The myriad of choices for seniors with prescription drug insurance is confusing and often feels like finding one’s way out of a maze. While it is important to review your needs each year, it can be a daunting task that feels so overwhelming that you don’t even know where to begin. The good news is that there is help and it is free. There is assistance available through your local senior centers or agencies on aging.
Work with your health care providers, pharmacists and insurance company to find the best value that will reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Private insurance and Medicare both have assistance when it comes to paying for prescription drugs. Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and private Medicare Advantage plans allow flexibility in choosing their pharmacy, the amount paid in premiums, deductibles and coverage.
- Request a list of all medicines covered by your insurance provider.
- Consider generic prescriptions. You can compare best buys by visiting the following website: http://www.CRBestBuyDrugs.org
- Look for senior citizen discount, pharmacy discount cards or mail order pharmacies.
- Do not give out personal information such as social security number, banking information, birth date or mother’s maiden name over the phone or email
- Ask for references
- Do not feel pressured to make an immediate decision, hang up or delete the email
Get all the benefits you deserve. Find and enroll in federal, state, local and private programs that help pay for prescription drugs, utility bills, meals, health care and other needs at http://www.benefitscheckup.org.
Other helpful resources:
- Getting Started
- New Beneficiary
- Find Out if you’re Eligible
- Choosing or Changing Your Coverage
- Medicare & You 2010 Handbook
- Apply Online for Medicare Now
Get answers to questions about:
- Choosing a health care plan
- Deciding between original Medicare (fee-for-service) and Medicare Advantage Plan
- Understanding your new health plan choices
- How to understand your Medicare bill
- How/whether to purchase additional health insurance (Medigap policy, long-term care insurance, etc.)
- Understanding how to appeal payment denials
- Understanding your Medicare rights/protections and how to submit a complaint about medical care or treatment
Revisit your plan every year to make sure you have the options that serve you the best. This would be a good time to check your prescriptions and think about getting rid of any that may be outdated. Look for how to do this in an upcoming blog.