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Cabarrus Magazine

Prescription Medicare Benefits Set to Expire

Dec 01, 2016 08:30AM ● By Jason Huddle

Prescription Medicare Benefits Set to Expire

Many Medicare Part D patients will fail to use all of the $3,310 allotted to them for use on prescriptions in 2016. Fortunately, Cannon Pharmacy Pharmacist Brian Freeman has some helpful tips for maximizing your benefits before the end of the year, as well as how to save money heading into 2017.

So, why would people want to pay attention to their prescription refills by the end of this month? The question has two answers, according to Freeman. “Most people have large deductibles that start over on January 1,” he explains. “Filling prescriptions in December could save them hundreds of dollars.”

Freeman also adds that copays may go up in January. “For example, a retired state employee may get generic drugs for $10 in 2016, but on January 1, 2017, that same refill may be $16.”

When you consider that many seniors take multiple prescriptions, those savings can add up and refills are usually allowed up to a week before the refill date. So, if your next refill isn’t due until the first week of January, you should be able to take it in a week early and purchase it for the lower price, according to Freeman.

However, those who don’t take as many medications may be wondering if there is anything else that can be done before the end of the year. Freeman says yes. “Go get those necessary vaccinations, like the flu shot. Those over 65 can get the new pneumonia vaccine (Prevnar) at no cost.”

He also says you should check into the cost of the shingles vaccine, since it is likely the cost will be less this month than next.

For those who feel they need more assistance, Freeman says that Cannon Pharmacy is still offering free consultation to Medicare patients in preparing for next year, whether they take their prescriptions to Cannon Pharmacy or not. “Of course, if your pharmacy isn’t meeting your needs in preparing for 2017, we’d welcome you as a customer too,” he says. “But more importantly, we just want to make sure seniors are prepared.”

Medicare enrollment for 2017 ends December 15.

Story By: Jason Huddle and Brian Freeman

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