Prescription drug use is increasing across all groups of people. But seniors are the most like to use multiple medications at once. This phenomenon, called polypharmacy, sees some seniors saddled with ten or more prescriptions. As age increases, so does the number of pills consumed each day.
Whether or not polypharmacy is the best option medically, the financial burden is undeniable. Even with a Medicare Part D plan, prescription drugs costs stifle many seniors. This is especially true in the coverage gap, where patients are responsible for a larger percentage of drug costs. If you’re overwhelmed by the cost of medication or caring for a senior on a tight budget, try these 6 ways to save on prescription drugs.
The average price difference between generic and brand-name drugs is between 80% and 85%. This represents a huge opportunity for cost savings, especially for people who take multiple medications.
Brand loyalty might be keeping you on a more expensive drug. But generic equivalents are subject to the same quality standards and contain the same active ingredients as brand-name medication. Unless your doctor has a specific medical reason for you a brand-name drug, ask for the generic.
Generic equivalents aren’t always available. But there are many different medications to treat common conditions. When your doctor prescribes something new or expensive, ask if a more economical option exists.
If you have Part D coverage, what you pay for a drug will depend on the plan’s formulary. This list puts medication in different categories and often changes from year to year. Request a copy of the formulary to help your doctor find the lowest price option for your condition.
If your Part D plan has preferred pharmacies, you should be using them whenever possible. They offer benefits like co-pay discounts, bulk ordering, or home delivery.
It’s especially important to shop around if you aren’t enrolled in prescription drug coverage. Prices can vary significantly between pharmacies. Call different retail chains and smaller independent stores to make sure you’re paying the lowest possible price.
Enrolling in prescription drug coverage with Medicare can be overwhelming. Once you’ve selected a plan, it’s easy to stick with the status quo. But the plan that’s best for you will change as you age and your prescriptions increase.
Ask friends and family for advice or help researching new plans. You can also take advantage of resources like State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, where counselors are available to help find the right Medicare plan for you.
Medicare is a federal government program, but some states offer extra assistance to residents with a specific health condition or below a certain income. Check the Medicare website to see if you qualify for one of these programs.
What if you take an expensive drug that isn’t covered by your Part D plan, or pay high out-of-pocket costs in the coverage gap? RxConnected.comis a Canadian prescription referral service that helps patients in the U.S. purchase lower-priced maintenance medications from licensed pharmacies in Canada and around the world. All you need is a valid prescription from your doctor. Placing an order online or over the phone is easy, and medication is delivered right to your door.
Ready to spend less money on prescriptions and less time at the pharmacy? Visit RxConnected.comto compare prices and find out just how much you could be saving.
Katharine is a creative content writer who loves to tell stories. When she’s not busy writing, Katharine spends time hiking, cycling, and exploring beautiful British Columbia.