With the recent introduction of the Medicare prescription drug discount cards, many seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries are finding themselves overwhelmed by the many choices available. Although the cards provide average savings of 15 to 30 percent off the cost of prescription drugs, many people have yet to sign up.
But every prescription filled without using a card could be a missed opportunity for seniors to save money. Beyond the per-prescription savings, Medicare beneficiaries with lower incomes also may qualify for a government credit of $600 per year to help them pay for their medication.
"With so many cards to choose from, it may be difficult to know which one to choose," said Brian Tyler, president of the Rx Savings Access card, the Medicare-approved drug discount card sponsored by McKesson Corp. "But it's important that people actively seek out the information they need to make a choice. We can't let confusion or skepticism prevent Medicare beneficiaries from saving money on their prescription medicines."
According to Tyler, there are a few basic features Medicare beneficiaries should look for when selecting a discount card:
Are the medications your doctor recommends covered by the card?
Is your local pharmacy a member of the card's network?
Can you use the card at other pharmacies when you are traveling?
Does the card force you to use mail order to get the best prices, or does it allow you to visit your local pharmacy for the discounts?
Are generic drugs available through the program?
Is there a limit to the supply of a medication you can fill at the pharmacy?
"Ask questions and get the answers you need to make the right decision for yourself," Tyler said. "It is important to find a convenient program that meets your medical needs and suits your lifestyle."
The Rx Savings Access card provides competitive discounts on covered brand-name prescription drugs as well as generics, and is available nationwide. For more information or to enroll in the Rx Savings Access card, call 1-888-CARD4RX (1-888-227-3479) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern. (TTY users may call 1-800-279-0571.) Or visit www.RxSavingsAccess.com on the Web.
For more general information about the Medicare discount drug card program, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). (TTY users may call 1-877-486-2048.)
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