It’s no secret that healthcare costs are skyrocketing and the prices of prescription drugs are out of control.
Americans spent $425 billion on prescription drugs in 2015 alone. That’s a record high. And it’s getting worse… Spending is expected to rise as high as $610 billion in just four years!
The scary thing is that most Americans are doing nothing about it. High drug prices have become a troubling “new normal.”
But they don’t have to be. There’s an easy way to ensure that you aren’t paying too much for your prescriptions. And all you have to do is go shopping.
Prescription Drug Shopping
It’s open enrollment time for those of you covered by Medicare or the Affordable Healthcare Act. Now is the time to make changes to your healthcare coverage to ensure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your prescriptions.
Medicare’s open enrollment ends December 7. And the deadline for those covered by the Affordable Care Act is December 15. But most of you won’t take advantage of it and could be stuck paying unnecessarily higher prescription drug prices for the next year.
Medicare Advantage plans usually carry prescription drug coverage called Part D.
But if you have basic Medicare (Parts A and B), you can purchase a Part D plan to help cover mounting prescription drug costs. And right now, existing Medicare enrollees have the opportunity to switch plans.
Part D plan prices and benefits vary greatly. The drugs covered and the prices charged for those drugs can also be dramatically different. That’s why it’s so important to shop around this time of year.
As your prescription drug needs change, your Part D plan needs will likely change too. Your current plan may not be your best option anymore.
A shocking survey found that only one-third of seniors compare prices to save money on their Medicare plans each year. That’s far less than the 54% that say they bargain shop to save money on groceries…
What’s even more startling is that the same study found that seniors see their healthcare costs as more burdensome than their household and utility bills, transportation expenses, or food expenditures.
The High Cost of Complacency
Unfortunately, this complacency could cost you.
There’s a huge difference in the prices providers charge for prescription drugs. One study found the average difference between high and low prices of the 10 most prescribed drugs is $593 per month. That amounts to $7,116 a year!
That’s why it’s so important to enroll in the right plan.
But if all of the choices have you confused, relax. Medicare has created the “Medicare Plan Finder.” This tool easily allows recipients to compare the prices of their prescriptions across Medicare plans.
Even if you’re happy with your Part D plan, you should still spend a few minutes over the next few weeks comparing it with other available plans. Who knows? You could wind up saving hundreds of dollars on your prescription costs.