Rising Costs For Health Care Challenge Seniors

Armen Hareyan's picture

The Chicago Tribune on Sunday examined how, "withsoaring costs of prescription drugs, housing, gasoline and groceries, it iseasy for seniors on fixed incomes to go over budget." According toexperts, many seniors depend on Social Security payments, pensions and personalsavings and "cannot keep up with inflation," and, to "keep upwith the rising costs of prescription drugs and medical payments not covered byMedicare, retirees have accumulated more debt than ever," the Tribunereports.

In response, groups such as AARP and the Legal AidSociety haveoffered programs to help seniors with financial problems. David Irwin, aspokesperson for AARP, said, "Everyone is getting hit hard, but seniorswith a tight income get hit even harder," adding, "When you look atsomeone who has retired ... and what companies are doing with retiree healthcare plans, more and more health care costs are coming out of the pocket of theindividual, and pension plans are slipping away as well."

Jerome Lamet, supervising attorney for Debt Counsel for Seniors & the Disabled, said that seniors often are"bombarded with preapproved credit card solicitations because (companies)think if seniors take their card, they are going to pay," although"these are people living on Social Security." He added, "Formany of them, it was either use the credit card to buy prescription drugs ordie" (Glanton, Chicago Tribune, 5/18).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.