Yahoo Life has received compensation to create this article, and receives commission from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability are subject to change.
In spring 2020, my job as an event planner came to a screeching halt due to Covid restrictions. Like far too many people, I suddenly found myself without work — and without health insurance. I’m not accustomed to worrying about how I’ll pay for my essential medications. But suddenly I was faced with an extra $35 bill each month while unemployed.
I take escitalopram — a generic SSRI known better by its brand name, Lexapro — every day to manage my generalized anxiety disorder and seasonal depression, all of which were exacerbated by the stress of the pandemic. For the past year and a half, my prescription antidepressants have been more important than ever, but so has saving money.
By June 2021, work was still scarce and I couldn’t afford private health insurance. It's not like I could have just quit escitalopram cold turkey; the withdrawal symptoms can be crippling. But then I learned about the new Walmart+ Rx for Less program, and I knew the tide was starting to turn in my favor. The program makes it possible to save up to 85 percent on an exhaustive list of prescription medications — everything from blood pressure pills to diabetes medication to, of course, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medicine.
But some prescription drugs are as little as $0. You guessed it: the escitalopram I take to help manage my mental health is on that free list. I now feel like a huge burden is off my shoulders. Having my antidepressants covered completely means I can maintain my health despite my circumstances. And I still don’t even have health insurance until work picks up again. What I do have, though, is a Walmart+ membership.
The Walmart+ Rx for Less program is available only to Walmart + members, so you’re going to have to sign up to the store's loyalty program if you want to reap the benefits of these prescription savings at 4,000 participating Walmart pharmacies nationwide (in-store only). And getting extreme discounts on the medication you need to thrive is only one of the many benefits of belonging to this amazing program.
Let me tell you about all the reasons I’m a Walmart+ member — it’s the same spiel I give all my friends and family members who haven’t yet signed up for it. First of all, you can shop Walmart.com and get all your stuff delivered for free. You get free next-day and two-day shipping on all items, with no required minimum (anyone who’s not a member has to buy $35 worth of stuff before they get free shipping).
And that includes Walmart Grocery, which was a life-changer for me during lockdown. Walmart will deliver groceries to your door from your local store, sometimes within hours. All free of charge.
You can sign up for your free 15-day trial here. After that, it's just just $12.95 a month or $98 a year.
I also save money on gas thanks to the fuel program included in a Walmart+ membership. It’s a savings of five cents per gallon at participating Walmart and Murphy gas stations, which may not sound like a lot, but trust me: it adds up. Especially when work picks back up, and I’m driving from one venue to the next, I burn through gallons of gas faster than you can imagine. And Walmart+ even has a Mobile Scan & Go feature, which lets me bypass the long lines at checkout, which is also important when you move as fast as I do.
In so many ways, my Walmart+ membership has helped me cut down on stress, and now the Walmart Rx for Less program is making it even easier for me to keep my anxiety in check. I brag about the perks so much that my sister-in-law finally signed up last year. Then, bam! Just last week, my nephew developed an inner ear infection. Bactrim, the antibiotic he prescribed, is also on the $0 Walmart+ Rx for Less list. If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is!
Read more from Yahoo Life:
Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.