Society & Culture

Book helps seniors and caregivers understand Medicare prescription drug benefit

Book helps seniors and caregivers understand Medicare prescription drug benefit

Athens, Ga. – The Medicare Prescription Drug benefit can save seniors money, but with hundreds of programs to choose from – with different deductibles, co-pays and formularies – it also can be quite confusing.

In, The Medicare Part D Drug Program: Making the Most of the Benefit (Jones and Bartlett, $17.95) UGA College of Pharmacy professor Jack Fincham offers practical advice on how seniors can navigate the maze of available options so that they can find the program that best suits their needs.

“This is a complex government program,” Fincham said. “But it can help people save money – and a significant amount of money if they are wise consumers.”

Fincham, A.W. Jowdy Professor of Pharmacy Care, served as a consultant to various federal and state agencies during the development of the program. He has also counseled hundreds of seniors on the program as a volunteer for various area agencies on aging.

In this new 150-page paperback, he explains:

  1. How to avoid scams;
  2. What to consider if you already have coverage under a veteran’s benefit plan or a retiree plan; * How to work with your physician and pharmacist to make sure you’re not taking duplicate drugs or drugs that counteract each other;
  3. How people with limited incomes can apply for extra coverage; and
  4. What you can do if a drug that you take is not covered under a plan’s formulary.

“There’s a glaring lack of knowledge among consumers and caregivers about how to choose the plan that’s best for them and what their rights are once they’ve signed up for a program,” Fincham said. “This book is an effort to help them make an informed decision.”