Get With the Program to Save Money on Prescription DrugsPosted by Medicare Made Clear
Saving money on prescription drugs is top-of-mind for many people with Medicare. You may know the main ways to save money, like switching to generics. But there are also quite a few programs out there specifically designed to help cut prescription costs for you or someone you love. Check out the following to see if one of these options might work for you.
Putting Your Plan to Work for You
Do you have Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage—either in a standalone plan or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan? If so, you likely chose the plan that would help you keep your prescription drug costs as low as possible. But there are a few simple tips that may help you save even more.
- Pharmacy Networks. If your Medicare prescription drug plan has a pharmacy network, be sure to use it. Network pharmacies could offer you extra savings and big discounts. Your plan might also have a special arrangement with certain pharmacies that could mean additional savings when you need to fill your prescriptions.
- Mail service Pharmacies. Many Medicare plans offer a mail-order pharmacy service. Copays are generally pretty low, and you could save even more by ordering a 90-day supply of your drugs at one time. As an added bonus, you get your medicines delivered right to your mailbox—so no waiting in line at the pharmacy.
- Prescription Drug Discount Program. Your Medicare plan might offer a prescription drug discount program. This could be a separate program from your plan benefits, or it might be included in membership. Check your plan information or call your plan’s customer service number to find out more.
Giving Your Savings a Boost
It might be worth it to take a look at other programs that can help you lower your drug costs but might be offered outside of your plan’s prescription drug coverage. If you think this might be worthwhile for you or someone you love, there are a number of programs that might meet your needs. Be sure to check with your plan before signing up for another savings program, so you can find out about any restrictions or requirements up front.
- Pharmacy Discount Programs. Some pharmacies offer discount programs to regular customers. If you think this might be a possibility for you, a good first step is to talk to the pharmacist. He or she should be able to let you know about any discount programs—and if they’re available to Medicare recipients.
- Prescription Discount Cards. Some private companies offer cards that help people save money on their prescription drugs. Most times, you’ll pay a small yearly fee to get the card, which is usually good at a wide range of pharmacies. If you’re interested in a prescription discount card and your plan gives you the “green light” to get one, you can generally find the most popular ones online. Your pharmacist may also be able to help you find a discount card from a trustworthy company.
- Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (PAPs). Brand-name drugs can be expensive. To help offset some of the cost, many drug companies have programs that offer discounts on the drugs they make. To find out if the company that makes your drugs has any such programs, call the drug company or visit the Medicare.gov PAP page.
- State Prescription Discount Programs. The state you live in may offer additional prescription drug discount programs. To find out more, contact your state’s Department of Health and Human Services or State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP). You can also call the Medicare helpline or visit Medicare.gov.
If you’ve tried other options and are still struggling, or if your financial situation has changed since you enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan, it might be worth looking for Extra Help. Extra Help is a Medicare program that helps people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug costs, including premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.
If you think you may qualify for Extra Help, call Social Security at 1‑800‑772‑1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit SocialSecurity.gov to apply online. You can also apply at your State Medical Assistance office.
For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
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