As a senior citizen, you might be on a fixed income. Therefore, you may be having difficulty affording all of expenses you have.
As you get older, you may be developing more medical conditions requiring you to seek specific forms of treatment or assistive devices. However, paying for such expenses, which can include prescription medications and dental care, may seem like a daunting task.
The prices associated with medical services are often high. To limit such costs as an older adult, you must familiarize yourself with the resources available to you. There are many programs that exist at federal, state and local levels to provide such services at discounted rates. Taking advantage of as many of those programs possible is the best way to keep your expenses affordable. Below is a list of several types of medical and wellness discounts for seniors.
As a senior, you have access to free counseling services that can help you explore your benefits. Such services can be found when you visit your local Area Agency on Aging (AAA) office. Your local senior center can also provide you with free assistance. The benefits counseling programs offered at your senior center or AAA office can provide you with information about local discount programs relating to:
Legal and medical advocacy services for seniors are also available to you, and they are often free. For example, if you need legal help applying for Medicare, there are many lawyers who can provide you with pro bono assistance. Your local AAA office representatives can help you find such services. If you are a military veteran, your local Veteran’s Administration office can also assist you.
You may also be entitled to medical advocacy assistance from an ombudsman, if you are living in a long-term care facility. An ombudsman is a specially trained advocate for elderly individuals living in assisted living or nursing home environments. Your local ombudsman can assist you whenever you have a concern about the care you are receiving in such a facility. He or she will investigate the matter fully and help you resolve it to ensure your safety and continued well-being.
If you are a Medicaid recipient, you are entitled to discount dental care covered through the Medicaid program. However, your current dentist may not accept Medicaid. Due to the difficulties associated with Medicaid acceptance, the number of dentists who accept Medicaid are limited in all states. To quickly find a dentist who will give you a Medicaid discount, contact your State Department of Health. After you find a dentist, you may also need to make travel arrangements to get to your dental appointments. There may not be a qualifying dental office near your home. Your area senior center or AAA office can help you find transportation resources.
There may also be other resources for free dental care in your state. For example, in most states it is possible to obtain free or discounted dentures, as a senior citizen. To do so, you must explore all of the local resources available to you. Those resources include:
Representatives of those organizations may be able to provide you with direct access to discount denture services. If not, they should be able to refer you to an agency that can. You can also seek out such services from other community programs in your area that cater to older residents.
Medical equipment is often expensive. Even a common item, such as a walker, can cost you more than $40 when purchased new. Some medical equipment must be purchased new, especially if it has to be customized for you. However, if you need medical or assistance equipment that is more universal in nature, there are many resources you can use to get your equipment at a discount or free. Such equipment includes:
Your local senior center may offer resources to help you obtain used universal medical equipment for free or at a discount. You can also check local non-profit organizations that assist older adults in your community. They may operate programs to collect and distribute such equipment. Additionally, your local nursing homes and hospitals can be excellent sources of medical equipment for seniors, and commonly used medical equipment for seniors can even be found at a discount in thrift shops.
Another form of medical equipment discounts you may be seeking is a discount on hearing aids. A single hearing aid purchased new can cost thousands of dollars. It is likely you will have difficulty affording that expense on your fixed senior income. If you need two hearing aids, your financial concerns will be even more stressful. However, you can find hearing aid discounts. For example, you can seek out local hearing aid bank programs. A hearing aid bank program is a program designed to collect and redistribute used hearing aids.
Free hearing aids can also be obtained if you are willing to participate in a clinical trial for hearing aids. A manufacturer may be running a clinical trial to test a new type of hearing aid that could suit you. If you qualify to participate in such a trial, you may be allowed to keep the hearing aids when it is over. However, you may have to join a waiting list to qualify for a clinical trial. Be prepared to travel to participate in one, since there may not be one in your local area.
If you qualify for Medicare Part D, you may already receive some prescription drug discount assistance. However, the savings you are receiving from that program may not be enough to make your prescription costs affordable. When seeking additional prescription discounts, begin by checking to see if your state offers a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAP). You can find SPAP assistance in approximately half the states in the country. Among the participating states are:
The Department of Health or equivalent agency in your state can tell you if an SPAP is available. If so, you will not automatically qualify for SPAP assistance. You must meet residency, income and other requirements to receive assistance. If you qualify for assistance, you may still have a copay amount you must pay for your prescriptions.
In any state, you can also find other prescription discount programs. Many of them are run by pharmaceutical companies. Some are also run by local agencies. Additionally, you can reduce the cost of your prescriptions by purchasing generic forms of your prescribed medications.