8 Tips to Control Medication Costs

 
According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, almost half of the population over 65 takes three or more drugs per day, and we’re not talking medical marijuana here. Kate Forgach is a Baby Boomer consumer specialist for Kinoli Inc. who writes on such topics for Cooperative Extension.

By Kate Forgach

BoomerCafé Co-founder Greg Dobbs’ recent health-crisis experience in Northern Ireland put a fine point on problems we presently face in the U.S. The ever-increasing cost of medications just adds fuel to this fire.

Kate Forgach

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, almost half of the population over 65 takes three or more drugs per day, and we’re not talking medical marijuana here.

For many Baby Boomers and seniors, paying for all this pill popping is expensive, thus a few cost-cutting tips may not go amiss.

1. Partnership for Prescription Assistance
The PPA is a non-profit organization helping Americans without coverage receive the drugs they need for free or nearly free. They offer a single-point access to nearly 500 public and private programs.

2. RX Access Card
The nation’s leading drug companies combined efforts to provide low-income citizens who lack healthcare coverage with a price reduction on prescription products. The RX Access Card is free to those with specific household incomes. Usually you can save 25 to 50 percent per prescription.

3. Name Brands
Not all name brands are interchangeable. If a medication isn’t working the way it used to or as described by your physician, check to see if a pharmacy’s substitution is the problem.

4. Follow Up
Follow up with your doctor, If you’re not getting the results you want. There’s no point in shelling out for a scrip that isn’t doing the whole job when something else might work better. Check with the nurse first, however, as they may simply talk to your physician and change your script without your having to pay for an office visit.

5. Review Your Prescriptions Regularly
If you’re taking more than a couple drugs regularly, schedule periodic reviews with your physician to evaluate whether each medication is still needed and if you might be experiencing problems with drug interactions that reduce efficacy.

6. Reduce Costs With Coupons
You wouldn’t normally think of coupons in relation to medications, but over-the-counter drugs frequently show up on such couponing sites as FreeShipping.org.

7. Shop Around
Compare prices between chain drugstores before you hand over your prescription.

8. Split Your Meds
If your insurance plan charges the same co-pay for a higher-strength prescription, you can divide each pill to save money. Check with your doctor or pharmacist first, however, as some time-release tablets must be taken whole or they lose effect.
 

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