Hey Baby Boomers, Listen Up!

Hey Baby Boomers, Listen Up!

blog Help My Meds Medicare Medication Assistance Prescription Assistance

Hey Baby Boomers Listen Up!

What can you buy for $3.00? Not much.

Social Security Administration recently announced the cost of living adjustment for 2017 is only 0.3%. That equates to roughly $3.00 a month. These days that might get you a cup of coffee but don’t expect the sugar or the cream.  Meanwhile, your Part B premium which is your medical portion of your plan will increase and will take the entire amount. All three dollars!

At Simplefill, we believe this increase amount is “no increase.” It’s been 3 years since retirees have had a benefit increase. However, prices for goods and services continue to rise, along with the cost of medications.

The chance that the cost of your drug price will go down is about the same chance of you getting struck by lightning. It can happen, but it sure isn’t very likely.

Here at Simplefill, we suggest you take the time to review your coverage with an insurance representative. Open enrollment has started and will end December 7, 2016. It is wise to compare different plans and choose the plan that is best for you. If you cannot find a plan that covers your medications or you will hit your coverage gap, also known as “The Donut Hole”, be sure to call Simplefill so you are not stuck paying the full retail cost of your expensive medications.

Simplefill’s mission is to find solutions for retirees who have been prescribed expensive medications that they simply cannot afford.

When you call; you will speak with a Simplefill Care Coordinator who will review your medication list and find ways to help you save money. We pride ourselves by not only saving money for retirees, but also offering exceptional customer service. Our members can always speak with a live person and not a machine. We also have the latest technology where you can check your order and enrollment information using the Patient Portal at any time.

Call us today! 1-877-386-0206

Faces of Simplefill

Faces of Simplefill

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By Christine Ludwig – Simplefill member since 4/11/2016

FLOAT LIKE A BUTTTERFLY … STING LIKE A BEE?

When Muhammad Ali exploded onto the sports’ scene years ago, I did not have a strong frame of reference for him. I knew that he was not only an extraordinarily talented boxer, he was articulate and funny, and very handsome. He was brash and radiated confidence.  The boxing world and sports fans in general had not seen a champion who encompassed so much talent and generated so much of a “buzz”.

His conversion to Islam, and taking on his new name puzzled us and we were astonished when he refused to be inducted into the US Military. But, time moved on, and it was many years later that I thought about him again . . . after I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

He was diagnosed when he was a very young man and his name was well known, so there was much publicity that was generated about what a cruel blow this was to him and to his fans. When I began researching what having Parkinson’s would mean, his name appeared often. I needed to find information about the effect this new condition would have on me. And so, I read many interviews with him; I even took a week-long course that he sponsored about coping with the disease. His endorsement on various PD research efforts and communications appeared often, as did his sponsorship of such efforts.

I was looking for any information I could find that would help me to understand what Parkinson’s disease was, and, most importantly, what effect it would have on my day-to-day life. There was scarce information available – and the information that was out there, was clinical, ie; “lewi bodies” etc. So, I decided to survey people with the diagnosis and used that information to help people who are newly diagnosed to “live well with Parkinson’s”. This resulted in a book which I co-authored titled “Notes from Movers and Shakers with Parkinsons”

Parkinson’s is caused by the lack of dopamine which is produced in the brain. Although each person exhibits a different combination of Parkinson’s symptoms, there are some consistencies:

  • Hand tremors (also head and leg)
  • Sleep problems
  • Balance issues
  • Mask-like facial expressions
  • Rigidity and stiffness of muscles
  • Voice softens, words slur
  • Vision issues, constipation etc. etc.

There is no cure for Parkinsons; however, there are surgical procedures and new medications which mediate the symptoms and help to make everyday life more normal. Some of these wonder drugs can make a significant difference, but, can be expensive.  Fortunately organizations like SimpleFill can help if  financing is a problem.

In helping us to lift our spirits, Mohammad Ali was able to project to those of us who share the diagnosis, by virtue of example, the importance of dignity and humor. He was able to take command of the stage, without needing to dominate. His presence at events, or endorsements of research carried great weight and during his later years, when his physical condition was seriously involved, he left us inspired and proud.

And with newer drugs which can now bring some relief to the symptoms and can slow the progress of the disease, real progress is being made and is reaching more people through programs like SimpleFill!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

blog Cancer Assistance Chronic Disease Series Medication Assistance Uncategorized

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although Breast Cancer can be found in men as well, it is the most common cancer in Women. About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Breast cancer is a disease I am familiar with. I have had 6 people in my life diagnosed with breast cancer at all stages and are all survivors and cancer free today! However, although they won that battle, watching what they had to endure was terrible.

Simplefill is made up of almost all woman and we feel passionate about doing our part in spreading the awareness of this disease.

Let’s first start with the facts.

• In the US, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

• The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are being female and aging. About 95% of all breast cancers in the US occur in women 40 and older.

• Getting a mammogram can help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer by 30 to 40% among women ages 40 to 70.

• Breast cancer deaths have been declining since 1990 thanks to early detection, better screening, increased awareness, and new treatment options. Contact Simplefill if you have been prescribed a medication you cannot afford.

• Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.

• Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.

• In the US today, there are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors — the largest group of all cancer survivors.

• One woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes in the US.

• Every 19 seconds, someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer.

• A man’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Take a minute to read through these protective steps you can take that can help keep your risk as low as possible.

Limit alcohol. The more you drink, the higher the risk. The general recommendation is 1 drink per day.

• Don’t smoke. C’mon people, you know this! Don’t smoke. If you are having a hard time beating this habit. Contact us about getting help with Chantix – a medication proven to help patients kick the habit. APPLY HERE

• Control your weight. Again, you know this! Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer and can cause many other negative health factors.

• Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.

• Breast-feed. If you can do this, then I would recommend it. However this is a touchy subject since there is a lot of unnecessary pressure put on moms and if this is not an option, don’t stress yourself out. Like you don’t have enough on your plate already!

• Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for over three years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.

• Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. Some research indicates a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary.

• Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.

Simplefill is a full-service prescription assistance company that is dedicated to making prescribed medications affordable for our members. We have been able to help many of our patients afford their treatments.
The following is a list of medications that we can help with. If you need help with a medication that is not listed on here, Contact Us to find out if we can still help.

Drugs Approved to Prevent Breast Cancer

• Evista (Raloxifene Hydrochloride)
• Keoxifene (Raloxifene Hydrochloride)
• Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate)

Drugs Approved to Treat Breast Cancer

• Abitrexate (Methorexate)
• Abraxane
• Afinitor
• Arimidex (Anastrozole)
• Aromosin
• Cabectabine
• Cytoxan (Cyclophosphamide)
• Faslodex
• Femara (Letrozole)
• Gemzar (Gemcitabine Hydrochloride)
• Herceptin (Trastuzumab)
• Ibrance (Palbociclib)
• Megestrol Acetate
• Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate)
• Taxotere (Docetaxel)
• Tykerb (Lapatinib Ditosylate)
• Xeloda (Capecitabine)
• Zoladex (Gosereline Acetate)

Call Simplefill today to learn how we can help. 1-877-386-0206 Ext. 1

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

blog Help My Meds Medication Assistance Prescription Assistance

My uncle, Francois, was kind, sweet and always had something to say. Always. He was a quirky man with an adventurous spirit which is what made it difficult for us to identify what was happening to Francois.

Francois lived in North Miami, Florida with my aunt. When my aunt asked him to run to the store to pick up a few items, she thought nothing of it. After all, he had done it 100 times in the past. Hours later my uncle was still not back. We began to panic. We filed a missing person report and was told that all we could do at that time was wait. We waited and waited for that phone to ring. Hours after we filed the report, the phone rang. It was not Francois on the other line, it was the state police department.
Instead of going to the store, Francois got on I-95 North and drove 200 miles to the Georgia state line. He drove until he literally ran out of gas. The state police picked him up and saw he was on the missing person’s report. The state police kept him at the station until we got there to pick him up. They enjoyed my uncle, they even gave him a jacket to coronet his adventure! When we asked my uncle why he drove so far he had no answer. He did not remember. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later that month.

June is Alzheimer’s awareness month. At Simplefill, we believe it is important to help spread the awareness.

I watched my uncle struggle with this disease and what seemed harder was watching my aunt manage his illness. She went from having a best friend and partner in life, to having a full time caregiving job that left her financially and emotionally exhausted. My aunt is not alone. There is an estimated 5.4 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and over 15 million caretakers that tend to Alzheimer patients.

Notable Facts
1. Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease
2. Family caregivers spend more than $5,000.00 a year caring for someone with Alzheimer’s
3. In 2016, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $236 Billion
4. Alzheimer’s kills more than breast cancer and prostate cancer combined

Sometimes the signs of Alzheimers are not noticed until the disease has advanced. Keep in mind these 10 warning signs and contact your doctor if these behavior patterns become more common.

10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving simple problems
3. Difficulty in completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure
4. Confusion with time
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Changes in mood and personality
10. Withdrawal from work and social activities

The team at Simplefill hopes to spread the awareness of this debilitating disease and let people know we can help alleviate some of the financial burden that falls onto families of Alzheimer’s patients. There are several medications that have been developed to slow down the progression of the disease. Unfortunately, these medications come with a high price tag. Often the medication(s) are unaffordable for patients. If you know of someone who needs assistance paying for their Alzheimer medication which includes but is not limited to Namzaric, Exelon Patch, or Namenda please call Simplefill today (1-877-386-0206). We look forward to helping you.

April showers bring May flowers…

April showers bring May flowers…

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…and watery eyes, lots of sneezing, and so much huffing and puffing!

Not being able to catch your breath is one of the scariest feelings you can ever experience. Patients with asthma face this scenario all too often. The pain from wheezing and the fear from not being able to draw a deep breath can easily lead to panic and anxiety.

If you have Asthma, you are not alone. 1 in 12 Americans have been diagnosed with some type of Asthma. It is the most common respiratory ailment in the U.S., also the deadliest one, more so than cigarette smoking! Asthma can be seasonal allergies for some but many are faced with this disease year round. There are many different types of asthma each triggered by various culprits and no one treatment fits all. Some treatments are simple and inexpensive but for more serious cases, the treatment can come with a huge and often unaffordable price tag.

At Simplefill, we work with patients needing asthma medication assistance every day, and understand their unique needs. Many asthma patients take medication like anti-inflammatory asthma inhalers daily to prevent attacks. These inhaled steroids keep airways open as patients go about their lives. However, when every breath is a struggle, asthma patients need quick-acting bronchodilator asthma inhalers to make breathing easier. We offer assistance across both kinds of asthma medication, and we’re happy to talk with asthma patients individually to help them get the prescription assistance they need

Is Insurance Worth the Cost? An Examination of the Evidence

Is Insurance Worth the Cost? An Examination of the Evidence

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The Affordable Care Act, despite its good intentions, has been met with a mixed reception since its rollout. Millions of Americans living below the poverty line are now able to access health care, prescription assistance, and doctor appointments for their families. On the flip side, millions of others ineligible for assistance find themselves with a dilemma: pay for insurance and foot premiums they can’t afford, or pay the penalty fee. The latter is often far more affordable.

Politics aside, here’s an examination of what the raw data shows.

The Statistics

It’s a fact that under the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsured Americans has dropped, down to 9.2% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to 15.7% in 2011 before the act was signed by the president. The figure is expected to drop even further in 2016 as more Americans become aware of how the program works.

There is also a misconception about who makes up the majority of the previously uninsured. The prevailing belief is that those who benefit the most are those who are unemployed, using food stamps, or “leeching” off the system in one way or another.

In reality, the majority of these people are from the working class who did not have health insurance due to premiums being out of their budget.

Furthermore, a 2012 study by Families USA also showed that between 2005 and 2010, 130,000 Americans died due to not having health insurance. That’s 25% higher compared to the insured. There are other similar studies, and while the numbers may differ slightly, there appears to be a unanimous consensus: those who lack basic health care are more likely to die than their insured counterparts.

With the statistics as evidence, a strong argument can be made that the Affordable Care Act saves lives. That’s a second chance for countless Americans.

Exploring the Other Side of the Coin

Looking at some of the statistics alone, it would seem like a bullet-proof argument in favor of Obamacare. However, statistics without context only frames the argument from one perspective. There are many working Americans who need affordable health insurance just as much, but are ineligible due to just being barely above the income threshold. To say that Obamacare is a success would be leaving these Americans’ voices unrepresented.

Take into account Marhsa Danley, a 56-year-old native of Napa, CA, and full-time worker who is just above the income bracket that would allow her to qualify for a subsidy. She has not had insurance in over 10 years, though under Obamacare, she will be required to pay roughly $500 a month for a Silver Plan that includes a $5,000 annual deductible. Despite an annual $68,000 income, the $500 a month premium is simply beyond Danley’s budget considering that she has other debts, not to mention having to foot her mother’s existing medical bill when she fell ill a few years earlier.

Danley’s story isn’t a unique one. Many hard working Americans, despite being considered middle-class income earners, are feeling the financial sting of having to pay for health insurance. Many are instead opting to pay the penalty fee since it’s the more financially sound decision. Taking this road, of course, still leaves them without health coverage.

Even those already insured are seeing a hike in premiums. Also, more employers are nixing health insurance plans for their employees or are drastically reducing the coverage. UPS, for example, just recently removed spousal coverage from its plan and cited the Affordable Care Act as reason for doing so. This means employees now have to enroll in an individual health insurance plan that, much like in Danley’s situation, they may not be able to afford. The Affordable Care Act, as it turns out, isn’t so affordable for a large working class demographic.

We’re Here to Help

At Simplefill, we know that even with insurance, prescription drug costs are sometimes unaffordable. Whether you are living without health insurance, struggling with cost of high co-pays or being forced to make decisions due to limited prescription drug coverage, our mission is to ensure all patients receive the help they need. We believe that no American should be forced to choose between potentially life-saving medication and being plundered into deep debt. Get in touch with us to learn more about our prescription assistance program. Based on your eligibility, you may also qualify for grant services.

What is Good Cholesterol?

What is Good Cholesterol?

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“Cholesterol” and “bad” get paired together a lot. As a duo, they insinuate heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and heart attacks. But knowing how “good cholesterol” works is just as important as eschewing the “bad” cholesterol. Simplefill stands behind the power of good cholesterol to bring better health to your body. Continue reading

What Can You Do for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

What Can You Do for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month?

blog Cancer Assistance

One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s a formidable statistic, and for good reason, but there is a silver lining: With early detection, thousands of lives are saved each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that many more women could survive this illness if they take advantage of early detection tests.

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Simplefill explores the most effective ways to fight this disease. Continue reading