Prescription costs a common concern among Part D enrollees


Published May 16, 2013 at 05:00AM / Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 12:31AM

If you’re among the more than 31.5 million people enrolled in Medicare Part D, according to a new survey, prescription drug costs are probably on your mind.

The survey, by KRC Research on behalf of Walgreens, says more than a third of respondents, 37 percent, have daily concerns about the cost of their prescriptions. And 1 in 5, 22 percent, say they’ve had to make a sacrifice, such as delaying getting a prescription filled or skipping doses, to help manage the cost.

Other findings of the survey include:

• Only hospital/emergency room costs (40 percent) and caregiver/ assisted living expenses (38 percent) are a greater concern for respondents than prescription drug costs (37 percent).

• Most seniors are trying to lower prescription costs; 7 in 10 (72 percent) have switched to generic medications, and 4 in 10 (44 percent) are filling more 90-day prescriptions in an effort to save money.

• Despite most beneficiaries surveyed (77 percent) saying they have a clear understanding of their plan benefits, only half realize that co-pays for Part D prescriptions can vary by pharmacy; for instance, some plans feature preferred pharmacy networks that offer lower co-pays.

• Almost 60 percent said if they could change one thing about their Part D plan, it would be to lower costs and co-pays.

— McClatchy-Tribune News Service