This is a guest post by Patty Kleen. The agencies referred to are in the U.S.
There is no need to tell seniors about the high cost of medical care. The cost of prescription drugs alone can be overwhelming. There are some ways to reduce the cost, however. Here are five suggestions that can help you spend less on the healthcare you so desperately need.
Take Good Care of Yourself
This may sound obvious, but the healthier you are, the less you will need to spend on healthcare. Eat a nutritious, healthy diet. Get plenty of exercise and plenty of sleep. Make sure you spend some time socializing and most importantly, find something to laugh about every day. After all, you know what they say about laughter being the best medicine.
Talk Frankly with Your Doctor
Be honest with your physician. Let him know that money is a factor. Ask for generics to be substituted for name brand prescriptions whenever possible. Have the doctor explain why each medication prescribed and each test ordered is necessary. Make it clear that you can only afford to pay for essential items.
Research Pharmacy Programs
Getting prescriptions for generic medications isn’t the only way to save on the drugs you need. Many pharmacies now have programs that allow you to pay less for some medications. Compare the programs and find out costs for the specific medicines you need. You may decide to use more than one pharmacy to get the best prices available on each medication.
You may also want to consider ordering your long term medications from a reputable online pharmacy or a mail order prescription program. You can get 90 day supplies from these sources, have them delivered right to your door, and save significantly.
Reach Out to Assistance Programs
Low income seniors without prescription insurance are eligible for a variety of prescription assistance programs. One is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. This organization helps you find help to get prescriptions at little or no cost to you and covers more than 2,500 medicines.
You should check out the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) as well. This organization helps seniors stay in their home instead of a nursing facility by providing assistance with a myriad of healthcare expenses.
Social Security also has an Extra Help program for seniors with a limited income and Medicaid is another option for low income seniors without insurance and chronic health issues. This program can also aid with transportation to and from medical appointments or with medical assistance.
Evaluate Your Options Annually
Many people’s medication needs change from year to year and you may need to switch your Medicare supplement carrier to get the most effective coverage for your needs at that time. Make sure you do your research and authorize the change during the annual open enrollment period.
You can save money on healthcare, but you must act as your own advocate. Regularly evaluate your medical needs, expenses, and your options for assistance.
About the Author:Patty Kleen is a full-time writer with a passion for travel, health, retirement planning, and finance. She frequently writes about money saving tips, bad credit loans, bankruptcy, credit repair, and more.