(NAPSI)—There could be good news for as many as half of the 37 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans: You’ve been paying too much. Why is that good news? Because there is still an opportunity to find cost savings that you may have missed.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, some 42 million Americans are over 65 and most of them are at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions as they age.
Many of these older Americans are concerned about their health and their health care costs, a recent Walgreens survey found. More than a third of the Medicare Part D beneficiaries surveyed worry every day about their prescription drug costs and one in five say they’ve had to make sacrifices, such as delaying filling a prescription or skipping doses, to help manage medication costs.
Few realize that copays for Part D prescriptions can vary by pharmacy. And, some don’t know they can switch pharmacies at any time.
The good news is that Medicare Part D beneficiaries can save hundreds of dollars a year on prescription copay costs by using a preferred network pharmacy, if there’s one in their Part D plan. For example, Walgreens, which is in the network of all national Medicare prescription drug plans and participates in the preferred networks of four of the largest national Part D sponsors, offers significant savings on prescription copays over select pharmacies for many of the plans in which it’s a preferred pharmacy.
• The Medicare Part D beneficiaries surveyed take an average of eight prescriptions a week.
• Most seniors are trying to lower prescription costs. Seven in 10 have switched to generic medications and 44 percent are filling more 90-day prescriptions in an effort to save.
• Only hospital/emergency room costs and caregiver/assisted living expenses are a greater concern for respondents than prescription drug costs.
Saving at the Pharmacy
There are three easy steps for Medicare Part D beneficiaries looking to save on prescription drug costs:
1. Fill your prescriptions at a preferred pharmacy like Walgreens to save on copays.
2. Ask your pharmacist if generic substitutions are available.
3. Talk to your pharmacists about 90-day fill options for maintenance medications if your plan offers lower copays.
Talk to your pharmacist or visit walgreens.com/medicare.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)