As we age, another set of responsibilities comes with managing our health. Along with more doctor’s visits, an increased number of prescriptions often comes. And for those of us on a fixed income, prescription costs can be a real budget buster. Did you know that about three out of every four seniors take prescription drugs- and more than five pills a day, on average!
Knowing how to bring down your prescription cost can save you hundreds of dollars per year. If you’re part of the New Jersey Medicare system, here are some tips to help you keep more money in your pocket.
What Is Medicare?
Anyone who is over the age of 65 or who has a certain disability is eligible for Medicare. The federal government manages this health insurance program, and there are four parts to it:
∙ Part A includes services such as inpatient hospitalization, skilled nursing institutions, hospice, and home health care.
∙ Part B could include outpatient medical care, including doctor visits, preventative services, and some durable medical equipment.
∙ Part C can also be referred to as Medicare Advantage. This private health insurance plan must offer at least the same coverage as Parts A and B, but often with additional benefits.
∙ Part D is prescription drug coverage.
Five Ways To Reduce Your Prescription Costs In NJ Medicare
Anyone in the Medicare Part D Plan can take advantage of the following tips to help lower prescription costs.
Consider Using Generic Drugs
Did you know that generic drugs can be up to 85% cheaper than brand name drugs? If your doctor has prescribed a drug, ask them if there is a generic equivalent that you could try. In New Jersey, pharmacies are required to tell you the prescription costs before they fill it. This way, you can compare costs and decide which medication is right for you. For example, Lipitor’s brand-name drug can cost upwards of $150 for a 30-day supply. The generic version, Atorvastatin, can cost as little as $9 for the same amount.
Sign Up For Discounts On Prescription Drugs
There’s always a way to find a great deal on something, including prescription drugs. Have you heard of the program Good-Rx before? It’s a website and app that offers discounts of up to 80% on prescriptions at almost every pharmacy in the country. New users can print out a coupon or show it to their pharmacist on their phone. You can even sign up with them to receive a text or email every time your prescription is due for a refill.
Good-Rx is free to use, and there are no membership fees. Good-Rx isn’t the only program out there that offers discounts on prescriptions. Another one to check out is RxSaver by RetailMeNot.
Look Into State Programs That Help With Prescription Costs
Another thing you can do to cut costs is by looking into state and federal programs. Every state has a pharmaceutical assistance program online, which offers discounted or free prescription drugs to qualified residents. New Jersey’s PAAD program provides assistance with the cost of medication for senior citizens with limited incomes and few assets. You can learn more about New Jersey’s PAAD program and how to apply directly on their website.
Consider Altering Your Medicare Plan
Any insurance plan can get quite complex and applying for a Medicare Health Plan is no exception. Review your current Medicare Health Plan to see if it’s still the best option for you. Are you taking advantage of all the benefits that are available to you? If not, it might be time to consider switching to a new plan.
Every year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, you should review if you have any deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket costs. If your plan isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to switch.
Ask Your Doctor About Prescription Drug Samples
If you have an excellent relationship with your doctor, they might be able to help you lower your prescription costs in a number of ways. For example, they might be able to prescribe a lower-cost medication or offer you samples of the drugs you need. Drug companies often give doctors free samples to give to patients, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may end up finding the medication doesn’t work for you, but it’s worth a try if it means saving money.
There are many things New Jersey residents on Medicare can do to save on prescription drugs. Lowering your prescription costs doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take a little bit of effort on your part. By following these tips, you can be sure you’re getting the best possible deal on your medication. New Jersey Medicare members can also take advantage of the many benefits and discounts that are available to them. Review your current plan and consider switching to a new one if necessary.