Coping with Rising Drug Costs: Tips for Seniors

Prescription drug prices continue to soar, and for seniors and their caregivers, this can sometimes lead to detrimental effects on their health. Government leaders are trying to come up with solutions, but in the meantime, seniors are left with some tough choices.

In one study, 85% of seniors are prescribed medication by their doctors, but one out of every 20 seniors 65 and older can’t afford it. The strategies these seniors used can be costly to their health. Some skip their medication altogether and some take less than prescribed to make that bottle of medication last longer. These are dangerous strategies that can negatively affect your health. To avoid this situation, here are some options that will help you afford your medication.

Speak to your doctor. Unless you tell him or her, your doctor won’t know your financial situation. If a drug is too expensive, talk with your doctor about less expensive alternatives. Be sure to get all the information, because some less expensive medications may not work the same way or may not work as well. To ensure your health and well-being, write down all the questions you have about your medication and ask them on your next doctor visit.

Ask for generics. Generic medications can be just as effective as the brand names. However, to get the generic option, your doctor needs to check the box on the prescription that allows your pharmacist to use generics, so be sure your doctor is aware that you need generics when writing the prescription.

Look for discounts. Ask your pharmacist if your drug store participates in any discount programs, and search on coupon websites for drug discount options. A little research can help you save a lot of money on your prescription medications.

Find assistance programs. There are a variety of government assistance programs that can help you save money on prescription drugs. Contact your local office of the Department of Health and Human Services, and they can direct you to the right department for information. Also, you can visit the website of the manufacturer for your medications for help. Most pharmaceutical companies have consumer assistance programs. There is a lot of help available for those who ask.

Review your Medicare plan. It’s time to do some more research, this time into different Medicare prescription drug plans and supplemental plans that can lower your out-of-pocket costs for medications. Each state has different plans available, so search online for plans in your area that can help. If you need assistance finding the right plan, some organizations for seniors, like the AARP, may be able to help.

Your medications are important and skipping a dose can be detrimental to your health. Your doctor, pharmacist, and even your senior living care professional can help you find ways to make medication affordable. When it’s time to consider assisted senior living, contact us at Ashbridge Manor Senior Living. Our dedicated professionals make the transition easy, and we provide helpful amenities, interesting activities, a focus on wellness, and a friendly sense of community. You can find us at 971 E. Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown, PA, call 610.269.8800, or contact us online for more information.