Many older adults take multiple prescription medications.
In fact, the average senior takes between 14 and 18 different medicines. Even with insurance or Medicare Part D, the costs can add up. Sometimes the high costs leave older adults having to make decisions between paying for their medicine or for other necessities, like food or the heating bill. In some cases, family caregivers may find themselves paying for some of the senior’s expenses, so they can afford their medicine. If your aging relative struggles with paying for their prescription drugs, here are 5 ways to lower their costs.
#1: Ask for the Generic Form
Brand name drugs cost an average of 85 percent more than generic drugs. The FDA regulates generic drugs in much the same way they do brand name ones. They must perform the same and at the same level as the brand name version. However, there can be some small differences, so caregivers should talk to the older adult’s doctor before making the change.
#2: Find Out if the Cash Price is Lower
Sometimes using insurance to pay for medications costs more than if you just pay cash. This can happen when the copay is higher than the price of the drug. So, before handing over your aging relative’s Medicare or insurance card, ask the pharmacist what the cash price is and what you’ll pay using insurance.
#3: Use Mail Order
Find out if your aging relative’s insurance has a mail-order pharmacy plan. Most mail order programs allow users to receive a three-month supply instead of just one, which often results in the senior paying less. It also means that caregivers spend less time running back and forth to the pharmacy.
#4: Look for Manufacturer Assistance
Many drug manufacturers have assistance programs for people who qualify. You can find out about assistance programs by searching the name of the drug and “patient assistance.” Before using a coupon, though, make sure you understand how it affects the way insurance covers the drug.
#5: Choose Another Medicare Drug Plan
There are different kinds of Medicare drug plans, so there may be one out there that will lower your aging relatives out of pocket costs. For example, some Medicare drug plans place drugs into different tiers. With this kind of plan, how much the senior pays will depend on which tiers their medications fall under. To learn about plan options, caregivers can use the Medicare Plan Finder found on the medicare.gov website. Or, you can contact a counselor at the State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs office in the older adult’s state.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Ardmore, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. Call today: (484) 206-4544
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