Many older adults like me are worn from trying to catch up with the cost of medications. In the last few years, the cost of prescriptions has risen some 300 percent.
When I moved to Pennsylvania five years ago to help care for my mother, I gave up my full-time job in a major health care system. Participation in COBRA was not an option as I would no longer be able to secure my care from the required providers. My co-pay for medications was $5-10 for each prescription.
After my relocation, I held a full-time faculty position at a Pennsylvania state university, but the job provided no insurance. I was able to secure a family health insurance policy, taking money from my savings to pay the cost of $1,200 a month.
Unfortunately, my medications were not covered within the prescription plan.
I chose to stretch out my medications or skip the use as long a possible. I faced a $400 increase cost to my health insurance. Over the following three years I secured additional short-term employment. While health insurance was covered, I needed to fulfill a deductible of $300 or more before my medications were covered at a reduced price of $260. Now on Medicare and Medicare D, I am able to have 40 percent of my prescribed medications covered. All of these costs add up. I fear for the future when I like so many other seniors may require life-saving medications. That is why I urge our state legislature to pass HB568.