It’s Pharmacy Benefits Week, and that means helping seniors get the most out of their coverage and save money. Today on Indy Style, Jeff Gronemeyer, Regional Director of Marketing for Assisted Living, and Orion Bell, CEO, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, explain what this could mean for you or a loved one.

About Pharmacy Benefits Week: The vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana do not take full advantage of their pharmacy coverage, which can negatively impact their physical and financial health. To help raise awareness of this issue, CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions, Walgreens and American Senior Communities are collaborating on a public education campaign during Pharmacy Benefits Week, observed nationally Jan. 30-Feb. 3, 2017.

Research shows that only 12 percent of Medicare beneficiaries understand their pharmacy benefits and, therefore, are able to make the most of the potential savings. Without an understanding of their benefits, too many older adults and people with disabilities may not be taking medications as prescribed for fear of incurring additional out-of-pocket expenses.

“Once people pick their Part D plan, you would think that they would be very knowledgeable about what it contains, but that’s often not the case,” said CICOA President Orion Bell. “When they realize that there’s a link between fully utilizing their prescription coverage and better health and financial outcomes, they’ll want to know more,” Bell noted.

Because CICOA provides free counseling about Medicare and other related health insurances through Indiana’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), it made sense to participate in the Pharmacy Benefits campaign developed by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging ( and Walgreens (

The public is invited to learn more about their Medicare prescription plan coverage by attending any of the following presentations:

• 5 million people with Medicare say they can’t afford their medications. If we can’t afford our medications and don’t take them as our doctors prescribe, our health can suffer.

• We do. The average elderly patient is taking more than five prescription medications

• The average nursing home patient is taking seven medications.

• The average annual cost of these medications doubled from $5,500 in 2006 to more than $11,000 in 2013 (AARP study).

• Education campaign between CICOA and Walgreens to help seniors get the most out of Medicare coverage and HOPEFULLY save some money on medications.

• Week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3. Each day we will offer a free workshop around the metro area for seniors to learn how to reduce their out of pocket expenses on prescription drugs.

• Studies show if all older adults could maximize the balance between premiums and out-of-pocket costs, they could save average of $300 per year.

• Growing evidence that the social and emotional supports provided to individuals, and the role they play in managing their own health, impact healthcare outcomes as much as, or more than the medical treatment itself. Put another way, what happens outside the clinic or the hospital is more important than what happens inside.

• If you can’t make it to one of these events, CICOA provides free counseling about Medicare and other health insurances through Indiana’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP.
To learn more visit or Click here to watch the video!

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