As you already know, prescription medications are a huge expense. Even if your loved one has coverage through Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage, they still have to pay the co-pay every time the prescription is filled and that really adds up. And if they don't have any prescription medication coverage the cost of meds can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year.
Here are few things we’ve found really useful in saving money on meds:
1. Make sure your loved one's doctor knows all the meds they're currently taking and talk to him or her about ways of saving money. Your loved one's doctor may not realize that another doctor has prescribed meds that are either no longer needed or shouldn’t be taken with other drugs. Your loved one may also be able to substitute cheaper generics or over-the-counter meds, or may even have free samples for new prescriptions. The only way to find out is to ask, and to bring a list of exactly what they are taking now. The Kinto Medications Tool makes that easy because it puts the list in your pocket whenever you need it.
2. If your loved one doesn’t already have prescription medication coverage, you should consider enrolling them in Medicare Part D or in a Medicare Advantage program that includes drug coverage. Unfortunately the Medicare system is incredibly complex, and there’s no easy way to choose the best plan (see Kinto's advice in the Medicare section). Also, if your loved one has limited income they may qualify for a State Run Assistance Program or additional Medicaid coverage. These programs can save thousands of dollars!
3. Shop around! You can often find good deals from online or mail order pharmacies, though you should always check that they are VIPPS certified.
4. Ask your loved one’s doctor about splitting pills. A 100mg dosage of a drug typically does not cost twice the amount of a 50mg dosage. With the right medication, a 5 dollar pill splitter can save you up to 50% of the cost! However, not all pills can be split, so check with your loved one’s doctor or pharmacist to see if splitting is an option.