Changes implemented October 1 by the United States Postal Service to cut costs will have an impact on shipments, processing, tracking updates, and delivery times with its partner carrier networks, including Canada Post. With the upcoming holidays, it’s important to plan ahead and expect to see mail delays – and that includes seniors who rely on the mail service for prescription medication and health supplies deliveries.
Operational changes over the past year and a half due to the global pandemic and supply chain issues have also had an impact on the delivery of goods. Not only will packages, letters, and magazines take longer to arrive, the cost of shipping for the holidays will increase temporarily in the United States.
The USPS is one of the few government services that doesn’t receive taxpayer funding and must turn a profit to stay operational. A new 10-year strategic plan includes a combination of investments in technology, training, and a new fleet of delivery vehicles aimed at improving consistency, reliability, and efficiency, according to a recent NPR report. The USPS is planning to reduce the amount of mail transported by air and rely more on ground transportation which is hoped to save money and improve reliability.
But mail delays could affect medication supply for nearly 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 50, according to data from the National Poll on Healthy Aging. In many of these cases, health insurance companies require that medications be delivered by mail. People with disabilities, the elderly, and those who live in rural areas rely on the mail service for health care deliveries, financial documents, and a connection with the outside world.
If you or a loved one rely on mail services for vital deliveries, be sure to plan for delays and ensure prescriptions are re-ordered leaving plenty of time for mail service delays. If you are planning on sending packages for the holidays, cards, or invitations – mail early and be sure to include proper postage and a clearly labeled delivery address.