Millions of Americans suffer from chronic health conditions that require continuing medical care and medication. Of those millions, many have health insurance plans that simply don’t provide sufficient coverage for their medications, while others have no insurance coverage at all. Even those who have insurance find that the copay charges can add up quickly, putting a huge strain on personal finances. For those who live in Florida, there are a variety of low-cost prescription plans and other resources available that can help make prescriptions more affordable.
Individuals can obtain government aid in certain situations, most frequently through Medicare and Medicaid programs. Medicare is primarily provided to elderly individuals who are over 65 years of age, but it is also available to certain disabled individuals. Medicaid is available to anyone who fits low-income standards, but requires a more stringent application process. To be approved for Medicaid benefits, individuals must be low-income and must have a very limited amount of liquid assets. For this reason, it is frequently considered to be a last resort option for those who have significant financial limitations. Because these programs are more restricted in terms of coverage amounts and types, many individuals may still require further assistance.
One of the easiest ways to lower prescription costs is to determine if generic replacements are available. Many pharmacies and stores offer generic drugs at low costs, and others offer plans to qualified customers. Some chains, like Wal-Mart, offer a variety of generic drugs at much lower costs and might even have 90-day prescription plans that are highly discounted over the cost of a monthly supply. Other chains, like Walgreens, offer discount generic drugs and also provide access to prescription savings clubs. Usually, the individual must pay a yearly fee for club membership, but can then receive many of their prescription drugs and other medical necessities at discounted prices. Many of these discounts can be received simply by asking, while others require only a simple application or small fee.
Another way to find low-cost prescriptions is by ordering through Canadian pharmacies. While this is somewhat unconventional, there can be many advantages to ordering prescriptions this way. Many prescriptions are much cheaper than in the United States, and some prescriptions can even be found at no cost. While some people simply cross the border to purchase prescriptions, those living in Florida will probably have to go through an online pharmacy service. It’s important to find a service that is reputable and safe, as many fraudulent websites might perform illegal procedures or even try to steal your personal information. A verified pharmacy will be certified by he Canadian International Pharmacy Association, and will always require a prescription to provide medication. Usually, it is possible to order a three-month prescription supply at a fraction of the usual cost. Before ordering, it is also important to factor in shipping costs to make sure that this option is the best one.
Even many prescription drug manufacturers offer low-cost prescription plans. Usually, individuals must complete an application detailing the prescriptions they take, their income status, their insurance coverage, and other factors. Companies will provide coverage depending on these factors, and will sometimes cover the entire cost of a prescription. It is important to note, however, that many of these types of plans require that individuals be receiving no other prescription aid. Those with chronic conditions that require medical equipment, such as those suffering from diabetes, may find that manufacturers will provide benefits to anyone who uses their products.
There are also many non-profit and civic organizations that provide low-cost prescription assistance to those in need. Individuals must apply for benefits from these organizations, and the type and amount of assistance varies. Many of these types of groups work with an individual’s already existing insurance plan or government aid and pay off all or part of the remaining copay. Usually, these programs aim to help those with significant financial limitations, and can help those with chronic illnesses obtain vital medications.
In addition, there are many low-income clinics and healthcare providers that allow individuals to pay for their prescription drugs according to an income scale or with a payment plan. Depending on the clinic, individuals may be able to find prescriptions at no cost or at discounted prices. Many clinics will also consider how much aid or insurance coverage an individual is already receiving before subsidizing prescriptions.
There are many companies that archive and store hundreds of low-cost prescription programs. These companies work as agencies, providing clients with information about prescription relief programs that already exist. These range from government relief programs like Medicare to those created by non-profit organizations. Some companies will provide information only on certain types of programs, while others work with many different sectors in the medical field. Typically, individuals must provide information about their prescription needs, their income level, and their insurance coverage to find programs specific to their needs.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) is one of the most well known companies of this kind. PPA works with agents from many different places in the medical field, from insurance companies to doctors and pharmaceutical companies. After an individual completes an application, PPA provides information about prescription plans that are best fit.
There are also companies that provide information for specific groups, such as those of specific races or age groups. Many of these types of companies provide low-cost prescription plans for the elderly. In Florida, one such organization is SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders). SHINE provides information about prescription relief plans that are specifically geared towards elderly individuals. While many elderly clients might have Medicare or private insurance, these plans frequently provide insufficient coverage. Many of those with Medicare encounter something known as the Medicare “gap” when they reach their coverage limits. These types of companies can help them find groups that will help them cover their high prescription costs.
While prescription costs can be overwhelming, especially for those with chronic diseases, there are many options available that can help reduce financial stress. It’s important to consider every resource available to determine which one will best suit an individual’s needs.