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(This is one of two sponsored posts for Walgreens. Thanks to Walgreens for trusting thriftymommastips to tell the story of caregiving and Medicare Part D. I was compensated. My opinion is all my own.)
Nobody wants to be on medication. And yet, here’s the rub. Pretty much every person I have ever met or cared for, within my family and extended family, has needed the help of a prescription to fix, or maintain health. Sometimes medicine is vital to your health. Sometimes it is crucial that you become your own advocate. Health care is one of those domains where advocacy is not optional, but an essential skill. And sometimes shopping around for the best doctor, or the lowest price on prescriptions, is every bit as much a part of that health care process as showing up for your doctor’s appointment.
I have had Crohn’s Disease for well over 25 years. In that time I have become an expert on my own health care, and when it came time to parent two little girls with special needs, I knew I could do it because of my experiences. And when the caregiving extended to care for my own mother, who was diagnosed with dementia two years ago, well I also knew why I was right for the job. I shop around; I educate myself on the issues or illnesses and I read up on medications so we know what we are taking.
Whether you like it or not, prescriptions are a reality of daily life for so many people.
My family is important to me. Odds are, you couldn’t guess which members of my family are on regular prescriptions to maintain health.
My kids, my Mom and I all have needed prescriptions often in the last decade. Prescriptions actually eat up a massive chunk of our family budget. When I was a new university graduate and my Crohn’s, an inflammatory bowel disease thought to also be an autoimmune disorder, was in full flare I frequently lost a lot of weight, watched my energy vanish, and the potential to make money sadly shrivelled up. Those days, as sick as I was, with prescriptions that cost over $500 a month and no drug plan, I was often faced with the reality of paying for medications that were needed, or getting food. Paying tuition, paying for food and drugs? Impossible. That’s a position nobody should ever have to find themselves in, especially as a caregiver, or a patient.
Sadly, I am far from alone, caregivers everywhere are forced to make these terrible choices daily. Seniors, on fixed incomes, and people struggling with disability shouldn’t be forced to choose between prescriptions and groceries. Families bearing emotional and financial responsibility for caregiving shouldn’t be fearful of how to spend their money. Caregiving is hard enough, rewarding for sure, but challenging in so many ways. The stress of caregiving shouldn’t be compounded by cost of prescription drugs.
Medicare Part D Costs
Medicare Part D plan may save you money on your medications.
To find out if you qualify, read the Walgreens Medicare Part D plans criteria..
If you don’t have prescription drug coverage and live in the U.S. then you can save if you compare Medicare Part D plans. According to the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2012 there were over 31.5 million people enrolled in Medicare Part D. A Walgreens survey shows that 37 % of Medicare Part D beneficiaries surveyed had daily concerns about their prescription drug costs. One in five says they’ve had to make sacrifices, such as delaying filling a prescription, or skipping doses to help manage medication costs.
Using a preferred network pharmacy, if one is offered by the Part D plan, can potentially save beneficiaries hundreds of dollars each year on prescription co-pay costs. Yet, only 21 % of respondents switched to a pharmacy within their their plan’s preferred network as a way to save. One fourth of respondents are not aware of whether their plan offers a preferred pharmacy option. Walgreens is in the network of hundreds of Medicare prescription drug plans and participates in the preferred networks of four national Part D sponsors. Walgreens also offers savings of up to 75 % on prescription copays over select pharmacies.
Walgreens Your Worth Savings initiative aims to educate Medicare beneficiaries about cost savings opportunities and how to get the most from their health plan.
Walgreens advises three simple steps to help Medicare Part D beneficiaries save as much as 75 % on prescription drug costs.
1. Review your Medicare Part D plan.
2. Talk to a Walgreens pharmacist about costs concerns and ways you can save.
3. Compare co-pay and other costs against your current plan and pharmacy.
Caregiving is challenging enough without compounding the journey with financial hardship. Compare Medicare Part D plans and be your own advocate for savings.