Medicare may help cover some costs, including doctor's visits, hospital stays and some prescription drug expenses, but it doesn't cover everything. Health-care expenses for a couple at age 65 will range between $275,000 and $295,000 — and they'll spend anywhere from $13,000 to $15,000 out of pocket just for prescription medication, according to health-care software firm HealthView Services.
Here are four ways to keep those costs down:
- Buy generic drugs. Learn the generic name of the drug you take. Generic drugs are generally cheaper than brand names. More important: Since all medicines have one generic name, knowing that name can help you avoid mistakes and possible overdoses if you're taking the same medicine under different brand names.
- Shop online. Check the internet for online pharmacies that may offer you a better deal. Make sure the pharmacy is accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy as a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site and displays the VIPPS seal.
Also, NABP says if a website has ".pharmacy" at the end of its web address, you can rest assured that the online pharmacy is operating legally. Find safe and legal online pharmacies at www.safe.pharmacy.