During our working years, we dream about the languid, carefree days of retirement. Imagining leisurely days spending time with our spouses, pampering our grandchildren, and taking long lunches with friends keep us going during the long haul of our careers. One thing missing from this idyllic fantasy? The fact that as a retired person, you are now on a fixed income, so it is critical to monitor your finances closely. Even with careful financial planning, it can be difficult to anticipate the rising cost of everyday items, especially necessary ones such as medication. Senior medical care shouldn’t be placed in the “optional” column of your monthly budget due to rising costs. Here, we’ll examine rising medical costs for senior medical care, and how you can save money on medications.
Medication Costs Rising for Seniors
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recently reported that about 5% of adults 65 or older don’t take their required medications due to increased medical costs. Many seniors have also reported that they don’t take their medication as often or delay filling scripts as prescribed to save money. Drug costs are rising in the United States due to pharmaceutical companies hiking prices on older, brand-name drugs. With the average price hike hovering around 10%, this is 5 times the rate of inflation. This can torpedo even the most diligent financial plans, especially if you rely on a myriad of medications to keep you healthy and active.
How to Save Money on Medications
Just as you would comparison shop for a new car or piece of furniture, shopping around for the best price on medications is also a great way to save money. It pays to be a savvy consumer when it comes to health care, and here a few tips for saving money on medication costs:
- Go Generic: Ask your doctor if there is a different version of your medication that is just as effective as what you currently use. Many times you’ll be able to find generic versions of your medication or different name brands that are perfectly suited to replace your brand-name medications. Think of shopping for medicine in the aisle of your grocery store– often times the generic brand includes the same active ingredients as the name brand, and all for a lower price.
- Switch to a Mail-Order Pharmacy: How can a mail-order pharmacy save you money? These pharmacies operate through your health plan and allow you to buy medication in bulk, thereby ensuring a lower cost for the consumer. Often, you can purchase up to a 90-day supply of medication at one time.
- Get the Right Medicare Plan: Not sure which Medicare plan is right for you? Research the Medicare Plan Finder to compare different plans, or speak with a counselor at your local State Health and Insurance and Assistance Programs for free, expert advice.
- Seek Help From State Programs: You’ll find that many states offer assistance for medication costs. Explore Medicare.gov to see what programs and assistance are available in your area.
- See if Drug Manufacturers Can Help: Some drug companies offer to help pay for their medications. Speak with your doctor to see how you can contact the manufacturer of your medication to request payment assistance.
At Nye Health Services, we pride ourselves on our long record of quality and compassionate senior care. Nye Health Services offers a wide array of senior health options such as rehabilitation services, home care services, independent living, assisted living, and skilled care. Contact us to see how we can help with the most beloved members of your family tree.