The generic version of Aqueous Vitamin D, vitamin D, costs $7 without insurance. Learn how to get vitamin D at a lower price, or find cheaper alternatives.
Is vitamin D covered by insurance? | How much does vitamin D cost without insurance? | How to get vitamin D without insurance
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for bone health, immune system health, and nervous system function. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food and regulate the amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. The body makes its vitamin D from sun exposure, but most people get it as a nutrient from foods like fatty fish or enriched cereals. Vitamin D in the form of cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) can be purchased without a prescription in dietary supplements or multivitamins. Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) is a high-dose prescription vitamin D (vitamin D2). It is prescribed to people with severe vitamin D deficiency, underactive parathyroid glands, and bone softening (osteomalacia in adults, rickets in pediatric patients), or osteoporosis (in postmenopausal women). Besides insufficient vitamin D in the diet, several medical conditions can cause low vitamin D levels, including celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, chronic liver disease, and gastric bypass surgery. Synthetic vitamin D3 is another form of vitamin D prescribed by doctors for underactive parathyroid glands. Synthetic forms of vitamin D are commonly used in people with advanced kidney disease because they may not be able to convert vitamin D to its active form.
Related: Vitamin D side effects
What is the brand name for vitamin D?
Over-the-counter vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is sold under a wide variety of brand names. Prescription vitamin D2 is widely available as a generic as are the synthetic forms of vitamin D3, including Rocaltrol (calcitriol), Hectorol (doxercalciferol), and Zemplar (paricalcitol).
RELATED: Vitamin D vs. D3: Differences, similarities, and which is better for you
Is vitamin D covered by insurance?
Insurance coverage of vitamin D will depend on the prescription. Cholecalciferol is usually not covered even with a prescription. However, some Medicaid plans will cover over-the-counter supplements for their patients. Prescription ergocalciferol may or may not be covered by health insurance or Medicare Part D. On the other hand, synthetic vitamin D3 drugs, particularly calcitriol, are usually covered by health insurance plans and Medicare drug plans. Copay costs should be low. Keep in mind that some health insurance companies do not cover vitamin D testing, a blood test to confirm low levels of vitamin D.
How much does vitamin D cost without insurance?
Without insurance, the average retail cost of prescription ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) will cost about $19 for 100 capsules. Over-the-counter vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is a low-priced option. The average price for 30, 100 mg capsules is about $7. The price per capsule is comparable to prescription ergocalciferol. Switching from prescription vitamin D to over-the-counter versions will probably not generate much savings. The lowest-priced option for people buying either vitamin D supplements or prescription vitamin D is to use a SingleCare discount card. With SingleCare, over-the-counter vitamin D can cost as little as 40 cents for 30 capsules. Prescription vitamin D could be had for as little as $2 per month.
Synthetic vitamin D is slightly more costly. The retail price for prescription calcitriol averages about $42 for 30, 0.25 mcg capsules, enough medicine for 30 days. Prescription doxercalciferol costs about $54 for 50, 0.5 mcg capsules (a 25-day supply). Generic paricalcitol costs around $280 for a 30-day supply. For people prescribed synthetic vitamin D, the lowest-priced option is calcitriol. It can be purchased for as low as $6 with a SingleCare savings card.
Prescription drug prices often change. These are the most accurate medication prices at the time of publishing. The listed price without insurance references the price of brand-name drugs (unless otherwise specified). The listed SingleCare price references the price of generic drugs if available. Click the link under “Savings options” to see the latest drug prices.
How to get vitamin D without insurance
Here are some ways to save even more on low-priced prescription medications like Vitamin-D. There are a few great strategies to save money. Let’s start with a SingleCare prescription discount card.
1. Save up to 80% on prescription and over-the-counter medications with SingleCare.
The lowest SingleCare price for a 30-day supply of over-the-counter vitamin D is 40 cents. Prescription vitamin D can be purchased for as low as $3 and as low as $6 for synthetic vitamin D. Discount prices will vary by participating pharmacy, but a list of available savings can be found on the vitamin D coupons page, the prescription ergocalciferol coupons page, or the calcitriol coupons page. Read the FAQs sections on these coupon pages for additional savings tips.
2. Shop for the lowest price
Prices for over-the-counter and prescription vitamin D will vary. The lowest retail price for over-the-counter vitamin D is about $2. The highest pharmacy price is about $5. For prescription ergocalciferol, the lowest pharmacy price is $21, about $12 less than the highest pharmacy price.
3. Consider purchasing a 90-day supply
Generic drugs and supplements often cost less per capsule when filling a 90-day rather than a 30-day prescription. Compare prices between the small bottle and the large bottle. Though the 90-day supply may cost more upfront, it will save money in the long run.
4. Ask the prescriber about other treatment options
For synthetic vitamin D, ask the healthcare provider for medical advice about alternatives. Generic ergocalciferol may be an option, but make sure it’s appropriate. Among synthetics, the lowest-price synthetic vitamin D is generic calcitriol. Again, there may be trade-offs, but they’re worth exploring with the prescriber.