Get Help Paying for Your Medicine
Let’s face it: heart medications can be expensive. This is a common reason many people don’t take them as directed. The good news is that help may be available.
Health Insurance and Government Assistance
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), private health plans offered through the health insurance marketplace must cover the same set of 10 essential health benefits, and prescription drug coverage is one of them (learn more at www.healthcare.gov).
For those who qualify for Medicare, the ACA reduced prescription drug costs available under the Medicare Part D program (learn more at www.medicare.gov/part-d and www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/careact.pdf).
Medicare beneficiaries may also qualify for the Extra Help program, which assists individuals in paying for their Medicare prescription drug plan costs. Under this Social Security Administration program, qualifying beneficiaries may receive assistance worth up to $4,000 per year. Learn more at www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp.
- NeedyMeds.org – This site offers an array of information about private and government prescription assistance. It also provides a comprehensive database of free and low-cost prescription medicine programs, a drug discount mobile phone app, and more.
- GoodRx.com – Among other tools, this site lets you compare prices for government-approved prescription drugs offered at most U.S. pharmacies.
Discounts and Assistance
Check to see if your supermarket or pharmacy offers discount cards or generic medications at a lower price than your health plan co-payment. Check the pharmacy’s website and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you could benefit from discounts.
Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)
Pharmaceutical companies may cover some or all of a medication’s cost through its PAP. Learn more at the following websites:
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA), www.pparx.org – This program, a collaboration of many pharmaceutical companies, helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage search for and obtain medicines for free or nearly free.
- RxAssist.org – This is another site to help find and apply for PAPs. It also offers a searchable database of programs offered by states and pharmaceutical companies to offset (or eliminate) the costs of medications for those who qualify. RxAssist.org also offers its own drug discount card for people who don’t have prescription insurance.