After I moved from my home of nearly 20 years to a new area of the state, I needed to find a health care provider so I could have my medications renewed (
She renewed three without changing them, but was not happy with one of my cholesterol medications, and told me she would change it and fax it to my pharmacy.

When I went to pick it up, I was told the cost for a 30-day supply was more than $200, and that was with $32 of it being paid by my prescription provider.

I said, “I can’t afford that!” It came out to about $7 per day per pill.

The previous physicians I had always prescribed generic drugs, so I was totally floored by the cost of the new prescription. It wasn’t even listed by my carrier on covered drugs!

That episode pointed up to me how difficult it is to receive the medical care needed, and still be able to afford it ( Since I reached the age, I had Medicare coverage, and I usually felt costs not covered at least were within my reach. For instance, when I had hip replacement surgery, nearly everything was covered except for about $700.

I’ve always been careful to find the best Medicare supplement coverage I could find and could afford. But I knew without a doubt, and I could not afford the “super-duper” pill for cholesterol.

Social Security provides most of my income, and I have been relying somewhat on savings while trying to establish a home-based business. I am not “rollin’ in money.” And it is impossible to even contemplate the cost of health care, let alone figure out how to pay for it.

According to a report in the January-February 2015 AARP Bulletin, many “specialty drugs” are available today, but the cost is prohibitive for most consumers ( So, where does that leave the many who can’t afford the high pricing on certain prescriptions? I don’t know, and the AARP report doesn’t have many answers, either.

In addition to drug costs, hospital costs have soared. Most hospital patients spend a few days under hospital care. Then they are either relocated to a different facility or released to home or alternative care.

This past year, my oldest son underwent three spinal surgeries-each, one serious. He is nowhere near retirement age, and he has hospital coverage, but he was released the same day in each instance, and still had a large bill to pay. Something seems very off-base in the health care system.

In 1980, my mother was hospitalized for six weeks until her death. She wasn’t “moved” or sent home. She received very good care throughout that period. And when she died, healthcare costs were covered by Medicare. If I recall, we didn’t pay a cent of out-of-pocket costs how things have changed!

But people today aren’t that much better off than they were 35 years ago. Wages have increased, but so has the cost of living. When health problems arise, we aren’t in any better condition to cover the costs than people were 35 years ago.

People have difficult decisions to face regarding medications and health care. If we can’t afford it, what are the options? Most of us, I believe, want to live as healthy as we can for as long as we can. But may come the point when the bills simply can’t be covered.

I urge you to take action: contact legislative representatives; contact whomever you think may help provide some solutions to this growing problem.

I want to stay healthy as long as I can, as I am sure most seniors do. But we must have the ability to do that, by being able to afford competent health resources.