Medicare Prescription Drugs

Medicare is helping seniors pay for their drugs, but the cost of those drugs is going up.

J.D. Power reports 3 out of 4 seniors are happy with their Medicare Drug plan. Most described themselves as "delighted."

Jeremy Bowler with J.D. Power and Associates said, "Overall, 45 percent of our respondents elected to give their experience ten out of ten."

Half of those surveyed pay about the same as before. A third pay less, and one in five actually pays more!

That is due, in part, to the rising cost of prescription drugs.

AARP found prices for the most popular drugs for seniors are up about 6.5% -- almost twice the rate of inflation.

Lipitor, Celebrex and Ambien saw the largest increases.

But generics barely went up at all.

Dalmer Hoskins with AARP said, "If more physicians and more patients were persuaded to use generics, I think we'd see a considerable impact in our health care expenditures."

With so many hunting for bargains on medicine, AARP is pushing legislation to make it legal to buy prescription drugs from Canada.

David Certner with AARP said, "We need to make sure we have a system in place that not just gets them lower prices, but also gets them a measure of safety and security in the drugs that they're getting."

AARP is also encouraging seniors to find out where candidates stand before you vote.

The J.D. Power survey did find there's room for improvement in Medicare’s Drug plan, namely streamlining the cost of premiums and deductibles and making the enrollment process less confusing.

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