Seniors Using Credit To Pay For Health Care Costs

With soaring costs of prescription drugs, housing, gasoline and groceries, it is easy for seniors on fixed incomes to go over budget. According to experts, many seniors depend on Social Security payments, pensions and personal savings and cannot keep up with inflation, and, to keep up with the rising costs of prescription drugs and medical payments not covered by Medicare, retirees have accumulated more debt than ever.

In response, groups such as AART and the Legal Aid Society have offered programs to help seniors with financial problems. David Irwin, a spokesperson for AARP, said, “Everyone is getting hit hard, but seniors with a tight income get hit even harder,” adding, “When you look at someone who has retired … and what companies are doing with retiree health care plans, more and more health care costs are coming out of the pocket of the individual, and pension plans are slipping away as well.”

Jerome Lamet, supervising attorney for Debt Counsel for Seniors & The Disabled said that seniors are “bombarded with pre-approved 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, “For many of them, it was either use the credit card to buy prescription drugs or die”

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