink Health’s prices are so low that Walgreens and CVS withdrew from their participating network. Some even offer a mail order option where you can have the medication sent right to your door similar to an online pharmacy.

Again, I’ve thoroughly researched and vetted only the best services to ensure you are getting the cheapest prices on your prescriptions without insurance. Make sure to check out my review of Blink Health and the head to head comparison showing why it is a better service than GoodRx Gold before jumping in head first.

Prescription Discount Cards

Similar to the technology based services above, prescription discount cards use the power of large groups to negotiate steep price discounts with pharmacies. There are thousands of rx discount cards so it’s important that you understand how they work and how to select the best prescription discount card for your situation.

Grocery Store Pharmacy Discount Programs

Grocery retailers like Kroger, Walmart, Publix, Meijer, and others create lists of cheap generic medications that they use to lure you into their stores in hopes that if you fill prescriptions there you will also buy your groceries and general merchandise.

Places like these can be some of the best places to fill prescriptions without insurance. Meijer, for instance, provides generic Lipitor for cholesterol, metformin for diabetes, and prenatal vitamins for free.

Walmart pharmacies are most well known for the $4 list but the list is much more comprehensive than many people think and includes some medications with slightly higher prices but at steep discounts to competitor prices. If you choose to get a 90 day supply you get even better pricing with most drugs costing $10.


As a practicing community pharmacist in his home state of Michigan, Joe (AKA TheFrugalPharmacist) is always on the lookout for new information and ways to ensure you can afford your medications and don't get ripped off in America's complicated world of healthcare.

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