15 Costco Hacks That Will Cut Your Health Care Costs

NEWS & TRENDING - SHOPPING & DEALS NEWS
Outsmart skyrocketing health care costs with these brilliant Costco hacks.
Updated April 16, 2024
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Health care costs can quickly add up, putting a strain on your budget, especially if you're planning for retirement. However, Costco is one place where you can get significant savings on your health care costs. It just takes a bit of savvy shopping.

In addition to having competitive prices on various pharmacy items, Costco provides several health care services that won’t strain your wallet. In some cases, you don’t even need to be a member, but generally, the annual fee more than pays for itself in savings.

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Take advantage of the Member Prescription Program

joyfotoliakid/Adobe physician recommend pills

You don’t have to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy. However, if you are, you can access their Member Prescription Program. It offers discounts on prescriptions, potentially saving you a hefty chunk of change compared to other pharmacies.

You can even use Costco’s website to get a list that compares their prices to their competitors. That way, you can determine if Costco is your best option.

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Get your pets' medications filled at the pharmacy

Justyna/Adobe sick dog

Pets need meds, too. But rather than paying steep prices at the vet, consider getting your furry friend’s prescriptions filled at Costco. The same Member Prescription Program applies to pet prescriptions and savings on common OTC pet treatments.

You can also get pet supplements, vitamins, and supplies at Costco while you’re at it, potentially compounding your savings.

Get your back-to-school vaccinations at the pharmacy

ReaLiia/Adobe arm of a boy with bandage

Back-to-school season often means getting vaccines for your children that protect them from serious diseases. Check with your Costco to see if they offer such a clinic where you may get shots at a lower cost compared to your doctor's office.

On some insurance plans, there may be no out-of-pocket cost at all. Even if you don’t have health insurance, Costco generally keeps costs low.

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Get vaccines before you travel

Mia B/peopleimages.com/Adobe woman and doctor with plaster

Planning an international trip to parts unknown? You may need particular vaccines to travel to certain places. And these shots may run into the hundreds of dollars.

Costco pharmacies have a range of shots, including for diseases like hepatitis A and B, typhoid, yellow fever, and more. For $39.99, you can get a full travel consultation.

By getting these vaccines at Costco, you can potentially save money compared to other outlets — and protect yourself while traveling overseas.

Get your eye exams and glasses at Costco Optical

InsideCreativeHouse/Adobe eye doctor with female patient during an examination in modern clinic

Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good vision health, but at outlets like Lenscrafters, that can cost a pretty penny, depending on your insurance. That’s why this Costco hack is one of our favorites.

Costco Optical eye exams are generally affordable. Additionally, they have a wide selection of eyeglasses and contact lenses for a variety of budgets. So once you finish your exam, you can order lenses, frames, and anything else you need without breaking the bank.

Spend less on reading glasses

Syda Productions/Adobe senior man sitting at home in couch adjusting glasses to read newspaper

Costco is a great place to find inexpensive yet quality options if you only need reading glasses. They sell a variety of readers with different magnification strengths at low prices.

Stock up on a few pairs so you always have them handy when you need them — especially if you constantly lose them or forget they’re on top of your head.

Buy your over-the-counter medicines in bulk

Birch Photography/Adobe Tylenol

Regarding OTC medicines like pain relievers, allergy medications, or antacids, Costco's bulk packaging can save you a lot of money. For example, you can buy 1,000 500-mg tablets of acetaminophen for a mere $9.99. No one can argue that’s not a reasonable price.

The same is true for common medications like omeprazole and ibuprofen. So it’s more than worth the membership cost if you use one or more of these meds frequently.

Stock up on bulk vitamins and supplements

monticellllo/Adobe dietary supplement capsules

Maintaining good nutrition is essential for your health. To that end, Costco sells a range of vitamins and supplements. Again, buying these items in bulk can save you money compared to purchasing smaller bottles at regular grocery stores.

Just make sure you talk to your doctor and make sure you’re supplementing with products they recommend, as some may interact with other medications — or not be helpful at all.

Save on walkers, wheelchairs, and canes

AnnaStills/Adobe senior man on walker

If you or a loved one requires non-prescription mobility aids such as walkers, wheelchairs, or canes, Costco's health care department may be an affordable option. They sell a selection of these items at competitive prices. The customer reviews vouch for the quality.

Again, make sure your doctor knows you’re buying such items from Costco and approves of them. These products aren’t a substitute for more advanced equipment.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

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Save on hearing aids

pikselstock/Adobe applying hearing aid

Costco sells hearing aids at some of its warehouse locations. In fact, Costco has 11% of the hearing aid market in the U.S. 

With that volume, the savings can be significant, especially considering the high cost of hearing aids in traditional settings. You can also get tested to assess your specific needs at some outlets.

However, the same caveat is at play here, as hearing aids are anything but a one-size-fits-all device. But if the devices Costco offers match your needs, you can save some cash.

Save on all of your nutritional needs

Pixel-Shot/Adobe young woman with protein powder

Costco stocks a wide range of nutritious foods that can have medicinal impacts on your diet. From fresh produce to organic staples and bulk items, you can stock up on wholesome food while keeping your budget in check.

This includes specialty items like protein shakes and powders, kids’ products, food for folks with compromised immune systems, and more.

Test yourself before you wreck yourself

Syda Productions/Adobe self testing coronavirus test

Need to do a blood test to see how your levels are balancing? For less than $50, Costco sells a kit that detects cholesterol levels and liver function. For some, that can be less than what you would pay at your doctor’s office.

With regard to COVID-19 tests, Costco sells a FlowFlex brand box of five tests for only $31.99. That’s less than what you pay at many other pharmacies and stores.

Buy oral care items from the warehouse

cristovao31/Adobe toothbrush and toothpaste

Good oral hygiene is crucial for overall health, especially as we age. Fortunately, Costco sells many oral care products, including water flossers, electric toothbrushes, replacement heads, analog toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash.

Reviews for these products across the board are good, so now you have no excuse the next time your dental hygienist lectures you for not flossing enough.

Get menstrual and continence hygiene items for less

gpointstudio/Adobe woman holding a sanitary pad

While talking about this stuff might make a few folk blush, it’s important. Costco stocks menstrual hygiene products like pads and tampons at competitive prices. Additionally, they carry continence hygiene items such as adult diapers and incontinence pads.

For those who deal with menstrual pain, you can also buy heating pads and all the Aleve you need. There’s also plenty of chocolate for the rough days.

Fill up your first-aid kit

New Africa/Adobe first aid kit

Every household should have a well-stocked first-aid kit for minor injuries and emergencies. Costco sells a wide range of first-aid supplies, including bandages, antiseptics, Q-tips, hand sanitizer, pain relievers, and more. You can even score thermometers to check body temps.

They also carry fully stocked FSA-eligible first-aid kits if you don’t have one at home already. Don’t forget to add face masks to protect yourself in public.

Bottom line

Coetzee/peopleimages.com/Adobe medical eyes test

Whether you need prescription medications, vaccinations, eyeglasses, mobility aids, or other health care essentials, Costco's competitive prices and bulk offerings can help you save.

For even more savings, use the best credit cards for your Costco purchases. Some offer cash back rewards or bonus points on warehouse club spending, which can further reduce your health care expenses.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Cat Lafuente Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.

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