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Getting Financial Assistance With Your Prescriptions

Need help paying for your prescriptions, or just looking to lower your monthly costs?

There are thousands of programs available from federal and state governments, non-profits, manufacturers, and other organizations to help patients get the drugs they need. Eligibility for these programs is typically based on income, insurance or Medicare status, and other factors, but there are also some simple ways to save that anyone can use to their advantage.

Prescription drugs can be very expensive, especially if you don't have insurance.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can reduce the cost of the drugs your family needs.

Strategies

  • Generic vs. Brand

    Brand-name drugs are expensive. Generics are generally much cheaper. If you have been prescribed a brand-name drug, ask your doctor if there is a generic available. Generics approved by the FDA have the same dosage, safety, strength, method of use, quality, performance, and intended use as the brand-name drug. On GoodRx, we'll show you if there is a generic equivalent for any brand-name drug you look up.

  • Pill Splitting

    For many drugs, an increase in dosage does not mean a corresponding increase in price. Many Americans ask their doctors for a higher dosage and then simply split their pills in half (i.e. if you're supposed to take a 20 mg tablet, have your doctor prescribe a 40 mg tablet). Always check with your doctor and pharmacist before splitting your pills though; it's only safe with certain types of tablets.

  • Mail Order vs. Retail

    Mail order pharmacies are often cheaper than retail pharmacies. This is particularly true if you have insurance – your co-pays may be lower if you order a 90 day supply through your insurance company. However, you can also save by paying out of pocket and ordering online from sites like Healthwarehouse.com or your local pharmacy's home delivery service.

  • Just Ask

    Many pharmacies will negotiate on prices . . . if you ask. Some pharmacies have price-matching programs, but not all advertise it.

Discount Programs

  • Discount Coupons

    These coupons can reduce your cost up to 75% from the walk-in cash price. Most US pharmacies accept these coupons.

  • Manufacturer Coupons

    Many brand-name drug manufacturers offer coupons (sometimes called co-pay cards) to offset the high cost of their drugs. GoodRx lists virtually all of these.

  • Pharmacy Discount Programs

    Many major pharmacies offer a limited list of discounted generic drugs. In addition, some pharmacies offer additional discounts when you join a free or paid membership program.

Directories

This website provides information and directories of available assistance programs by location, medication, diagnosis, income, and other factors:

On this site, you can find applications for assistance programs, FAQs, toll-free help lines, and additional resources to help you find ways to afford your medication.

Medicaid

http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/low-cost-care/medicaid/index.html

Medicaid coverage eligibility is different from state to state, but most states provide at least some coverage for low-income and disabled people. Starting in 2014, most adults under age 65 with individual incomes up to about $15,000 per year will qualify for Medicaid in every state.

You can find more information and see if you qualify for Medicaid assistance here.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

http://www.healthcare.gov/using-insurance/low-cost-care/childrens-insurance-program/index.html

CHIP provides low-cost health coverage to children in families who earn too much to qualify for Medicare. There is a CHIP available in every state, though some states have unique names for their programs.

You can get more information on the program in your state by visiting http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/ or calling 1-877-543-7669.

Community Health Centers

https://www.healthcare.gov/lower-costs/low-cost-community-care/

Community health centers are hospitals, clinics, and health centers that provide free or low-cost care, typically using a sliding scale based on income. Anyone can use a community health center, whether you have health insurance or not.

Here are a couple of resources for finding a community health center in your area:

State Programs

Each state also offers a unique selection of assistance programs, in addition to Medicaid, CHIP, and community health centers.

You can search for programs available in your state here

One way to reduce costs if you are un- or underinsured is to obtain care at a facility that participates in the 340B Drug Discount Program. Regardless of your income or employment status, if you pay out-of-pocket for your medical services you can save up to half of the cost of your medications. Our partner, Community Catalyst, has an excellent guide to 340B Programs here.

Many manufacturers also offer patient assistance programs. It is easiest to find these programs through resources like those listed above where you can search by drug name, but they are also often linked on the manufacturer's website or the official site for your medication. Here are a few examples:

Check the brand: If you're taking a generic drug and the price is still too high, search for information about the brand name version. Many assistance programs are for brand name medications only, even if there is a generic alternative available.

Talk to your doctor: Almost all assistance programs require information from your doctor, and some programs are only offered through the doctor's office. They may have other advice on how to cut your prescription costs, or may be able to recommend other, less expensive medications that would be equally effective.

Check the fine print: Most programs have income or eligibility requirements, and most aren't available to insured patients, or those who have Medicare. However, there are some assistance programs specifically designed to help with Medicare costs, or for patients who don't have adequate prescription coverage for a particular drug.

Plan ahead: Benefits can range from a discount to a free month or more, and you'll often need to submit a new application periodically.

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Esta información es para propósito informacional solamente y no está supuesto a subsituir consejo médico profesional, diagnóstico y tratamiento. GoodRx no está ofreciendo consejos, recomendando o promocionando ningún medicamento de venta con receta específico, farmácia u otra información en el sitio. GoodRx no provee garantía para ninguna información sobre cotización de precios u otra información en la página. Por favor busque consejo médico antes de comenzar, cambiar o terminar cualquier tratamiento médico.

In all states except Tennessee, GoodRx is considered a marketer of prescription discount cards, and is not required to register as a discount card provider. In Tennessee, GoodRx is registered as a Prescription Drug Discount Plan Operator.