SimpleFill was recently featured on The Balancing Act, a popular talk show that focuses on bringing balance to our daily lives. The Balancing Act highlights ways that viewers can better manage day-to-day tasks that might otherwise be stressful or time-consuming. One such problem for many Americans is prescription fulfillment. At SimpleFill, we make it easy to research prescription assistance solutions, find the most affordable options and enroll our members into these programs so that you can be happy, healthy, and stress-free. Watch our feature on The Balancing Act, and learn more about the SimpleFill prescription assistance program. Continue reading
When I make something a habit and stick to it daily, I notice I have much better days and feel happier and more productive. Turns out, science backs this up. In fact, having a routine can actually improve your mental and even physical health. Similarly, not having a routine can cause stress, low-quality sleep, anxiety, and poor eating.
Routine vs. Schedule
A routine is something you do every day, but it differs from a schedule in that you don’t have time constraints. For instance, if you take your medication before breakfast every day, that’s a routine. Routines can help you remember to do certain things each day as well as effectively manage your time and energy.
How Can a Routine Help My Chronic Illness?
There are two main ways a routine can help with the management of a chronic illness.
1. They Help You Recognize Your Needs
When you have a routine, you’ll know when it’s the best time to do certain things for your body.
For instance, if your chronic illness makes you feel tired by noon every day, take care of the most important things in the morning. This allows you to maximize your energy levels and be more productive by taking care of the most important things early in the day.
2. They Help You Stay Organized
Routines can help you keep all of your daily responsibilities in check, which in turn can help improve your mental health. Staying organized through routines can help create more relaxation and less anxiety in your life.
How to Incorporate Routines into Your Life
Here’s how you can incorporate a routine into your day that can help you with your condition.
Practice Daily Self Care
When you live with a chronic illness, your mental health can spiral downwards fast, which is why it’s important to include self care in your daily routine. Self-care doesn’t always have to come in the form of spa days and bubble baths though. Sometimes it means just giving yourself a little more credit, recognizing when you need a break, and listening to what your body needs.
So whether it’s reading, taking a walk, exercising, or watching your favorite show, find some time each day to give yourself a chance to reset.
Incorporate Routine Checkups
It’s also a good idea to incorporate routine checkups at least once a year with your primary care doctor. And the good news is that if you have Medicare, you get full coverage for an annual wellness visit with your doctor.
Get Your Zzz’s On
Sleep is especially important when facing a chronic illness. Getting the right amount of sleep each night can have a huge effect on your mental well being. One study found that people with an active daytime routine have a healthier sleeping cycle than those with an active nighttime routine.
Having a sleep routine can make you more productive and can improve your mental health.
Make it a habit to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time each morning.
Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. The National Sleep Foundation shares that older adults need between 7 and 8 hours of sleep.
Find Specific Times to Eat and Take Medications
Make eating and taking your medications a routine. It’s a good idea for you to eat around the same time each day. You’ll know when your body needs the energy the most.
Similarly, taking your medication at the same time each day can help you remember to take them, and many medications should be taken with a meal.
When faced with a chronic illness, nothing is really certain; however, setting a routine can help you feel more powerful and authoritative over your life and inject some predictability into all that uncertainty. Take time to set routines for yourself and remind yourself that your illness is no longer in control — you are.
Author Bio: Christian Worstell is a health and wellness writer living in Raleigh, North Carolina.
According to the National Council on Aging, nearly 80% of Americans over the age of 65 have at least one chronic disease and more than 2/3 of all health care costs go toward treating these conditions. If you suffer from an ongoing ailment yourself, you already know how expensive it can be for continued treatment. Many people in these circumstances spend hundreds—if not thousands of dollars on specialty drugs each month. But if you can’t afford your medications for your illness, Simplefill’s grant services may be able to help.
What are Disease-Specific Grants?
Disease-specific grants are designed to help insured patients with chronic diseases pay their co-pay on specialty drugs. Because the price tag on these specialty drugs can be so high, and because chronic diseases require indefinite treatment, many people find it hard to afford their prescriptions, even with insurance. These disease-specific grants can be used toward the co-pay, usually 20% of the total costs, while the patient’s insurance continues to pay for the remaining prescription costs. To be approved for grant funding, the patient must have insurance, but the income guidelines are higher than most assistance programs. Most grants also require that the patients co-pay is at least $50/month for eligibility.
Which Chronic Diseases Do Grants Cover?
Grants are “disease specific,” which means they cover several brand name and generic medications that are prescribed for a specific disease. There are several different foundations that offer grant funding. Simplefill works with all available foundations. The most common chronic diseases that we help Simplefill patients with through grant funding include but are not limited to Parkinson’s, Asthma/COPD, HIV/ AIDS, Prostate Cancer, Multiple Scleroses, Post-Menopausal Osteoporosis, Crohn and Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Colon / Colorectal Cancer, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, Multiple Myeloma, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and plenty of others.
How Can Simplefill Help?
At Simplefill, we learn about your unique situation and tailor our extensive knowledge of prescription assistance programs to find you help paying for prescription drugs. You may be eligible for a grant if you have prescription insurance but still pay more than $100 a month for your medication. Here’s how it works. Once we learn about your unique circumstances, we apply for grants that will award a minimum of $1,600.00 towards a prescribed medication and a maximum of one year’s coverage for the requested medication. We collect a small fee for our services. Apply now to find out if you’re eligible for a grant.
Don’t have insurance? Just because you aren’t eligible for a grant doesn’t mean we won’t be able to help you afford your prescriptions. Our prescription assistance program may be able to help. Call us today at 1.877.386.0206 and we’ll discuss your options.
4 Healthy Skincare Habits For Aging
Your skin is one of the telling signs of unavoidable aging, however, there’s plenty that you can
do to help yourself age healthily. These four skincare habits are easy changes to make to your
daily routine that will result in healthy, glowing skin for the years to come.
Have a skincare routine:
At any age and for any gender, it’s important to incorporate skincare into your daily routine.
Simply start with a gentle facial cleanser, follow up with a moisturizer and finish with an eye
cream, you can get different products for day and night but that’s not necessary. Skincare
doesn’t have to be complex but there are a few anti-aging ingredients to keep in mind when
you’re looking for new products. Retinol, Vitamin C, Caffeine and Hyaluronic Acid can all help
prevent wrinkles and keep the skin youthful looking, so these are the ingredients you want to
see in your skincare products to help with signs of aging.
Watch your shaving technique:
Taking care while shaving your body is extremely important for aging skin, especially in the face
when skin tends to be more soft and sensitive. To avoid premature aging caused by poor
shaving technique, keep these tips in mind:
● Always start with fresh and clean shaving tools
● Lather up with warm water and shaving cream
● Shave with the grain to avoid ingrown hairs and nicks
● Finish with a post-shave product
Because a bad shaving process can cause nicks and scarring, it’s important to shave carefully
all over the body.
Use UV protection:
UV protection is so helpful when it comes to your skin staying young-looking. UV protection
applies to your whole body like your skin, eyes, and head. Your hands and neck are actually two
places that seem to age the fastest, so be sure to lather up on an SPF 30-50 every single day,
no matter how sunny it is. You can add a facial SPF to your skincare routine but don’t skip your
neck, chest, and hands.
For additional UV protection look into UV blocking clothes. You can find all types of clothing,
including hats, that will keep you shaded from the sun.
Take your prescriptions:
If you suffer from any skin conditions, such as psoriasis or any related to illnesses like kidney or
liver disease, then be sure to stay on top of your prescriptions. This may be a pill or a cream,
but whatever your doctor or dermatologist is prescribing you, it’s important to take regularly. If
you have trouble with taking your medication, here are some tips to be better with this habit and
to ensure your skin stays healthy!
For many people, buying generic products is a great way to save money. That’s why people buy grocery store branded butter and knockoff shoes. But even though many people still think of generic drugs as cheaper prescription alternatives, the healthcare industry has seen a recent trend of generic drugs becoming increasingly expensive.
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic prescription drug is a medication designed to be the same as an already marketed brand-name prescription in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics, and intended use. In other words, a generic drug should work in the same way, with the same proven clinical benefits as its brand-name version. In terms of their popularity, generic drugs constitute nearly nine out of every 10 prescriptions filled in the U.S.
Why Generic Prescription Drug Prices Are Rising
The rise in drug prices for generic prescriptions can’t be traced to one specific cause, especially since the prices are not necessarily inflated across all generic prescriptions. Here are two of the main factors that contribute to rising generic prescription drug prices.
While numerous factors can cause price increases, consolidations within the generic-drug industry play a large role. In 2015, for example, the world’s largest generic-drug company acquired the third-largest manufacturer. These consolidations decrease market competition and prevent natural price regulation. In other words, when only one drug company is making a specific type of prescription drug, there’s no incentive to keep the price as low as possible since customers have no other options.
One reason for inflated generic prescription drug prices is drug shortages. If, for example, a generic drug has a safety-related drug recall and FDA inspections to clear, the decrease in production can lead to inflated drug prices. The same goes for any manufacturing slow-downs that prevent a drug from being quickly made.
How Simplefill Can Help People Who Can’t Afford Their Generic Prescriptions
Whether you’re trying to figure out how to pay for your prescriptions without insurance or you can no longer afford the rising costs of your generic prescriptions with insurance, Simplefill Prescription Assistance can help. We understand how complicated the healthcare system is to navigate, which is why we do everything we can to simplify the process. In fact, in addition to learning about your specific medical and financial situation, we also complete all the research and paperwork in order to find the best possible option for you. Whether it’s finding alternative funding programs, working with pharmacies that offer the best discounts, or researching brand name medications with assistance availability, Simplefill does whatever we can to help you afford your medications. Give Simplefill a call today or start an application online!
Whether you were recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes or need to begin taking insulin for Type 2 diabetes, the idea of managing diabetes with insulin injections can be scary. Here’s what you need to know about using insulin, including information about the different discounted insulins available through Simplefill’s prescription assistance program.
Insulin Delivery Methods
While most diabetics use a needle and syringe, other methods of insulin delivery are becoming increasingly popular. Insulin pens, for example, contain a cartridge, a dial to measure dosage, and a disposable needle. Insulin pens are more accurate to use, and many people find them simpler and more convenient as well. Insulin pumps, while more expensive, are connected to your body through a catheter. They deliver slow-acting insulin to regulate blood sugar between meals and bolus doses after eating. Many companies already provide oral diabetes medications for people not dependent on insulin, and oral insulin is just around the corner.
The Importance of a Healthy Diet
No diabetes management strategy is complete without a plan for healthy eating. In addition to eating healthy carbohydrates, good fats, fiber-rich, heart-healthy foods, it’s also important for people with diabetes to eat three meals a day at the same time of day. Talk to your doctor about how an improved diet can help manage your diabetes.
How to Take Insulin
While you should go over insulin instructions more thoroughly with your doctor, this helpful guide covers some insulin basics for people using needles and syringes and can serve as a great resource for anyone new to managing diabetes with insulin.
Store Your Insulin Properly
Storage is the first step to an effective insulin injection. Because every brand is different, you’ll want to check the storage instructions on your prescription, but there are some good general rules to follow. Insulin you’re currently using can be stored at room temperature. Avoid storing insulin in the bathroom or in direct sunlight, as this can cause the insulin to overheat, making it less effective. Insulin you aren’t currently using should be stored in the refrigerator.
Check Expiration Dates
Each bottle of insulin will have its own general expiration date and length of longevity after opening. We recommend writing the date on a bottle when you open it, so you can be sure you know when to stop using.
Use Alcohol Wipes
Before your insulin injection, be sure to clean the area you plan to inject with alcohol and wait until it dries before injecting. If you’re using a vial or syringe, doctors also recommend cleaning both rubber stoppers with alcohol.
Choose Your Injection Site Carefully
While you’ll want to discuss injection sites with your diabetes care team, it’s generally best to inject in fatty areas of your abdomen, outer thighs, and arms. You’ll also want to regularly rotate injection sites to prevent hard lumps or fatty deposits from developing. This can be done by injecting two inches away from the most recent injection site in that area and by changing injection regions every week.
Don’t Remove Needle Too Quickly
In order to make sure you get the full dosage of insulin, make sure you hold the needle in your skin for 5-7 seconds.
Don’t Reuse Needles or Syringes
Never reuse needles or syringes, as doing so can lead to infections at the injection site.
How to Pay for Insulin
Because prices continue to soar and so many people can’t afford insulin, Simplefill is doing everything we can to help people pay for their diabetes medications. In fact, the team at Simplefill assists thousands of diabetics in affording their insulin each month. Simplefill has prescription assistance programs available for several diabetic medications, including insulins like Humalog, Novolog, Lantus, Levemir, Apidra, Toujeo, and Tresiba. If you can’t afford your medication, give us a call or fill out our online application to find out if you qualify for prescription assistance. In the meantime, check out our blog, where we cover everything from how to pay for prescriptions without insurance to the 2019 changes to Medicare Part D.
Sometimes it’s easy to let your health fall to the wayside, but with summer right around the corner, we have some fresh ways to focus on your well-being right now. From your skincare to your nutrition, these are easy ways you can prioritize your wellness that are especially important in the summer months.
1. Protect your body this summer
The weather during the summer is always invigorating – you get to spend more time outside in the sun and warmth. However, that means you have to take precautions to protect your body against the sun and any extreme heat.
Even if it’s a cloudy day or you don’t plan to be in the sun for an extended period of time, an SPF lotion is vital in preventing the harmful rays from penetrating the skin. Keep a hat, umbrella, or protective sunglasses on hand at all times because these items can help shield your eyes and face from the sun. Just like your skin, your eyes can get sunburnt too which can feel itchy, dry, and uncomfortable. Don’t forget to review any prescription medications you are taking because some can cause the skin to burn more easily when exposed to the sun, be sure to always read the instructions on your medications before you start taking them. Finally, to avoid heat stroke, stay hydrated, try to be in shaded areas as much as possible and get into a cool, air-conditioned place if you start to feel extremely hot or faint.
2. Start a new hobby
If you’ve been dying to start a new hobby, why not start now?! That activity you’ve been wanting to try has likely been on your mind for some time now, so give yourself the satisfaction of going after it.
If it’s an active hobby or sport you’re looking to try out – great! Summer is the time to get outside and do it! But even if you want to learn to knit, spend more time reading, or learn to bake, take the initiative to start. Having a personal activity that you enjoy doing is great for your mental health and can boost physical health too. So round up your friends to start a tennis league or head to a craft store and pick up all of the things you need to learn to start scrapbooking and commit to spending time with yourself and your new-found hobby.
3. Focus on your foods
Setting goals to eat better are very common, but when summer hits it’s easier than ever because wholesome produce is fresh and in season. No matter where you are in your journey to a healthier lifestyle, there’s always more inspiration out there to keep you motivated to better your health with nutrition.
Make a goal to head to the local farmers market once a week to pick out some of your favorite fruits and veggies to inspire a new, exciting dish to add to your meal plan. If you’re getting bored of cooking the same thing over and over seek out new food blogs for ideas; some of our favorites are Naturally Ella, Skinnytaste, and A Couple Cooks. Keeping your healthy meals exciting and delicious is key to staying on track with any food-related goals!
4. See your doctor
Even if it may seem obvious, there are plenty of people out there that avoid seeing their primary care physician, therapist, or dentist. Make whatever appointment you need to right now because preventative health is the best thing you can do for your body.
Maybe you stopped taking that prescription that you should be on daily, or you keep forgetting to call the eye doctor to make your annual appointment, or maybe it’s just time for a regular checkup! Especially with age, it’s important to stay on top of annual appointments, refill your medications, and have the support to ensure you are in great health. Again, don’t forget to always read the warnings and instructions on prescriptions that can make you sensitive to the sun or can’t be taken with alcohol.
This summer, take initiative to boost your health and well-being. Whether it’s your skin, eyes, or even your mental health, there are plenty of easy ways to begin focusing on your health right now and throughout the summer.
Whether you’re a senior trying to keep track of a long list of prescriptions or a caregiver trying to help, these medication management tips can help you save time, eliminate confusion, and stay on top of prescribed (and over-the-counter) medications.
Keep a Detailed List
While your doctor should be aware of all the medications you’ve been prescribed, it’s best to keep your own detailed list of which medications you’re currently taking, including prescriptions, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, and herbal supplements. Not only can this prevent you from taking medications with bad interactions, but it also allows you and your doctor to see a more comprehensive view of your treatment. When making your list, include information about what the medication is for and any side effects you notice, including if and when they go away.
Try a Pill Organizer
It may seem obvious but using a pill organizer can be a great way to ensure that you aren’t missing any doses of your medications. Not only can you separate pills by day of the week, but some pill organizers have separate compartments for morning and evening medications, making it even easier to track which pills you’re supposed to take when. One added benefit of pill organization is that if you fill your organizer at the beginning of the week, this can alert you to any medications that need to be refilled, giving you plenty of time to contact your doctor or pharmacy.
We can all use reminders, and setting a smartphone, watch, or alarm clock with daily alarms is a great way to make sure you don’t miss any doses of your medications. If you don’t like setting reminders, try tying the action of taking a pill to something that’s part of your daily routine. You might, for example, take your morning medications while you wait for your coffee to brew or take your nighttime meds right after you brush your teeth.
Pay Attention to Instructions
Different medications have different instructions that can be very important for the effectiveness of the medication and for preventing side effects. Some prescriptions should be taken food with food or water, and certain medications can be negatively affected by the active ingredients in other medications. Depending on which medications you take, you might not realize that many doses have storage recommendations. Insulin, for example, requires refrigeration, and many medications do best in dry, cool rooms, which means you may want to avoid storing them in steamy bathrooms.
Avoid Pharmacy Hopping
While many people think of pharmacists as someone who hands them a pill bottle, they have a wealth of knowledge and information which can be incredibly helpful in maintaining your health. If you get most or all your medications at the same pharmacy, the pharmacist gets to know you better and has a more comprehensive view of your overall health. Plus, having your prescriptions at the same pharmacy can help prevent confusion and help ensure that you’re always getting everything you need.
While these medication management tips can help keep you healthy and organized, if you can’t afford your medication, all the organization in the world won’t help. That’s where Simplefill prescription assistance comes in. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to pay for your prescriptions without insurance or you can no longer afford the rising costs of your generic prescriptions, start an application today to find out if Simplefill can help. In the meantime, check out our blog where we cover everything from tips for family caregivers to what you need to know about the 2019 changes to Medicare Part D coverage.
Written by Brad Krause from Selfcare.info
Often, we face each day with our mental and emotional batteries somewhat drained. If we don’t take time to look after ourselves, we put our mental health at risk. Here are five ways you can commit to self-care each day.
Manage the Basics
It may seem trivial, but it’s easy to overlook the basic elements that help our mental health.
- Eating a nutritious diet, especially one that helps promote a healthy gut balance, will keep your body and mind in tip-top shape. Akkermansia, for example, is one of the many healthy bacteria living in your belly, and eating a probiotic-rich diet (think yogurt, pickles, and sauerkraut) will help it thrive. This leads to a regulated metabolism, meaning you’ll raise your energy levels and boost your mood.
- Creating a stable sleep pattern is one of the best things you can do for your mental wellness. Sleeping de-stresses the brain, which affects all areas of our lives. Even if you can’t fall asleep, going to bed and rising at the same time each day is important for stability.
- If you feel stressed, taking the time to see to your basic needs can quickly turn things around. For example, are you brushing your teeth regularly? This simple habit can have a profound impact on your physical and emotional health, so if you’ve been lax in addressing your dental care, make it a priority.
- If you feel overextended at work or in your personal life, practice saying “no”. It is OK to put yourself first and take care of your needs before anyone else’s.
Focusing on your personal fitness does not have to be exhausting or expensive. You could go for a 30-minute walk every other day to start out; simply getting your body moving will boost your mood. The stretches and muscle-toning poses of yoga are great for relieving stress. You don’t need a gym membership or expensive classes to care for your physical health, either. There are plenty of online exercise videos available, and you can experiment with different kinds of workouts to find one you love.
Declutter Your House
Although it might not sound like a big deal, having a cluttered environment can actually increase your levels of stress and anxiety, so set aside some time to clear out any unwanted items. Make three separate piles — keep, donate, trash — to help make the process a little simpler. Before you know it, your home will have fewer unnecessary objects — and you’ll have less stress.
Invest in Yourself
It is important to do something you enjoy. Investing yourself in work is great, but developing interests outside of the office is important. Sometimes, having something to do physically after a stressful day is the best way to relax. Discover your passions and put energy into things that bring you joy. It will help make your life brighter and give you more to look forward to. If you find that you are still unable to unwind, meditation may be helpful. It can help your brain reset, so to speak, and help you focus on the present moment and not what was bothering you. Building a meditative or contemplative habit each day can increase the benefits for your mental health.
Encourage yourself to maintain a social life. Seeing loved ones, even for just a few minutes a week, can have lasting impact on your quality of life. There are physical benefits as well as mental ones. Reminding yourself that you are not alone and that there are people who care for you can have enduring benefits for how you cope with stress.
If we feel unmotivated, it can be hard to invest in ourselves. Thinking past tomorrow may sometimes seem impossible, but one way to really take care of your mental health and to practice self-care is to set goals. This can be a good starting place for developing new, healthy interests. If you write down your goals, you can develop actionable steps toward accomplishing them. Your goals do not have to be lofty. You may be surprised by how good you feel by achieving something as simple as reading regularly.
Self-care is vital for excellent mental health. Balance your schedule to create the time you need to take care of yourself. Start small and build up positive habits to truly feel the benefits of self-care.
With so many moving parts, Medicare plans and health insurance coverage can be quite confusing. While we’ve already covered the 2019 changes to Medicare Part D, understanding the Medicare Extra Help Program could help you afford your prescriptions in 2019.
What Is the Medicare Extra Help Program?
Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can get Medicare Part D Drug Coverage, but some people with limited resources and income may qualify for additional financial resources through the Medicare Extra Help Program. This program serves as supplemental prescription help for the people who need it most.
What Does Medicare Extra Help Cover?
The Medicare Extra Help Program is estimated to be worth an additional $4,900 per year, on top of the regular Medicare Part D Drug Coverage. Extra Help can cover costs including monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and even prescription co-payments.
How Do I Qualify for Medicare Extra Help Coverage?
To qualify for Medicare Extra Help, you must meet financial need requirements, which are based on your income, savings, investments, and real estate holdings outside of your home. You must meet both a resource and an income limit in order to qualify for Extra Help.
What is the Extra Help Resource Limit?
While there are many resource variables to consider, people generally qualify for Extra Help when their annual resources are limited to $14,390 for an individual or $28,720 for a married couple who lives together. Resources include outside real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, and any additional cash outside of a bank account.
What is the Extra Help Income Limit?
In addition to meeting the resource limit, you must also have an annual income limited to $18,735 for an individual or $25,365 for a cohabitating married couple to qualify for Extra Help. That said, you may still be eligible to receive Extra Help with a higher annual income if you support additional family members, have earnings from work, or live in Alaska or Hawaii. It’s also important to note that some payments, including food stamps, housing assistance, and earned income tax credit payments do not count as income, so receiving this assistance does not prevent you from eligibility.
How to Get Help with Prescription Drug Costs Without Extra Help?
Simplefill prescription assistance can often help people who are having a difficult time affording their medication(s). This includes uninsured, privately insured and Medicare patients. If you suffer from a chronic disease like cancer, HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression and are having trouble affording your prescriptions for any reason at all, start an application online or call us at 1.877.386.0206. A Simplefill Advocate will respond within 24 hours.