Medicare prescription drug costs in America continue to rise every year. Most likely, if you’re on Medicare, you have a Part D or a Medicare Advantage policy that covers prescriptions. The problem is that some of those drugs are really expensive, even with insurance. We’ve outlined several ways for you to save money on your health care and Medicare prescription drug costs below. Here is, 7 ways seniors can save money on Medicare prescription drugs:
1. Shop around for your Medicare Prescription Drug Policy every year
– Medicare policies have formularies, which are big ol’ lists of which drugs are covered under your insurance plan and what pricing tier they fall under. These plans and formularies change every year so depending on what drugs you’re taking, it’s worth it to check to make sure you have the lowest drug + premium cost during Open Enrollment. To shop around for Part D plans, click here.
2. Check out GoodRx.com for savings on your Medicare Prescription Drugs
– this is a coupon website that allows you to compare prices at different pharmacies and sometimes the coupons are better than insurance. We can’t guarantee that savings will always be there, but sometimes GoodRx is better. Comparing prices at different pharmacies can also help you save money by choosing the right pharmacy that has the lowest retail prices. For example, Costco often has lower retail prices for most common prescription medications and if your drug isn’t covered before the deductible, this can save you some money. Coupons on GoodRx are easily downloadable.
3. Sign up for Extra Help with your Medicare Prescription Drugs
– through Extra Help, Medicare and Social Security subsidize prescription costs for low income seniors. While there are asset limitations, the program is easier to qualify for than say, Medicaid. Extra Help can dramatically cut the copays of prescriptions. To fill out an Extra Help application, click here.
4. Take part in a Patient Assistance Program
– Pharmaceutical companies offer savings programs to qualified individuals. Most have an income limit of 300% of the Federal Poverty Level which is about double the income to qualify for Medicaid. Try googling “Patient assistance program” and your expensive drug to see what comes up. For example, the diabetes drug Jardiance has a website on savings programs at jardiance.com.
5. Talk to your doctor about alternatives and generics
– they don’t publish when generic drugs are available on the market. You might be taking the brand name version of the drug when a less expensive generic is available. Doctors can sometimes not be as concerned with cost as you might be, they’re going to prescribe a drug based on its effectiveness. Ask if there are similar medications that might cost less.
6. Question whether you need the drug anymore
– Sometimes, people don’t need the medications they take anymore, but continue taking them anyway. Lifestyle choices such as increasing exercise, eating a vegan diet, and reducing alcohol consumption can reduce the need for certain medications. Talk to your doctor about reducing or going off the drug if possible.
7. Switch to a Medicare Advantage program
– if you’re really strapped for cash and currently have traditional Medicare and a Part D policy, switching to a Medicare Advantage plan, which sometimes come with no premium and no deductible, can at least save you some money on a monthly basis. They often come with more bells and whistles too like limited dental, vision, and hearing benefits as well as a free gym membership so you might find savings in your budget elsewhere.
Do you have any questions about Medicare prescription drugs? Feel free to contact us at 231-421-7391