Rx and Medicare: Common costs of prescription drugs

Don’t underestimate the value of Medicare drug coverage

Prescription drug costs are particularly an issue if you depend on maintenance medications for long-term health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure.

Thankfully, your Medicare plan choices may help you manage your costs. Basically, you have 2 options to get Medicare prescription drug coverage, and both are plans available through private insurers approved by Medicare

The amount you’ll pay for prescription medications depends on your plan choice and the benefits the plan provides. Some factors you’ll want to consider include what types of medication you need, whether those medications are included in your plan’s Drug List and if your pharmacy is in the plan network.

To see which Humana plan is right for you, you’ll want to check the plan’s Drug List for the medications you frequently take.

Many commonly prescribed drugs are available as generics, which are generally less expensive. Follow this link to learn more about the difference between brand and generic drugs.

Some common prescriptions for older adults

Any of these look familiar?1

  • Lisinopril – An ACE inhibitor used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure and also to improve survival after a heart attack
  • Levothyroxine sodium – The synthetic version of a thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, as well as thyroid cancer
  • Amlodipine besylate – A calcium channel blocker taken to lower high blood pressure and prevent angina, or chest pain
  • Simvastatin – One of a group of drugs called statins, which lower cholesterol and help reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke
  • Hydrocodone-acetaminophen – Also known as Vicodin, Lorcet and Lortab, a combination of hydrocodone (a narcotic painkiller) and acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) used to treat pain and inflammation
  • Azithromycin (generic for Zithromax, Z-PAK) – An antibiotic used to treat many different types of infections caused by bacteria
  • Hydrochlorothiazide (various brand names) – A water pill used to lower blood pressure
  • Metformin HCI– Helps control blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes

Humana answers your Medicare questions


  1. Omudhome Ogbru, “Top 10 Drugs Prescribed in the U.S.,” MedicineNet, last accessed June 9, 2022, https://www.medicinenet.com/top_drugs_prescribed_in_the_us/views.htm.

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