It is not at all uncommon for aging parents and other seniors to have prescriptions for multiple medications. Even with Medicare or other forms of health insurance, the cost of prescriptions can become burdensome. Some aging parents opt to cut down on or stop taking some medications altogether. This can have adverse effects on their health.
Before taking such drastic steps, aging parents are urged to try the following tips as ways of making their medications more affordable.
- Consult with the doctor. The first thing a person should do is talk to their doctor and let them know that they are having a hard time paying for their medications. The doctor may be able to recommend a drug that is on a lower “tier” of their prescription plan and that may not cost as much money. This may include other brand name drugs or it may include generic versions of the medication in question.
- Talk with the pharmacist. Sometimes a pharmacy may have special discount programs available that can help make certain medications more affordable.
- Call the insurance provider. An insurance company may have programs in place to help defray some costs. For example, some companies have mail-in pharmacy options that can provide a substantial savings on co-pays for covered medications.
- Look for patient programs. Many pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs for some of the drugs that they create. These may often require filling out a substantial amount of paperwork, but the savings in some cases can be dramatic.
- Contact state programs. Everyone on Medicare should have access to a State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP’s resources include counseling patients to see if they can point them toward programs that can help them save on their prescription drug costs.
Aging parents need to make sure that they adhere to their prescribed medications, so finding ways to afford those medications is crucial.