One of the biggest worries that many aging parents and other seniors face is the financial crunch. Many people find themselves worrying about every penny that goes out, even when they have done a good job of planning ahead.
These worries can spread across many different areas, with medical expenses often high up on the list. Here are some resources that seniors should definitely check out when trying to figure out how to stretch that dollar a bit more.
For most seniors, the Medicare website is a good place to start. Here they can learn about the Medicare Savings Program, how to get extra help for prescription drug coverage, and other services that might be beneficial.
Medicare also has information on Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). PAPS are programs that some drug companies set up to offer financial assistance to qualified individuals for purchasing certain drugs. Other resources that are helpful for finding out about PAPs include Needy Meds and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance. One of the links on the latter site also directs the user to some foundations (some of which are probably pharmaceutically-backed) that offer co-payment assistance.
Seniors may also benefit from a visit to RXAssist, which advertises itself as having the most current and comprehensive directory of PAPs.
Beyond medical expenses
Of course, there are many kinds of expenses other than medical. Your aging parents, spouses, and loved ones might want to check out Benefits CheckUp, which was set up by the National Council on Aging. The goal of the site is to help seniors and those helping to care for them find benefits programs to assist with food, utilities, healthcare, and prescriptions. For example, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps qualifying families and individuals meet energy costs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps those who qualify to meet food expenses.
Meals on Wheels is another food service that can make a difference for seniors with difficulties getting enough food. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also provides food coupons (redeemable at local farmers’ markets) through the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
Many state and local governments and non-profit agencies also provide services that are specific to certain geographic areas. Investigating such resources in your area can lead to other methods of saving money for senior citizens.