Americans over age 65 are taking more medications per person than ever before – seniors are taking an average of 5 prescriptions per person, and this number continues to rise. People over age 65 are also more likely to take medications chronically than younger Americans. With drug prices rising steadily, many seniors are finding that it can be difficult to manage the costs of their medication therapy with insurance alone. Luckily, Discount Drug Network’s Prescription Discount Card is available to help these patients manage their increasing drug costs.
Medicare Part D is the government funded insurance plan that was developed to help seniors manage their medication costs. However, its flawed design has resulted in crippling drug costs for thousands of seniors once they reach the coverage gap, known as the ‘donut hole’. This gap in prescription insurance coverage will occur once seniors and their insurance plans have spent $2850 on covered medications in 2014, though this number varies by year – the donut hole began after spending $2970 in 2013.
The Medicare Part D Donut Hole
The donut hole of Medicare Part D is a troubling place for many seniors, as this gap in insurance coverage means that seniors are responsible for the majority of medication costs that are encountered during this period. While the Affordable Care Act includes provisions to close the donut hole for seniors on Medicare Part D, closing this coverage gap is a process that is going to take years to complete. The healthcare law enacted rules to begin closing this gap in 2013, but it will take until 2020 to close it for good. This means seniors enrolled in Medicare Part D plans will continue to have gaps in their insurance coverage during which they will be responsible for the majority of the costs of their prescription medications.
When in the donut hole, patients can use the Prescription Discount Card instead of their insurance plan to help lower their medication costs. While the prices paid using the Prescription Discount Card will not apply to their insurance deductible, patients who are not going to make it out of the donut hole before the end of the year can benefit from using the Prescription Discount Card instead of their insurance plan to lower medication costs during this time period.
Managing Drug Costs for Seniors without Prescription Insurance
Some seniors have opted out of purchasing Medicare Part D, such as those patients who are taking very few medications or do not see a value in paying for a prescription insurance plan. For these patients, using the Prescription Discount Card can help reign in prescription drug costs and bring prices to a more reasonable level, without having to pay monthly premiums for prescription insurance. By using the easy to use Price Finder tool, seniors can see which pharmacies in their area have the lowest prices for their medications, simplifying the price checking process and enabling seniors to take an active role in managing their medication costs.
Discount Drug Network – Helping Seniors Manage Their Rx Drug Costs
The Prescription Discount Card can also help reduce the costs of medications not covered by Medicare Part D. Certain classes of medications are not covered under any of the Medicare Part D prescription insurance plans, based on the national Medicare guidelines. These include cough syrups containing codeine, medications to treat cough and cold symptoms, medications for cosmetic purposes, and medications that have not been approved by the FDA. Medicare Part D plans also do not cover medications that have been determined to be safe but not effective by the FDA, such as Midrin for migraines. The Prescription Discount Card can be applied to prescriptions for these medications to lower the cost of these drugs for seniors.
Seniors can also use the Prescription Discount Card to lower their drug prices and prevent their medication costs from reaching the donut hole level. Using the Price Finder tool, seniors can assess the costs of their medications at their pharmacy before going to the store and see if the prices will be cheaper without using their insurance. By using the Prescription Discount Card instead of their insurance, the medication will not get charged to their insurance and will not apply towards reaching the coverage gap period. This can be particularly beneficial to patients that are getting close to the donut hole and want to prevent going over their limit with medications that may have cheaper costs without insurance.
Seniors and others interested in using the Prescription Discount Card can sign up to receive the card in the mail or by email at discountdrugnetwork.com. The Price Finder tool can also be accessed through this website to discover which pharmacies offer the lowest cost medications in a particular area using the Prescription Discount Card.
Other Money-Saving Tips for Prescription Drugs
For more money-saving tips to help you reduce your prescription drug costs, make sure to read this article on Discount Drug Network’s Rx Savings Blog.