How to Lower Your Medicare Drug Costs
Driving near Monterey, Calif., recently, I stopped at a roadside stand to buy some freshlypicked strawberries. May is high season for California strawberries, and the fields were exploding with beautiful, ripe fruit.
The gentleman working the stand, Jack, asked what I do for a living. When I told him I work for Medicare, he said he was having difficulty paying for his prescription drugs. So we talked for a while about ways he might be able to reduce his drug costs.
If you have Medicare and you’re having trouble paying for prescription drugs, signing up for Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage may help, even if you have to pay a lateenrollment penalty.
There are other ways you may be able to save. Consider switching to drugs that cost less. Ask your doctor if there are generic, overthecounter, or less expensive brandname drugs that could work just as well as the ones you’re taking now.
Switching to lowercost drugs can save you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars a year. Visit Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov/findaplan to get information on ways to save money in your Medicare drug plan. Or call 1800MEDICARE (18006334227) and ask our customer service representatives.
You may also be able to lower your Medicare prescription drug costs by:
- Exploring nationaland communitybased programs that may help you with your drug costs, like the National Patient Advocate Foundation or the National Organization for Rare Disorders. Get information on federal, state, and private assistance programs in your area on the Benefits Check Up website at benefitscheckup.org. The help you get from some of these programs may count toward your true outofpocket (TrOOP) costs. TrOOP costs are the expenses that count toward your Medicare drug plan outofpocket expenses—up to $4,950 in 2017. These costs determine when your catastrophic coverage will begin.