Reprinted with the kind permission of Cort Johnson and Health Rising.
Having FM and ME/CFS can be financially challenging, but if you’re low on cash or are looking for just ways to save money, don’t give up hope. There are many ways to save money on prescription drugs, supplements or even doctors’ appointments.
Did you know, for instance, that no less than six drug discount programs exist in the U.S.? Or that some labs have their own discount programs? Or that you can qualify for some savings programs if you make as much as $75,000 a year?
If you can’t afford the treatment you need, don’t give up hope just yet. Lily Silver suggests you try these things first.
Some of these programs require low-income. Some do not. And some think "low-income" means "less than $75,000 per year."
Rest assured, these programs do work. How a Bunch of Different People Got a Bunch of Different Meds Real Cheap. If these folks can do it, you can do it too!
- Try contacting low-income healthcare programs in your area and inquire about prescription assistance. Make sure to check all types of programs: clinics, centers, and hospital financial aid programs.
- You can also try asking your doctor if they can prescribe a cheaper medication, or one that is covered by your health insurance.
- RxAssist has a list of state drug discount programs.
- NeedyMeds – Check here first
- RxAssist – database of patient assistance programs
- Rx Outreach – over 400 free or discounted medications
- RX Access provides savings to low income people
- RxHope your doctor, nurse or caseworker will fill out a form
- Patientservices – Good program for certain expensive medications.
- Supplement Websites – Thank you to Cort Johnson & Health Rising
- How to Get Supplements Cheap By Buying Them in Bulk
Buying Drugs from other Countries
- Overseas Pharmacies – Also from Health Rising
- Buying Drugs From Canada – A Good Choice for Fibro and CFS/ME?
Medicaid – Try again!
- If you got turned down or did not apply, check out: How to Get Medicaid Even if You Don't Qualify for Medicaid
- Direct-Access Testing – Save money if paying out-of-pocket.
- Some laboratories have financial aid programs that will allow you to get bloodwork and other tests for free! Here’s an example of one from Quest Labs.
- If you lack money, health insurance, or transportation, check out: How to Get to the Doctor When You Can’t Get to the Doctor
Co-Payments & Premiums
- Patient Services – assistance with premiums and co-payments
- The HealthWell Foundation – co-payments for important medical treatments.
- Medicare Extra Help – For people on Medicare
- How to Escape Medicare Fees – Also for people on Medicare (obviously)
- Medicaid – Some states will allow you to have Medicaid plus other insurance.
- LymeTAP.com – Lyme Testing Access Program.
- Lymelight Foundation – For patients from birth through age 25.
- LymeAid4Kids – For Lyme treatment for those under age 21.
Help Navigating All of This
- The Patient Advocate Foundation free case management services
- Patient Services – assistance with navigating healthcare & insurance
Be Less Broke
- Financial survival for Spoonies: How to Be Poor in America
- Financial survival while applying for disability: How to Survive While Applying
Tips from the Pros:
"You do not have to be really poor to qualify for some of these programs. Some programs consider you low income if you make less than $75,000 per year."
"I know several people who depend on Free Prescription Discount Cards for their medications. The amount of discounts vary greatly depending on the type of card, the pharmacy you use and the medication. Look for Free Prescription Discount Cards. This is different than paid prescription card memberships."
"Do not pay anyone for info on free or low cost meds or medical care. There are some sites that charge for this info. You do not have to have someone else find this info. The same info is available to you that is available to the people that charge for this info."
"When you apply for a program, it can take a few weeks for everything to get started so you shouldn't wait until you're almost out of your current prescription."
"Some pharmacies have home delivery services. If you are too sick to pick-up your medications, your local taxi company will often pick-up and deliver your medication for a fixed cost."
CANADA TIPS: The province of Ontario will cover the cost of supplements for certain mitochondrial diseases.
For dentistry, which is not covered by our healthcare, some colleges & universities will offer discounted and/or free dental care and/or procedures.
Check out more of Lily's guides on how to navigate “the system” on Health Rising
Check out Lily's website "How to Get On" for more.
About the Author: ProHealth is pleased to share information from Cort Johnson. Cort has had myalgic encephalomyelitis /chronic fatigue syndrome for over 30 years. The founder of Phoenix Rising and Health Rising, he has contributed hundreds of blogs on chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia and their allied disorders over the past 10 years. Find more of Cort's and other bloggers' work at Health Rising.