Retirees, Find Help to Cover Expensive Drug Costs

When his seasonal allergies turned into chronic asthma, Harry Schaffner says he realized that he would face out-of-pocket costs of several thousand dollars per year, even with Medicare. That was going to hurt. A retired trial lawyer from La Quinta, Calif., Schaffner spent much of his retirement savings caring for his mother, who died at age 95. His wife, a breast cancer survivor, requires an estrogen-blocker medicine that costs another $150 monthly. All told, Medicare premiums and other health-related expenses have reduced Schaffner’s monthly Social Security benefit by $700.