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  • Writer's picturePam

Medication In Assisted Living Facilities Can Cost More

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

My mom takes a lot of medications so for us that was a huge consideration when we were looking for facilities. We needed to find a place that could actually give them to her throughout the day and not just remind her to take them herself. This may sound like an obvious service provided at all facilities but the way in which it is done can be very different. There are also various costs associated with giving people medication. At one facility the fee was based on how many medications you took total. In another it was how many times they had to actually give the medication.

One other very important thing to consider is that many facilities use a private prescription drug service to provide all their resident medications. These companies deliver the medication and package it in little sealed packs which help prevent human error in administering it. Some facilities require you to use that company. What they do not tell you ahead of time is that the cost of those prescriptions will be higher than other places like Walgreens or Target for example. They also do not tell you that often these private companies are usually not considered medicare approved pharmacies. What does that mean? If means medicare won't cover as much as they might at Walgreens or CVS. So you may be paying more money for your prescriptions and for my mom that made a HUGE difference in our costs. I actually did a comparison of costs and it was in many cases 2 or 3 times as much as the private pharmacy.

If you choose to provide your own medications by picking them up at Walgreens or another pharmacy and bringing them to the facility for your loved one then the facility can charge you a fee. This fee can be around $250.00 or more a month. They explain that the fee is for the time it takes them to sort your pills out. So the fee would negate the higher cost of the meds at the private pharmacy.

What you need to do is be aware of this issue and make sure to bring it up when you are touring places and discussing costs. It is an added service that should be considered as you plan your monthly costs.

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