How Much Does Suboxone Cost?

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Prescription drugs like Suboxone can be life saving for those recovering from OUD. 8 in 10 American adults say the cost of prescriptions is unreasonable.[1] If you’re one of them and you’re considering skipping Suboxone due to costs, we have good news: Insurance companies typically cover Suboxone, and if you don’t have insurance, programs exist to help you.

how much does suboxone cost

Suboxone Cost with Insurance 


Federal law requires health insurers to provide the same level of care for mental health issues that they do for physical health concerns.[2] These laws ensure that medications like Suboxone are covered by most insurance policies, both public and private.

Medicare Coverage

Medicare coverage is for people over the age of 65 and with certain disabilities. Medicaid Suboxone coverage is complex. Medicare Part D covers medications like Suboxone.[3] Depending on how much you've paid in deductibles and other factors, you may have a copay, or your medication may be entirely paid for. 

Medicaid Coverage

Medicaid is run by State governments for people who make a certain percent of the poverty level. About 12% of people older than 18 with Medicaid benefits have substance misuse conditions. [4] All State Medicaid plans are required to cover Suboxone and other addiction treatment medications.[5] Depending on where you live and other factors, your Suboxone could be entirely covered, or may have a small copay. [6]

Private Insurance 

Private health insurance plans usually cover Suboxone or a generic equivalent. It’s almost impossible to determine how much you’ll pay, as coverage varies from state to state and plan to plan. If you have private insurance, the best thing to do is to call your insurance company and inquire as to whether your Suboxone is covered in full or in part. 

Suboxone Cost Without Insurance 


The number of people without any insurance dropped to an all-time low in 2022. Now, about 8% of people don't have any coverage.[7] If you're in this uninsured group, you can still get Suboxone. Talk to your doctor about your hospital or clinic’s policy for medication coverage for people without insurance. Some hospitals have “charity care” programs or discount programs for people paying out of pocket or without insurance. 

Discounts for Suboxone

Suboxone's manufacturer offers a discount program. If you don't have insurance, you'll pay about $86 per month for up to 90 2 mg films.[8]

You must apply for the program, and some people aren't eligible. If you're approved, the company sends a discount card you'll present to the pharmacist when you refill your prescription. 

GoodRx

GoodRx is a private company that offers discounts on common drugs, including Suboxone.[9] It's free to get started. You will do the following:

  • Sign up: Head to the GoodRx website to register for an account.
  • Access: Sign in via the website or download the GoodRx app to use it on the go. 
  • Search: Find pharmacies near you that have the lowest Suboxone price available. 
  • Show: Bring your prescription and your phone to the pharmacy. Show the staff your phone when it’s time to pay. The team will understand how to use the codes on the app.

GoodRx also provides coupons for your medications, which could save you even more.

Factors That Impact Suboxone’s Cost 

The United States government doesn't regulate drug prices.[10] Suboxone may cost more or less depending on a few factors: 

Name Brand vs. Generic 

Suboxone is the brand name form of Buprenorphine-Naloxone. It is also available in generic form. The FDA regulates all medications such that brand and generic formulations should work equally well. Generic forms are often a lot less expensive than brand forms. [11] Therefore, it might be cheaper for you to have a generic rather than brand name Suboxone. Your plan may also choose to cover the generic but not the brand name medication. 

Type of Insurance Coverage 

Every insurance plan is different, and companies have a lot of control over how much they charge their clients for medications. One might charge you almost nothing for your Suboxone, while another could cost you much more. If you are choosing a new insurance plan and know that you will need a Suboxone prescription, it might be worth investigating whether the plan covers Suboxone prior to enrolling. 

Suboxone Formulation 

Suboxone comes in two main forms: tablets and strips. The tablet or the strip might be cheaper in your location. If the tablet or strip is more expensive, you might consider switching to another type. 

Where Can I Go to Get My Prescription Filled?

While all pharmacies are allowed to carry products containing buprenorphine, fewer than half of them do so.[12] The medication is tightly regulated, and some small pharmacies don't feel comfortable keeping it on their shelves. 

In general, it's best to work with a large pharmacy. These facilities tend to keep Suboxone for patients. 

Try a large pharmacy chain, such as these:

  • Albertsons 
  • Costco 
  • CVS 
  • Kroger 
  • Rite Aid 
  • Walgreens 
  • Walmart

Call ahead to ensure the pharmacy can fill your prescription. Once you’re there, tell the team you’ll be coming back again for your refills in the future to make sure the pharmacy continues to stock your medication. 

Bicycle Health Pricing for Suboxone 

At Bicycle Health, we don't believe cost should keep people away from the care they need. Our treatment plans for opioid use disorders are cost-effective and incredibly helpful.

Schedule a call to learn more about our telemedicine treatment model, and find out if it's right for you. We can get you started on a treatment plan that will work for your situation.

Sources

  1. Public Opinion on Prescription Drugs and Their Prices. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/public-opinion-on-prescription-drugs-and-their-prices/. April 2022. Accessed October 2022. 
  2. Does Insurance Cover Treatment for Opioid Addiction? U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.hhs.gov/opioids/treatment/insurance-coverage/index.html. September 2020. Accessed October 2022. 
  3. Opioid Use Disorder Treatment. Medicare.gov. https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/opioid-use-disorder-treatment-services. Accessed October 2022. 
  4. Substance Use Disorders. Medicaid.gov. https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/benefits/behavioral-health-services/substance-use-disorders/index.html. September 2014. Accessed October 2022.
  5. Mandatory Medicaid State Plan Coverage of Medication-Assisted Treatment. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/sho20005.pdf. December 2020. Accessed October 2022.
  6. Medicaid Benefits: Prescription Drugs. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/prescription-drugs/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D. 2018. Accessed October 2022.
  7. Number of Uninsured Americans Drops to an All-Time Low. PBS NewsHour. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/number-of-uninsured-americans-drops-to-an-all-time-low. August 2022. Accessed October 2022.
  8. Savings Card. inSupport. https://www.insupport.com/suboxone/savings. Accessed October 2022.
  9. How GoodRx Works. GoodRx. https://www.goodrx.com/how-goodrx-works. Accessed October 2022.
  10. Regulating Prescription Drug Costs. The Regulatory Review. https://www.theregreview.org/2020/10/17/saturday-seminar-regulating-prescription-drug-costs/. October 2020. Accessed October 2022.
  11. Generic Drugs and Biosimilars Secure Big Savings for U.S. Patients. Association for Accessible Medicines. https://accessiblemeds.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/AAM-2020-Generic-Drug-Biosimilars-Savings-US-Fact-Sheet.pdf. 2020. Accessed October 2022. 
  12. Fewer Than Half of U.S. Pharmacies Carry One of the Most Effective Drugs for Opioid Abuse. TIME. https://time.com/6186319/buprenorphine-overdoses-pharmacy-drug-treatment/. June 2022. Accessed October 2022.

Medically Reviewed By Elena Hill, MD, MPH

Elena Hill, MD; MPH received her MD and Masters of Public Health degrees at Tufts Medical School and completed her family medicine residency at Boston Medical Center. She is currently an attending physician at Bronxcare Health Systems in the Bronx, NY where she works as a primary care physician as well as part time in pain management and integrated health. Her clinical interests include underserved health care, chronic pain and integrated/alternative health.

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