Skip to comments.Older Americans Cutting Health Care To Save Money
Posted on 01/24/2012 11:33:13 AM PST by Nachum
More than one in five older Americans skimp on health care to save money, says the Employee Benefit Research Group.
A significant number of Americans over the age of 50 skip medication or postpone doctors appointments to save money, according to a recent report by the EBRI, a private, nonprofit research institute based in Washington.
According to the study, 21.5% cut down on their prescription drugs, switched to cheaper drugs or got free samples, and 19.4% skipped or postponed doctor appointments. An even larger number, 27.5 %, reported having difficulty paying their monthly bills.
We know that consumption tends to fall with age, but its difficult to measure whether falling consumption is voluntary, says Sudipto Banerjee, EBRI author of the study.
However, we found evidence that a significant segment of the older population may be making spending adjustments to their health care in order to save money, Banerjee adds.
One in 10 people in excellent health reported skipping or postponing doctors appointments to save money, while 36.5% of those in poor health reported doing the same. Similarly, 29.9% of those in poor health reported making prescription drug changes to save money.
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Nothing wrong with cutting back on things that are not really necessary. My health coverage will give me pretty much whatever I want, but I don’t take advantage of things without good reason. I’ve cut back in every other aspect of my life, why not healthcare?
I’m amazed at how many people use too much healthcare - especially those who don’t pay for it.
It doesn’t exactly help when my BC/BS premiums went from $250/mo to $600/mo just since Obama was elected.
I just can’t wait to see how much more it’s gonna cost me when its all free.
95% of healthcare is simply taking care of yourself.
I don’t believe pharmaceuticals can replace the simple stuff we can do ourselves, like eat well, exercise, and rest and drink water.
I got some very powerful pain killers after my rotator cuff surgery. I was going to take them but instead I made a killing on the street! ;)
Frankly, I suspect that if a lot of my contemporaries cut out half the drugs they are taking (I’m 58), they’d save money and feel better.
1 out of 5 older Americans and 4 out of 5 younger ones. People are cutting back on everything, healthcare included. It’s not all bad. People were running to the doctor for runny noses. For most people, those days are a thing of the past. The exceptions are the folks with the Cadillac health plans.
Co-pay give-away to the “investment company”
Same with me. My premiums went up so high, I had to choose the lowest premium which means I pay a higher deductible. Served me well before my sixties. But when I get advised to go get an ultrasound, they tell me that my BCBS won’t cover anything of the $500 test, but if I pick the office special (for those who do NOT have health insurance) it only cost $130.00! But if I choose that path, I can’t count the cost toward my deductible. What is wrong with this picture?
This is no surprise when you consider that the average driver spends over $100 per month more for gas than he did before obummer became ursurper-in-chief. Multiply $100 by number of drivers in America and annualize it would probably exceed the recent real estate bust we just had. Is anyone out there clever enough to figure this out?
You hit it right on the head. The last time I went to the emergency room I thought I was in Mexico!
My hubby has a lot of health problems, and I’m very healthy (at least to date). I rarely go to the doc, and have refused expensive hormones that I don’t consider necessary, because I am saving money to spend on my love. It’s just the way it is.
Sneaking up on mid 60s and avoiding doctors like the plague.
I’ll be damned if I will let someone charge a “professional” rate for a “Practice” where they offer no guarantee for their services. They and pharma also are focused on treatment rather than cures for a very good reason, $$$$$$$.
Come on, the human race only comes with 2 versions male and female and they have been the same for some time now.
Hell even my auto mechanic will guarantee his work and he works on thousands of various models.
Seems the highest priced self proclaimed “Professionals” doctors and lawyers feel they deserve a much higher pay scale without offering any guarantees.
Insurance has allowed doctors, Pharma, hospitals to over charge us for decades as most individuals were insulated from the actual cost or so they thought.
It is amazing how people will bitch when an insurance company refuses to pay for a NON-COVERED procedure but will not bitch about the cost submitted by the doctor/pharma/hospital.
I see this as a good thing, frankly. If someone needs a bunch of drugs to function, they are going to really be SOL if the Mayans and the bible are right about next December...
No doctor visits or prescription drugs here either-and the OTC ones are rarely used. Living in the middle of nowhere, doing physical work for my money and eating a natural, fresh food diet, doing my own chores and using natural remedies have done more to stave off the worst effects of a couple of back injuries far better than any surgery or drug could, I think. I lived the same way in good economic times-I just had more work, better cuts of meat and fancier veggies.
Several of my self-employed neighbors, all men-because of less available work and hence, less money have cut out of their entire family budget prescription anti-depressants, pain killers, cholesterol meds, etc and gone natural in diet and remedies. They exercise more, have lost weight and are not so bothered by old injuries. and feel and look younger, as do their wives.
I also had a bunch of drugs prescribed for MrT5 before his death with “street value”. After he died, one of the first things I did was to flush them before I was tempted to use them to ease the financial crunch. My septic field is probably still hallucinating...
—My septic field is probably still hallucinating...—
You may have some very happy field mice or moles running around your place. ;)
So true-I don’t think I suddenly turned to s*** at 60 after being healthy all my life, eating natural foods and avoiding drugs of all kinds-if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it...
You could be onto something-the deer are quite fond of the vegetation growing on my primary drain field for some reason...
Bought our first persc. drug of the year............organic tier 2 was 18$ for 90 days.....NOW is tier 3..and will now cost 115.00.
Tier 3 is for name brand drugs............btw all other organic drugs(of this type) like this are now tier 3............?
What Are Formulary Tiers?
Tiers are groups of drugs that fall within description and pricing groups:
Tier 1 or Tier I: Tier 1 drugs are usually limited to generic drugs, the lowest cost drugs. Sometimes other, regularly lower price branded drugs will fall into this tier, too. Tier I drugs cost us the lowest co-pays, usually $10 to $25.
Tier 2 or Tier II: Tier II is usually comprised of brand name drugs or more expensive generics. If you must take a brand name drug, your payer will have a list of branded drugs it prefers (because their cost is less, explained below.) These preferred brands are found in Tier 2. Tier II drugs cost us a middle-value co-pay, usually $15 to $50.
Tier 3: or Tier III: The more expensive brand name drugs, and usually the ones your insurance company doesnt want you to get a prescription for (because their cost is higher, explained below) are also considered non-preferred. They are found in Tier 3. Tier III drugs will cost us even more than the lower tiers, usually $25 to $75 co-pay.
Tier 4 or Tier IV, also called specialty drugs: These are usually newly approved pharmaceutical drugs, and are so expensive that your payer wants to discourage prescriptions for the drug. Tier IV is a newer designation, first used in 2009.
A Tier IV designation seems to be a catch-all for expensive drugs. Rather than assign a specific dollar co-pay, payers will assign a percentage, like 60%. For example, a very expensive chemo drug, priced at $1,000 may cost the patient $600.
Why Are Drugs Listed in Tiers?
This is a one word answer: money.
It is ALL about money. Last night, I saw one of those stupid “bad drug” ads from some ambulance chaser law firm, and the bad drug was one that is advertised ad nauseum on TV-so I guess now people are supposed to try a drug and if it does harm, you call a lawyer right away for a quick turnaround? If these drugs are so great, why are they barely out of the FDA approval box before the lawsuits begin-so drug companies, doctors and lawyers all make money at the expense of the human lab rats?
I personally think that some of the “routine annual mammograms” are over used.
Women with no family history of breast cancer plus no sign of a tumor on direct exam, and who are over the age of 70 should not need to have a mmammogram every year. Perhaps avery 18 months would be adequate. I always delay making my appointment and usually go about 15-16 months between tests.