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Will using Optum Perks count toward a deductible?

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Discounts and insuranceUnderstanding a deductibleDiscount cardsGetting a discount cardSummary
While Optum Perks can save you money on your prescription medications, the costs will not typically count toward a deductible that you may have on a health insurance plan.
Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI
Written by Faye Stewart
Updated on

Prescription drugs are expensive, and people continue to look for ways to save. Prescription discount cards, like the ones Optum Perks offers, can greatly lower out-of-pocket expenses.

But discount cards and coupons do not typically work alongside insurance coverage, so they would not count toward reducing a deductible, although there may be a few exceptions.

In this article, we may use some unfamiliar terms relating to insurance. Here are some explanations that can help:

Deductible: This is an annual amount you must spend out of pocket, within a certain time period, before an insurer starts to cover costs.
Coinsurance: This is a percentage of a service cost that you’ll need to cover yourself.
Copayment: This is a fixed dollar amount you pay when receiving certain services, including filling prescriptions.

How do prescription discount cards work with insurance?

If you have health insurance, you’ll usually use either your insurance or your discount card, depending on which option offers the better deal.

Prescriptions purchased with a discount card do not count toward your deductible because you’ve not used your plan to make the purchase.

If your insurance does not cover the medication you need, a prescription discount card might be the best way to save you money.

But if you have one of the following accounts, you can use the money to pay for eligible medical expenses, including your discounted prescription medications:

Learn more about these savings accounts and how they work.

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Understanding a deductible

A deductible is a dollar amount you must pay toward your medical expenses, including prescriptions (if you have coverage), before your insurance plan contributes to the costs. Usually, you’ll pay the entire medication price until you reach your deductible amount.

For example, if your deductible is $500 and your medication is $50, you may pay $50, which will be deducted from the $500, leaving your deductible at $450.

You may only have to pay a copayment toward your medication. This means that if your medication is $50 and your copayment is $10 per prescription, you’ll pay the $10, and the insurer will cover the remaining $40. Each $10 payment will be subtracted from your deductible.

This process will continue until the deductible amount reaches zero. Insurance then pays for some or all of the remaining medication costs.

To determine whether you have a deductible or the amount, you can refer to your insurance plan documents or contact the insurer directly.

What are prescription discount cards?

Cards like the Optum Perks Discount Card offer discounts on prescription medication prices for people with and without insurance.

The discounts can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars on the cost of a medication, making the prescriptions affordable to those without insurance and sometimes even beating the copayment price.

But if you use a prescription discount card or coupon, it may take longer for your deductible to reach zero.

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How do prescription discount cards work?

Prescription cards usually have a network of participating pharmacies that they partner with to negotiate lower drug prices, much like a health insurance network.

You can present your card or coupon at participating pharmacies for discounted prices.

How do I get a prescription discount card?

With Optum Perks discounts, when you visit the website, you can search for your prescription in the search bar.

Optum Perks finds the lowest prices at pharmacies near you, and you can print, email, or text the discount card to yourself to present at the pharmacy.

To learn more about how Optum Perks discount cards work and to discover more about prescription savings, you can visit the FAQ section.


It’s not typically possible to use a prescription discount card or coupon alongside health insurance. This means that when you use a card or coupon, the amount will not count toward your deductible.

A deductible is an amount you must pay before an insurer begins to cover all or some of your eligible medical expenses.

But there are some health savings accounts that you can use with a discount card or coupon, including HSAs and FSAs.

Download the free Optum Perks Discount Card to save up to 80% on some prescription medications.

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