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As a senior citizen, it’s safe to say you’ve got your health and wellness on your mind. Regular doctor visits, safe exercise, and a well-balanced diet are all important factors, but the basic effects of aging often times require the use of medication. Unfortunately, prescription costs in the U.S. have skyrocketed, meaning that Americans currently pay far more for their medicine than residents in any other country. As a retiree on a fixed income, it may be difficult for you to afford some of these medications. You’re looking to balance the need for medical treatment with cost-friendly solutions, so we’ve put together a list of easy tips and tools to help control the costs of your prescription medication.
Switching to Generic Meds
Name brand medication is often accompanied with a much higher price tag. In order to help combat these costs, pharmaceutical companies often produce generic versions of their products. Much the same as buying off brand cleaning solutions or soup at your local grocery store, these medications are cheaper and indistinguishable from the so-called “real thing.” To ensure they work just as effectively, the FDA has ordered rigorous quality assurance testing and guidelines. Additionally, studies have shown that these medications are often 85% less expensive than their brand name counterparts, saving the U.S. health care system $1.67 Trillion from 2007 to 2016.
For those that are covered by original Medicare, it’s probably no surprise that there are some stringent restrictions when it comes to medication coverage. Medicare Part A provides coverage for inpatient medications, and Part B pays for some outpatient medicine, but the coverage stops there. For this reason, it’s suggested you seek out a supplement plan to help support that coverage gap. When researching available insurance plans, make sure to have a list of all necessary medications handy so that you can have an agent check to confirm these will be covered. If you don’t, you could end up paying a hefty amount in copays.
Online Coupon Sites
This is one resource we recommend with some reservations. When issued by the pharmaceutical company, they can provide deep discounts on popular name brand medications and offset the high copays charged by insurance companies. However, in recent years there have been a slew of sites claiming to offer huge savings across the board. Before jumping to use a prescription medication coupon, consider the following:
- Generic brands might be cheaper; these coupons are usually for name brand only.
- This might direct you to a less-effective medication; always consult with your doctor.
- The coupon could be a limited time offer, meaning once you get started on name brands your stuck paying the actual costs once the coupon expires
- The site could be fraudulent! Check with this online resource to find out what programs and discounts you qualify for.
State Pharmaceutical Assistance
Depending on where you live, you may actually qualify for additional payment assistance from your state government. These supplements can provide you with a monthly sum and vary from state to state, usually coming either in the form of one lump sum or a percentage-based reimbursement depending on how much you spend on medication. To check for availability, log on to the Medicare website to see what’s available. You’ll receive information on the state’s respective programs, what the requirements might be, and how to apply.
Ask Your Pharmacist for Assistance
The very place you go to pick up your prescriptions may be a source for opportunities to save money. Whatever store you favor, the pharmacy team there has tools that can help you save big on brands across the board. They may be able to offer you discounts on generic medications, and often times have index tools that allow them to search for the most cost-friendly solution. Additionally, ask them about 90-day prescription fills. Much like buying in bulk, these three-month scripts are often much cheaper in the long run.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to have one or more prescription medication. When the drug brand is particularly expensive, or the number of necessary medications increase, it can cause costs to quickly pile up. By taking consideration of generic meds, supplemental insurance, using the right discounts, looking for state assistance, and shopping with pharmacies that value your dollar, you can help to cut down on high payments. However, if you’re still struggling to pay for your prescription drugs, it may be time to consider a life settlement. If you have unused or extra life insurance policies, the experts at Life Settlement Advisors can help you trade it in for a healthy cash lump sum. To learn more, contact us today.
James lost Margaret to cancer a few years ago. Now retired, James no longer needs the life insurance policy he purchased for Margaret just in case. James sold his life insurance policy, and used the proceeds to help fund his grandchildren’s education.
Life Settlement Advisors