(TJ Gibb, VP, Medicare Part D, Humana) – While inflation is forcing many people to cut back on purchases, spending on your health is not where you want to trim your budget. However, if you have a prescription drug plan (PDP), now is a good time to take a closer look at how you can get the most out of your PDP, including ways to make your medications more affordable and accessible.
Here are six considerations to keep in mind for your medications:
Smart Shoppers Compare Costs: Many seniors take multiple medications to treat chronic conditions, which can get expensive. If you’re taking a brand-name drug, you can likely reduce costs by either taking a generic or an alternative medication that treats the same condition but is less expensive. For instance, some pharmacies like CenterWell Pharmacy will let you know if there’s a lower-cost option available and how much it will save you annually.
• Carefully Choose Your Pharmacy: It is best to select a pharmacy that is in your plan’s network. Some pharmacies, referred to as preferred pharmacies, might offer prescriptions at a lower cost. Check with your PDP to see if there’s another pharmacy in your area that could save you money.
• Need a Refill? There’s an App for That: Another good way to make sure you refill prescriptions on time and easily manage your medications is to use mobile applications. For example, Humana members have access to MyHumana, a secure and easy-to-use web and mobile application designed to help members get the most out of their PDP benefits.
• The Pharmacy is Ready to Help: While doctors prescribe your medication, pharmacists are most knowledgeable about them. Many PDPs have pharmacists available to speak with you. If you have any questions or concerns about the medicine you’re taking, make that call rather than wait in line at a pharmacy or for your next doctor’s visit.
• Get Extra Assistance When Needed: There are low-income subsidies that can further reduce copays and help you afford your medication if you qualify. Additionally, there are patient assistance programs offered through drug manufacturers, foundations and state-based assistance programs that can help cover medication costs.
• There’s No Place Like Home for Getting Your Medications: Transportation can be costly and not always accessible, making it difficult to get to the pharmacy for needed medications. And you could make a trip to the pharmacy, only to find out your medication is out-of-stock. Instead, take advantage of home delivery options to help ensure medications are received on time. Reduce your costs with home delivery by getting a 90-day supply of the medicine, which often has a lower copay than filling it each month, and by signing up for auto-refills to ensure you don’t miss a dose.
These options are especially important for seniors to consider since research shows they take an average of 15 prescriptions per year. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that offers prescription drug coverage or a stand-alone prescription drug plan, check to see what’s included so you can start using these services.
Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, HMO SNP, PPO, PPO SNP and PFFS organization and a stand-alone PDP prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on contract renewal. Other pharmacies are available in the Humana network.