Seniors' health conditions deteriorate as they age, requiring them to take prescription drugs. However, prescription medications do not come cheap. Fortunately, there are ways for seniors to reduce their prescription drug costs.
On average, older adults spend more than $456 out-of-pocket per year on prescription drugs. Prescription assistance programs offered by Medicare, states, and pharmaceutical manufacturers can assist you in paying for your medications at the pharmacy.
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Prescription plans reduce the cost of prescription medications on a plan's formulary. Elderly folks pay a reduced copay or coinsurance at the pharmacy rather than the full cost of medication.
Medicare Part D covers prescription drugs. Private insurance companies sell Part D plans either as a stand-alone product called a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (or PDP) or as an add-on to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Each Medicare prescription drug plan has its own health plan or list of medications that are covered. These formularies cover a variety of generic and brand-name prescription medications. Before applying in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plan, check the formulary to ensure that the medications you take are covered.
Social Security offers a program called Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Costs to assist beneficiaries in paying for prescription drugs. It covers the cost of a Medicare prescription drug program.
Medicare Extra Help is a program for low-income seniors with strict eligibility requirements. To be eligible, applicants must have a combined income of no more than $14,610 for individuals and $29,610 for couples.
Elderly folks who are eligible could receive an additional $5,000 annually, enhancing their health and quality of life by ensuring they have access to necessary medications.
While Medicare Extra Help is an excellent option for many seniors, certain prescription drug manufacturers also give subsidies for low-income individuals. Patient assistance programs (PAPs) assist low-income seniors in affording specific prescription medications by selling them at steep discounts.
PAPs assist low-income individuals by providing discounted or free medications. These programs are usually open to both insured and uninsured individuals, however, pharmaceutical companies occasionally maintain two distinct programs for these two groups.
To be eligible for a PAP, applicants must typically provide proof of income (typically a tax return), a doctor's prescription for the prescription, and proof of any insurance coverage they may have.
Just like Medicare Extra Help, PAPs are only available to low-income seniors. The majority of programs require applicants to submit a combination of personal documents and financial records to verify their financial status.
Numerous pharmaceutical companies make promo codes for their brand-name medications available online. Often, these coupons will reduce the cost of a brand-name drug to the level of the generic equivalent.
The majority of people can save between 25% and 75% on their out-of-pocket costs by choosing a generic over a brand-name drug. Generic versions of medications are less expensive than brand-name medications.
For more advice and recommendations for your senior loved ones, head over to Senior Strong today!
William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.