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The Joan Lunden Interview (Page 2 of 2)


Gary Barg: You have three steps that caregivers can take at the senior level to reduce costs; what are those? 

Joan Lunden: Alright. The first one is take a look at your plan. You have to review your plan and know what that plan is; it's whatever you are writing that check to every month to make sure you have your prescription coverage.

The second thing is to go into a pharmacy, ask the question. The pharmacist really is your medication expert, even more so sometimes than a physician. They are the ones that know the nuances of whether you could even perhaps be taking a generic instead of a name brand. A lot of seniors are saving a lot of money simply by taking a generic. The warning there is that not all generics are exactly the same as name brands. They might have different inactive and active ingredients.

And then the last thing is to compare plans and find out where you get your lowest co-pay. The only warning I want to give with that one is that there is an inherent danger in shopping around the eight or ten or twelve medications that you are on, or maybe an elderly person that you are taking care of is on. Because if you start filling those prescriptions at a lot of different pharmacies, then no one pharmacist is going to be able to know whether you are taking two drugs that donít react well together.

You can change from one pharmacy to another any day you want; it's only signing up for the prescription care through Part D that can only be done in the enrollment period. But you can go in and ask a pharmacist any day you want. And half the time if you tell them that you can get a better price somewhere else, quite often they will match. You have to be an active participant. You can find out a lot more information if you go to\medicare.

Gary Barg: It's always such a thrill talking with you and I think that what you are talking about now will save lives. Thank you so much, Joan. 

Joan Lunden: Oh, thank you, Gary.



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