Suze Orman TwitterSuze Orman FacebookSuze Orman YouTubeSuze Orman LinkedIn
View Blog & News List

How Seniors Can Save Money In 2017

November 10, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Well, as you have probably heard, the annual inflation adjustment Social Security recipients will get in 2017 will be 0.3%. That’s about $4 a month for the average retiree.

I know how frustrating that is.

I have a way retirees may be able to boost their income in 2017: by reducing what you pay for prescription drugs, you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year. That might help take the sting out of a $4 Social Security adjustment.

Here’s the deal:

If you, or someone you know, are enrolled in Medicare I urge you to take advantage of the annual open enrollment season to shop around for the most cost-effective way to get the coverage you want.

Between now and December 7th anyone enrolled in Original Medicare can shop around for new prescription drug coverage. And those of you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan (which typically includes prescription drug coverage) can also choose to switch your Medicare Advantage provider.

Research suggests most of you don’t bother to shop around. And that’s a potentially costly mistake. Studies show that enrolling in a prescription drug plan that offers you the best deal for the medications you specifically take can potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year. 

Here’s what every Medicare enrollee should do.

1. Gather all your current prescriptions.
2. Find the Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) or your current plan that was mailed to you in September. This document should spell out any price and coverage changes for your plan. 
3. Focus on Formulary and Tiers. That’s a mouthful of insurance industry jargon, but it’s important for you to understand what they mean.

The Formulary is your insurer’s list of drugs that it will cover in the coming year. Do not assume that a drug that has always been covered in the past will be covered in 2017. Check.

Tiers: Insurers divide drugs in a few different levels of coverage, called Tiers. Tier 1 drugs are typically generics that will cost enrollees the least amount of coverage. Tier 2 drugs might be brand label drugs that are covered, but at a higher cost to you. The most expensive drugs are in Tier 3 or Tier 4. Again, you must check what tier your drug will be in next year. This too, can change from year to year.

4. Check the Pharmacy Coverage. Many plans offer their best coverage when you use a pharmacy that is a part of their network. Again, this is something that changes year-to-year, so be sure to confirm that your current pharmacy-or another one that is convenient-is a preferred pharmacy. (You can also consider switching to using your insurer’s mail-in pharmacy service.)

5. Have the Government Search For Your Best Option. Head over to the Medicare Plan Finder, a free online tool that will compare your current plan to other plans offered in your area. This is a tremendous resource, where you can input your exact prescriptions-dosage and frequency-and the tool will show you your estimated annual costs across different plans. If you’re not up for inputting the info, enlist your adult child or grandchild; it should take less than 15 minutes to find out if in fact there are more affordable options for you. I wish you a healthy 2017, and hopefully one where you can save on your prescription drug coverage.

Tag Cloud

healthy gumsdental discount planmake saving a pleasureitemized deductionmobile appFinancial Awareness Video FestivalCredit Card Rate Increaseaccelerate dental workjanuary billsLegal GuardianFederal Funds Rate3% debt transferred know before you oweconfident of solutionhome buying seasonCredit Card Interest Rateincrease emergency savingsburn outcar loanretirment savingsPay Off Debt Before Retirementwives should be involved in retirementget credit cardhousing marketemergency fund dream schoolDeath Benefithome related tax break bonus loan necessityAlarm Clockhome buying mistakesVeterinary School6 month waiting periodallowancesidelinedlower ratecreate new truthdo you need life insuranceGiftsphysical healthteach your child good money habitsadd teenengaged in financespoint cost offset by savingstoo expensive schoolHDHP monthly benefit lousy investmentpublic service loan forgiveness programSelfishFinancial AwarenessARMbe kind to yourselfstudent loan repayment planAmy Lacyetroth iraEmergency SavingsExhibitionPrime Rate Rise 2015retirement accountsmortgage disclosurepreexisting condition not coveredstudent loan repayment estimatorlowest cost fund optionrefinanceAdequate Auto and Home Insurancestudent loan repayment20% down payment avoid feesLifestylestaycationMortgage Credit Availability Indexcontribute household expenses heartachehome ownershipdear suzeno waiting periodHigh Credit Score3 step financial road mapRoth 401(k)comparison shoppingmental healthleave a legacykeep a scheduleSuze Orman's Money Warsdon't cover cosmetic dentistryunsubsidized Stafford loanrequired disclosureIRA contribution gifted moneyhealthy aging financial fearsquick closingMust Have Documentswomen outlive menpositiveprofessional advisorconsider roth 401(k)referrals social security never insolventSpendingiffy incomeFinanciallive below your meansno private loanspercentage men widowed 75-84focus on needsuniversal college accesssocial workbad decisionsis it necessarybreakdown projected monthly housing costpremiumteensStudent Debt Crisishealthy retirement blood pressureborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up !00% tuition paidlet them have 50% controlCNBCFederal Stafford loanlow mileage discountGay Couplesmaintain standard of livingclosing costs 2% of loanlong term careprotect your familyhighest possible benefit19 years cash flow problemfamily save at least $100 monthlyautomatic paymentBankonly offered while employed responsiblewomen longer life spanSuze Orman spouse Kathy Travisretain separate credit cardscharges on credit cardWillmax benefit coveredpublic service career student loan repayment PBS Specialinitial tax break financial aidtaxesescrowlower overall drug costfocus on new truth 30 year mortgage Heartprovider of financial supportSchool of Social Workeight month living expense don't blow tax refundpay off debtdon't buy wantseliminate credit card debtco-sign home insurancenegotiate points with bank or sellerNew York LifeCommunication Skills Urbana-ChampaignThe Suze Orman Shownear historic lowsPost-Divorce401(k) ContributionsUniversity of Illinois15 year mortgageHDHP's are good for youForbescar leasingSuze changed my lifeInterestForeclosuremax employee matchprotect loved ones How To Build Creditfile asappay interest while in school2017 Taxesvalentines day10% donate to charityfraudulent returncompare provider pricingCD'steach importance of helping otherssave moneyLTC shoppingdon't charge a penny401KSuze Orman ScholarshipYoung Adult Vital Documents20% down paymentpaid in fullStudent Debtkids schedule paymentspercentage of women widowed 75-84is it necessary?grandparent IRA contribution women long term caredon't extend mortgage workaholicFinancial Solutions For Yousame-sex marriageUS Tax Codeproperty taxexercise reguarlyshort term goal financial independencesmall changes no fee transferget the most out of social security verify wellness screening and programscar buying mistakesplanmoney-aware childlow down paymentstandard ratevalue moneydeath benefit needs for familybill paying prioritiesCivil Rightsspecial saving accountlow-cost index mutual fundidentity fraudFinancial Educatormanage student loansreduce withholdingpay down student loan debtFiscal Responsibilitybetter termspurely financial standpointignore 6 month grace period 3 savings buckets alternative FICO scoreMoney Marketno sneaking in feesdoctors in networkcommunity bankFederal Reserve2016 adjust withholdingback-to-school budgethigh premiumsno splurge adult childrenno life insurance financially irresponsibleoverspend on nights outbetter loan dealssocial security not going brokeInfluentialsspring summer Durable Power of Attorney for Health Carewould you decline a bonuslow credit scorestrained relationshipstudentinsurance mistakecostly legal Marlo Thomasholiday spendingmortgageFinal GoodbyeFinancial Gift Cliffpeace of mind8 RulesMoney2015 record year car salesjuggle multiple financial goalsletter to suzePersonal Financecredit reportbest interest of investorone annual feeFICO at least 720HDHP's2015 financial roadmaprent vs buyWall StreetGiftsuitableAshley SpringerpowerfulHoliday SeasonFICO credit score credit card mortgageloved ones dependent on incomebecome member MotherAuto Savings mortgage interest tax deductiongift up to 14,000social securitybig results buy homealways use all paid time offAmericans don't use all paid vacation timebuy home you can affordFHA loan feesFinancial Cliffterm insurancesecured cardRichmortgage brokerOne Wallet At A TimeBill and PennyETF'sBankruptcycontribution Long Term Care Insurance multiple lendersno tax on withdrawlsavoid burn outmonthly dental insurance premiumemergency fund savingscost of capitalization calculatorhigh FICO scoreAARPautomatic withdraw to savings Minor Children face your financial fearRetirement Incomeno late fee Telepicturescollege studentmoney vowspermanent life insuranceretirementdeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeFundspay high rate off firstsummer job match income origination feescredit cardJose Rodriguezinterest capitalizationhealthy teethLong Term Care shoppingWarner Bros Television GroupSandy Hook Elementary Schoolbe good examplecut monthly cellular billFinancial Power of AttorneyFinancial Systemanticipated salarylearn good financial choicesget over life insurance phobia40% toward financial goalHSA tax savingsdangerous retirement planraise your deductibleno apologyPhyllis Shelton expert long-term carehigh deductible health care planlong term goalritual scheduleLTCat worst still pay 75% benefitage appropriate chorepresident Obamaprescription tierwaive home inspection bid20 year level term overspend on dining outget health insurancecouple financesworst financial mistakeprotect dependent higher monthly paymenttake actionLong Term Care premiumsfiduciarydon't spend 50 over 50refundbuying a carMost Influential Celebrities ListEric Dodge best loan deal LTCi ASAPARM Cautionhome loan credit score below 740 home budget after tax coststudent loan debtLovehigh credit score discountunder 18 financial giftbe true to yourselfsecure creditlower premiumnon conventional routePrime Rate Increaseswitch to spouse coveragecnbc alarm clockdental savings planchildren's bookaffordabilityFederal PLUS loanresponsible with moneyChanging Livescut monthly cable billemotional stakesstay positiveraising mortgage rates raising interest rateslower mortgage interestallowance taskBeautynot gender specific better loan rateslower interest rateStaffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest rateCory BookerCPI-Wrequire chore in exchange for allowanceretirement planrepay student loansmarriage inequalitydental insurance 4 Must Have Documents rolloverCOLA20% equitypay down car loansave full retirement age2016 adjust estimated taxdo not pay allowance for good behaviorRetirement Savingsmarriage financial responsibilityreal estate mistakesHDHP's are not badMass MutualFICO Scoreno negativityapproved medical 100% tax-freeincrease retirement savingsoverspend on giftscalculate dependents annual income needsswitch to roth 401(k)real estate marketzero rate transfer dealsfour steps to retirement savings ultimate compounding giftpay 100% cashHigh FICO Score = Better Rate8 month emergency fundbudgetinterest on student loansHoliday Shoppingcommissionssuccessadjust allocations standard deduction store credit cardsCollege of Veterinary MedicineFixed Rate MortgageFree Debt Eliminatorkid borrow firstidentity theftreduce interest rateenjoy saving max employer matched 401(k) contributioncostly insurance mistakedangerous money seasonOverspendingsame sex marriage band end Floridaverify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorbuying car 2016incentives for health care wellness screeningfinancing car grandchild summer job IRA contributionpay more than minimumderailed plandon't defer interest paymentslong-term care don't do five year car loanraise insurance deductibledebtterm life insuranceGay Rightscommunity college10 year repayment plan three year car loanno private loanhome buying budgetno interestearn more on savingsStock InvestmentsCredit scoreconfidentonly refinance if it payspay credit debt ASAPUniversity of FloridaConventional loan PMISatisfyingcollege graduateInvest for savings growthcommitdon't ignore open enrollmentreplace permanent life insurance with termsavings pleasureMoney-SavingRevocable TrustRevocable Living Trustwomen live longerschool Student LoanSuze approvedNewtownCombo Insurance Productslong-term care premiumshealthy retirement weightyours, mine & oursfinancial argumentshealthy youno retirement funds for down paymentgraduationnew carteens and moneyinsuranceloan is giftwrite new goalCiti Simplicity Card stretch out haircut appointmentsovercome financial fearsGoodbyedepreciating asset doctor no longer in networkGracecredit unionSuze is my biggest mentorincrease retirement contribution ratepaying for collegeEasy Life Insurance Inflation Benefitopen enrollment review back door Roth IRAage appropriate goalsHolidayWashingtonclosing feesshop online guaranteed level term policyinsurance yearly reviewfile taxes quicklypush yourself to save more for retirementtax refund fraudgift not loanAccuQuote.comloan big picture federal student loan deferment tax ID theftschedule vacationfinancial concernbest interest ratestraditional vs roth 401(k)Forbes Top 10life insurance name trust as beneficiary3 bucket approachloan no longer than 36monthsSwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance title insuranceFinancial Advicedebt freedon't use allowance as bribeSuze Ormanbalance transfer AARP Social security calculatordon't derail retirement savingsemployer funding HSAtelevision hostsavingscompare monthly expensesbad retirement planningcredit utilization ratehigh down paymentNew american Dream earn allowancedebit cardunexpected expenselife insuranceraise deductiblesEmployer Matched Contributionautomate student loan paymentsis it true? affordable premiumrising home pricesnot enough life insuranceSave Us MoneySandy Hook Promiseadvice for college graduates740 credit scoreFRAhigher insurance deductible20 to 25 times annual incomecredit managementprotect and provide for minor child borrowing plan employer offered life insurancesetup automatic savings withdrawclosing disclosuregay marriage ban end Florida SelectQuote.comreduce monthly paymentannual cost of living adjustmentcan you afford itone credit cardmeet monthly paid vacationincreased auto insurance premium8 month safety netshorter payback periodgift grandchild IRA contributionBaby BoomersHDHP/HSAbuy down 15-year refinance dealis it kind?CommencementInfluential Celebritychildren under 18financial goal phraseTeachspeak new goal

View Blog & News List
People First. Then Money. Then Things.
Connect with me on Facebook Connect with me on YouTube Connect with me on Twitter
© 2017 Suze Orman Media Inc. All rights reserved.
 |  Search  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Terms
Sign Up For E-mail Offers
Open Panel
Close Panel