Tips for Lowering Out of Pocket Medical Expenses

There are many ways you can lower your out-of-pocket expenses. Following all the rules and regulations related to Medicare Part D and Advantage Plans is one of the best ways to keep your drug costs down.

  • Work With a Medicare Assignment Doctor
    Working with a seasoned Medicare Assignment doctor is the first tip to keeping your costs down. Often the rules stipulate that the doctor must do something before the plan will pay for the drug. For example, many plans require prior authorization for certain drugs. The plan may also require that the doctor write that the drug is medically necessary. If they don't do these things it could cost you.
  • Use Quantity Limits Wisely
    Often there are quantity limits on certain drugs; spend some time learning what the quantity limits are on the drugs that you are taking. Depending on your history with the drug, purchase the least or the most amount that you can. Getting the least amount will prevent you from wasting the drugs if you are switched to a different drug. Getting the most will save you the time and expense of going to the doctor for a drug you have been using for years.
  • Get a copy of the Plan's Formulary
    The Formulary is a list of drugs that the plan will or will not cover. Before choosing a plan make sure your drugs are on this approved list. If your doctor wants you take a more expensive drug because it is medically necessary he can ask for an exception on the price if there is a similar cheaper drug on the Formulary.
  • Try Drugs that Cost Less
    Ask your doctor if you can try lower cost drugs to the ones you are using. Sometimes you will be required to do this anyway by the insurance company. This is called Step Therapy.
  • Avoid Medicare Claims
    Try to avoid using drugs that require you to file a Medicare Claim. You may not get repaid.
  • Check into Drug Trials
    Look into signing up for drug trials on drugs that are similar to what you are using but are in the final trial before approval with the FDA.
  • Use Generics
    Keep track of when your prescription drugs are set to go to generics and then ask your doctor about switching to the generic version.
  • Look Into Getting Extra Help
    Extra Help is available through Medicare, private and charitable organizations.