Over 40 states now offer their residents one or more prescription drug assistance programs. These programs can provide low cost or free prescription drugs as well as medicine to the low income, uninsured, or even individuals who have limited health insurance coverage. Some states may offer other support in the form of direct financial assistance or vouchers. Each government offers their own version of a program based on the applicant’s income, medical condition, age, and other factors.
If you are one of the millions of people who either completely lack insurance, or have limited coverage or reimbursements as part of your existing health insurance plan, then some states will even provide families with access to public health coverage that can pay for certain medications. The goal is to provide some for of assistance to help make both generic as well as brand name prescription drugs more accessible to the general public.
In addition to that, many states and county governments also offer prescription drug discount programs, often in the form of a “buying club” or free discount cards. Or there may be vouchers given to the needy. These discount card programs are typically available for all residents, free to sign up for, have no monthly costs, are able to be used by families of all income levels and not just lower income families. The cards can even usually be used even if you have existing health insurance coverage. Many of the discount cards and/or rebate programs can save people between 10-50% on their prescription bills and they are accepted by tens of thousands of pharmacies across the nation.
Select your state below to find what prescription assistance programs are offered in your region. A number of resources are also offered for senior citizens. There are also state run programs that focus on helping children, patients with cancer, immunizations, and much more. Other resources focus on people with HIV, individuals with diabetes, and other more serious medical conditions.
In addition, you can find what other options you may have to save money and get financial help in your state, including other assistance programs that may be offered. As even if a state government can’t provide the medications that a family needs, maybe they can offer other support to them which thereby frees up their income to pay for the drug. For example, find assistance with rent, utility bills, and more.
There are also state programs that focus on helping senior citizens that live on a fixed or limited income obtain the prescriptions they need. The elderly often have more health concerns, and the high price of medications can often cause them a serious financial hardship. Therefore the government will try to support them as needed. Whether it is a Medicare affiliated program, discounts or saving plans, or some other form of assistance, resources are available. They are listed below.
The federal government as well as non-profit Area Agency on Aging centers offer additional prescription drug savings as well as financial assistance for senior citizens and people over 55 years of age. Three of the main programs available are below.
Medicare Part D is the Prescription Drug Coverage component. This is available to all people who are enrolled in the federal government Medicare programs, regardless of their health or income. The beneficiary will need to select a private health insurance company to enroll with as those companies sell the prescription drug plans directly to consumers. Many people enroll in Part D if they currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan that does not offer drug coverage.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs are offered in all states. Volunteers and trained staff provide counseling and guidance to seniors. They can help individuals find plans that are offered by the government or a non-profit, provide information on them, and process the paperwork to help them enroll. It covers medications as well as immunizations that most senior citizens need. They have information on the various private and government prescription assistance programs.
Extra Help from Medicare - This is a discount plan/financial assistance offered directly by the federal government to low income Medicare beneficiaries. It helps pay for Part D co-pays. Many people do not even know it exists as it is not commonly used. While funding will vary, it can provide up to $4000 to participants to help them pay for their medications. Learn more on Extra Help Medicare for senior citizens.
Those are the primary resources offered to elderly and senior citizens. All of them are either fully or partly paid for by the government. However your local area agency on aging office may have information on other programs available in a certain state. Click here for a listing of all the medical and prescription assistance programs available to senior citizens.