(NAPSI)-With skyrocketing medical and drug costs, it’s important to plan carefully for expenses in order to preserve your nest egg.
Yet according to a national survey conducted by Directive Analytics for Medco Health Solutions, Inc., more than half of retirees (55 percent) have said they completely overlooked their health care and prescription drug needs when planning for retirement expenses, and one in three seniors said their medical or drug costs surpass their expectations, and are taking away from their “golden years” lifestyle.
“Retirees have planned for food, shelter, taxes, and entertainment, but too many neglect drug and medical costs – which are rising far faster than the inflation rate – and are jeopardizing the quality of life they expect to enjoy during retirement,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League (NCL).
NCL, the nation’s oldest consumer advocacy group, is working to spread a message of savings to consumers, many of whom just aren’t factoring in health costs when planning for retirement. Almost half of all retirees (49 percent) have not adequately assessed the costs of paying for health care through their retirement. Furthermore, approximately one in four (24 percent) claim to use very few to no cost-saving tools available to cut these expenses.
NCL reminds consumers of steps they can take to save on medical expenses:
Talk to the doc. While previous research has shown that doctors are likely to prescribe generic drugs when asked by patients, nearly half of retirees surveyed said they infrequently or never discuss with their doctors ways to save money on their medications.
Keep track of your medications with a personal medication record. This allows you to avoid costly medication duplication and dangerous interactions. It should include a list of all the drugs you’re taking – prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements and multivitamins – and you should bring it along to all your medical appointments.
Optimize your doses. With your doctor’s prescription, you may be able to take fewer pills at a higher dose to reduce the number of pills you have to purchase.
Review Medicare plans thoroughly. When choosing a plan, find out whether the drugs you are already taking are covered. Look beyond the cost of the premium when evaluating health plans.
For money-saving health tips, consumers can request a copy of a free guide by sending a postcard to “Prescription for a Healthy Nest Egg,” P.O. Box 8007, Parsippany, NJ 07054-8007.