Many older adults take multiple prescriptions to manage health conditions. With the rising cost of drugs, this may get quite expensive. In fact, many older adults are concerned about the cost of their prescriptions since they can be quite a drain on a limited budget. Yet, they may be unaware of ways that they can reduce the amount they pay for their medications. Below are some ways family caregivers can help seniors to save money on prescriptions.
If the older adult is taking brand-name medications, they may be able to save money by taking generic forms of the drugs. Generic drugs work the same way name-brand drugs do, they are just cheaper. Family caregivers and their aging relatives should have a conversation with the doctor about whether there is a generic drug that can replace the more expensive ones they are currently taking.
Use a Mail Order Service
When your aging relative uses a brick-and-mortar pharmacy to pick up their monthly prescriptions, they may pay more because pharmacies have higher overhead costs than do mail order services. Family caregivers can help older adults to reduce prescription costs by helping them to find a reputable mail-order pharmacy and getting them set up to receive prescriptions by mail.
Request a Higher Dose
Talk to the senior’s doctor about ordering their drugs at a higher dosage that can be split using a pill-splitter. For example, if the older adult is currently taking 5 mg of a drug, find out if the pill is available in a 10 mg dose that they can cut in half. Some medications cannot be cut, though, so be certain you know which of your older family member’s pills can be split.
Change Medicare Plans
If your older family member doesn’t currently have a Medicare drug plan or has one that isn’t meeting their needs, they should consider making a change the next time the opportunity is available.
Apply for Assistance
Family caregivers may be able to find programs that older adults can apply for to get assistance paying for prescription medications. There are plenty of programs out there. They are available through state and federal governments, drug manufacturers, Medicare, and some non-profit groups.
Try Different Places
Caregivers may want to call around to different pharmacies to check their prices. Not all pharmacies charge the same amount for drugs, so it may be wise to determine where the older adult will get the best prices.