How Can I Get Help Paying for My Prescriptions?
The ongoing cost of prescription medications can be a challenge, especially if you are taking more than one prescribed medication. Some pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs to individuals and families with financial needs. These programs typically require a doctor's consent and proof of your financial status. They may also require that you have either no health insurance or no prescription drug benefit through your health insurance.
In addition, there are county, state, and national prescription programs for which you may qualify and special drug discount cards offered by some pharmaceutical companies.
The following organizations may be able to help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need:
- The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the program that is right for them. Many will get their medications free or nearly free. For more information, call 1-888-477-2669.
- Together Rx Access can help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage save on hundreds of name-brand and generic products and connect patients to resources about coverage options. For more information, call 1-800-444-4106.
Your local and/or state Mental Health America office is a resource for information about state and local prescription assistance programs.
Your state Medicaid office may offer information about prescription assistance and drug discount programs available in your state.
Medicare Rights Center offers information about state and national prescription assistance programs, drug discount cards, mail order and internet discount pharmacies, and prescription drug price comparison web sites. This information is not only for Medicare Part D plan participants but for anyone needing information about help paying for their prescription drugs. Use the "Help Paying for Prescription Drugs" option on the left-hand side of the page to access this information.
RX Hope has program descriptions and downloadable applications for prescription assistance programs for specific medications including psychotropic medications.
RX Assist offers a patient assistance program directory along with information about a variety of programs including drug discount cards, prescription assistance programs for generic medications, programs that help with medication co-pays, programs that provide free and low cost health care, as well as information for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
Needy Meds has a searchable list of disease-specific assistance programs (primarily for other medical conditions) with program description and contact information (Use link under "Additional Programs" on left-hand side of home page.) Some of these programs provide a broad range of financial assistance including help with other necessary expenses such as utility bills. They also have a list of state sponsored programs which can be accessed from the link under "Government Programs" also on the left-hand side of the home page. Once you have identified programs, you can contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 1-888-477-2669 for free assistance in applying for these programs.
Discuss with your doctor if switching to generic drugs or less expensive brand-name prescription drugs is a safe option for you. It is important to let your doctor know if you cannot afford your prescriptions. He or she may be able to give you free samples of your medications.
Compare the prices of your prescription drugs at different retail pharmacies. Many retail pharmacies list their prices for commonly prescribed drugs online, or you can call local pharmacies to request prices for your medications.
Check out Destination Rx at http://www.destinationrx.com/ to compare pricing of your prescription medications.
Medicare Part D
Medicare prescription drug coverage, also referred to as Part D, is a program that helps individuals who receive Medicare benefits pay for prescription drugs. This program covers both brand name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone on Medicare is eligible, regardless of income, health status, or current prescription expenses.
There are two types of insurance plans that vary in cost and drugs covered. They are:
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, sometimes called "PDPs" only offer the Medicare drug benefit.
- Medicare Advantage Plans, sometimes called "MA-PDs," are managed care plans (like HMOs and PPOs) that offer more comprehensive health care coverage, to which the drug benefit will be added.
Extra Help is a program that helps eligible people with Medicare pay for some or most of their prescription drug costs.
Visit Medicare.gov to find and compare Medicare plans or to enroll.
There are a variety of organizations that offer prescription assistance for medications used to treat specific medical conditions. While these organizations do not offer assistance in covering the cost of psychotropic medications, they may be helpful if you have other health problems. Some of these programs offer financial assistance for those who have insurance but have high co-pays. Some also offer assistance with insurance premiums.
- Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief at 1-866-512-3861
- National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) at 1-800-999-NORD
- Patient Services Inc. at 1-800-366-7741
- HealthWell Foundation at 1-800-675-8416
- Patient Access Network Foundation at 1-866-316-7263