New Yorkers Are Living Longer, But Some Can’t Afford Their Meds
The Wall Street Journal reports life expectancy is up, but are people prepared for prescription drug costs?
Last week, Melanie Grayce West of the Wall Street Journal reported on a new study from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that says New Yorkers are living longer. In fact, the life expectancy of “older New Yorkers,” defined as those age 65 and older, has increased to 81.2 years, up from 80.9 in 2010.
That seems like good news, right?
But there was another statistic that was troubling: even though around 97% of older New Yorkers were reported to have health coverage, 12% reported not filling a prescription in the past year due to cost. That’s worrying, considering about 25% of older New Yorkers live with diabetes, and 65% have high blood pressure.
So why aren’t they able to afford their medications, even when most of them have coverage? There could be a few reasons.
First, some health plans have very high out-of-pocket spending limits that must be met before the coverage “kicks in,” making some medications unaffordable until that limit is met. Other seniors might have fallen into the donut hole, where Medicare Part D enrollees must foot a higher portion of their medication costs until they reach catastrophic coverage. Another reason could be that the medications they need do not have a favorable place on their plan’s formulary, and therefore could have an unaffordably high copay (more on how that works here).
As medication usage increases with age, Blink Health can become an even more important tool for the aging population — and we encourage anyone, of any age, who is having trouble affording their medication to check Blink before they fill their prescription. The article’s author quotes the city’s health commissioner, Oxiris Barbot:
“Healthy aging is not a luxury only for those who can afford it. Healthy aging is a right for all New Yorkers.”
We agree, and that’s why we work to offer the lowest guaranteed prices on generic medications so that no American has to go without the prescriptions they need.
Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 233 Spring Street, 8th Floor East, New York, NY 10013, (844) 366–2211, www.blinkhealth.com