Retirees, Find Help to Cover Expensive Drug Costs

Out-of-pocket expenses for prescriptions can do serious damage to your retirement income. But there are options.

(Image credit: ©Terry Vine/Blend Images LLC)

When his seasonal allergies turned into chronic asthma, Harry Schaffner says he realized that he would face out-of-pocket costs of several thousand dollars per year, even with Medicare. That was going to hurt. A retired trial lawyer from La Quinta, Calif., Schaffner spent much of his retirement savings caring for his mother, who died at age 95. His wife, a breast cancer survivor, requires an estrogen-blocker medicine that costs another $150 monthly. All told, Medicare premiums and other health-related expenses have reduced Schaffner’s monthly Social Security benefit by $700.

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Mary Kane
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Mary Kane is a financial writer and editor who has specialized in covering fringe financial services, such as payday loans and prepaid debit cards. She has written or edited for Reuters, the Washington Post, BillMoyers.com, MSNBC, Scripps Media Center, and more. She also was an Alicia Patterson Fellow, focusing on consumer finance and financial literacy, and a national correspondent for Newhouse Newspapers in Washington, DC. She covered the subprime mortgage crisis for the pathbreaking online site The Washington Independent, and later served as its editor. She is a two-time winner of the Excellence in Financial Journalism Awards sponsored by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants. She also is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she teaches a course on journalism and publishing in the digital age. She came to Kiplinger in March 2017.