California Prescription Drug Assistance Programs

California AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP)

This is an AIDS drug assistance program. Applicants to this program must be a resident of CA, at least 18 years old, and they must have an HIV diagnosis. In addition, they need to have no or limited health insurance or prescription drug coverage and no benefits from another source. Last, but not least, they also must have a Federal Adjusted Gross Income of less than about $50,000 per year, however exceptions can be made in some instances based on family size and other conditions. (916) 449-5900

Prescription Drug Discount Program for Medicare Recipients

This law enables California Medicare recipients to obtain their prescription drugs at a price that is no higher than the standard Medical reimbursement rates. Anyone who has a Medicare card is eligible is able to sign up for this program.

This savings program was put into places in the 1990 by Senate Bill 393. Anyone who has a state of California or federal government issued Medicare card is eligible. So this residents who are under age 65 but who are disabled, and it is also available for seniors who are age 65 and over.

Almost every prescription medication is covered, with the exception of over-the-counter drugs. Those are  not covered. The exact of amount of savings will vary, and it depends on many factors, including the pharmacy, whether it is a generic medication or brand name prescription, and what the government discount is. Often the prices will change over time as the manufacturer adjust prices due to competition or other factors.

There are no costs involved to enroll, and no forms or applications to complete. As long as you are a Medicare recipient and live in the state of California, you can take advantage of this discount program.





It is important to note that only Medi-Cal pharmacy providers in California are required to participate. While are several thousand across the state, only those pharmacies are required to charge a Medicare recipient the lower priced prescription rate. So you should ask your regular pharmacy or retailer if they are an approved Medi-Cal provider because that will guarantee you the lowest price on your prescriptions. In addition, you can always ask the pharmacy about their pricing to ensure you are benefitting. Just ask them for a copy of the price inquiry information that is sent back to the pharmacy by Medi-Cal.

In order to get more information or to ensure you are receiving the lowest price, call your regional Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222. The organization may also have other suggestions for you on resources that you can take advantage of.

Discount Card

The NACo Prescription Drug Discount Card program can be used by both insured and uninsured California families. It can help people save an average of 22% on their prescription bills. The card is free, and there are no income limits. Your entire family can use it, and thousands of pharmacies across the state participate. As of April, the following California counties offer the card, however the number of counties that use it continues to grow on a monthly basis.

Alpine County, Butte County, Calaveras County, Glenn County, Kings County, Lake County, Los Angeles, Madera County, Marin County, Mariposa County, Mendocino County, Merced County, Nevada County, Plumas County, Riverside County, Santa Clara, Shasta County, Solano County, Sonoma County, Sutter County, and Yuba County all currently accept and participate in the NACo Prescription Drug Discount service. To learn more call your local county social service office, or dial 877.321.2652. You can also print up a card online, from the NACo website.

Find additional California assistance programs.




By Jon McNamara

“Related and Sponsored Links” are listed below.





Contact Us

About Us


Privacy policy

Financial Literacy