Sometimes health insurance premiums are simply unaffordable, or people become uninsured for other reasons. Still others may be under-insured: they have some coverage but find it does not protect them from high out-of-pocket costs. Fortunately, there are some programs to help qualified individuals get the care and medicines they need. Some states offer discounts on prescription drugs for their senior citizens and/or disabled residents who meet income eligibility guidelines. To see if your state has a Prescription Drug Assistance Program, contact your state Department of Insurance, or review information from the National Conference of State Legislatures Web site.
The manufacturers of the MS disease-modifying therapies offer patient assistance programs and many other drugs used to treat symptoms or other conditions also offer help to qualified individuals. To learn about these programs, their application forms and procedures, go to the Web site www.NeedyMeds.org. The Web site www.benefitscheckup.org works in a similar way and provides information about government programs and other benefits for eligible persons in need, including help with housing, heating bills and more.
You will need a doctor’s prescription to get any of your medicines, and that can be a problem for people with no health insurance. Do not hesitate to ask your doctor’s office or clinic for a reduced rate, and/or a payment plan allowing you to pay your bills over time. Speak candidly with the person you are most comfortable with at your doctor’s office, hope for the best and honor any commitment you make to pay in reasonable installments.
- Researching your health insurance options
- Medicaid and other public health insurance options
- Finding low or no-cost care
- Managing your personal finances, with or without health insurance