8 smart moves to save on health care

Request medication samples

If your doctor is prescribing a medication without a generic equivalent and the price is more than you can afford, ask if you can have some free samples.

She probably has prepackaged doses dropped off by her drug company salesperson tucked away for just this reason.

Most doctors will happily dispense samples if it increases the odds you’ll stick to a medication regimen instead of forgoing a prescription you can’t afford.

Just remember, samples can’t take the place of an affordable medication.

“The samples are always expensive brand-name drugs,” says Nancy Metcalf, senior program editor for Consumer Reports. “Before accepting samples, ask if there is a generic equivalent.”

And don’t wait until you get to the pharmacy to ask for samples. Pharmacists are legally prohibited from dispensing samples.