Healthcare costs, including how to pay for medication bills, are among the primary concerns of seniors as they step into retirement. But did you know that there are many ways to reduce your senior medication costs? Explore some of the following options, which may save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year on prescription medication.
- Order in bulk when possible. Most seniors take regular daily medications that can be bought in 90-day instead of 30-day batches. By doing this, you can often pay your co-pay for the medication just once for the 90-day supply instead of three times for each 30-day supply, which can add up over the year. Some mail order companies also offer savings over your local pharmacy, so be sure to shop around.
- Choose generic over brand names. Generic drugs contain the same formulas as brand name drugs, but are often available for a fraction of the price. Talk to your doctor about alternatives.
- Compare prices. In the U.S. the cost of prescription drugs is not regulated. That means th
at costs vary from place to place. Do your research, and find out which retailers offer your regular medications for the best price. Some may also offer coupons or discount programs which can be combined with their better prices to give you the best deal on your medications.
- If you don’t want to use generic drugs, there are many coupons that will bring down the cost of brand name medications to the generic price. Many pharmacies also have rewards programs that will give you points, discounts, or cash back after a certain number of purchases have been made, including prescriptions. Ask your pharmacy for details. There are some organizations that also supply free discount prescription drug cards, with which you can save up to 80% on the cost of prescription medications.
- Understand your Medicare/Medicaid coverage. Medicare offers extra options for assistance with prescription drugs. If you are already on Medicare, you can purchase a Medicare Part D plan that may cover the cost of your prescriptions. Be sure to analyze the list of drugs covered before signing up through a private insurance company. Another source of assistance is the Medicare Extra Help program, which gives financial assistance to seniors who have total assets of less than $13,640 for individuals or $27,250 for married people. Depending on your state, you may also be eligible for Medicaid coverage. Co-payments for prescriptions medications for those with Medicaid coverage vary, but can be as low as 50 cents.