Where can I get help paying for prescription drugs?

16 answers | Last updated: Dec 08, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband is 65 years old and has high blood pressure and diabetes. The medical bills are piling up, but what's really hurting us is the cost of all his prescription medication. Is any financial help paying for prescription drugs available?

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for Caring.com.

Since your husband is 65, he qualifies for Medicare. If he hasn't already enrolled, he should do so immediately. Then he'll be eligible for Medicare Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage.

Under Part D, your husband will need to obtain prescription drug coverage through a private insurance provider. He'll pay a monthly premium, a deductible ($265 in 2007), and a co-payment of 25 percent of the total cost of the medication until he has spent $2,400 on prescription drugs.

After he hits the $2,400 threshold, there's a gap in coverage referred to as the "donut hole." Your husband will have to pay the full cost of the medications until his total prescription drug expenses are $3,850. Then Medicare Part D kicks in again, this time with a 5 percent co-payment. For a lot of people, the out-of-pocket expense during this gap in coverage can be crushing.

If your husband has limited financial resources, he may be eligible for reduced fees through Medicare or Medicaid. In addition, some state plans coordinate with Medicare Part D to offer low-income seniors inexpensive coverage. (Check with your state to find out whether it has such a program.)

One final option: If your husband is a veteran, he can obtain prescription drug coverage with a lower co-payment through the Veteran's Administration.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...
You can also check the Walmart.com pharmacy to see if the specific meds needed are available for either $4.00 per month or $10.00 for a ninety day supply.

A fellow caregiver answered...
Try this web page www.needymeds.com this might be the answer to your problem.

Silver senior answered...

If not covered by insurance go to www.silverseniorcare.com and enroll in a FREE discount prescription drug plan.  The plan is accepted at more than 40,000 pharmacies.  All prescriptions are covered.  Last year the average savings in the plan was 26%  While at the site review the other services that are available.

Bell star answered...

Under Medicare Part D, the actual medication co-pays vary by plan (generally, the to get lower co-pays, the premium is higher). Medicare has an excellent website you should use to compare plans in your geographic area. Use the website - medicare.gov - for specific help. Click on Medicare Prescription Drug Plans; then click on Find & Compare Plans. This takes you thru a series of questions to help you find the right plan.

1-800-medicare is also a great resource.

Additionally, Medicare B pays for blood glucose testing supplies, so be sure to get this provided thru Medicare. A great resource for anything about diabetes is a Certified Diabetic Educator - most hospitals have one. Just call the hospital and ask to speak to them. They can help you arrange diabetic-related needs with your doctor.

I  recommend the Medicare plublication "Medicare Coverage of Diabetes & Supplies - 11022", available on the medicare.gov website, to help sort out who pays for what.

Waorsun answered...

When I worked for XYZ Drug Company we frequently offered to enroll Medicare Part D patients into the LIS or more commonly known as Extra Help program for those whose incomes were at or below the Federal Poverty Level.  Many patients who qualified said their Rx cost were significanly reduced to prices most could afford on limited incomes.  This program like many others does require patients to re-enroll each year.  This program is administered through the Social Secuity Department and one can apply either online or in person or in some cases with the various drug manufactures.  The whole process takes approximately 10 - 15 minutes if doing so with a rep who is familiar with their program.

A fellow caregiver answered...

I believe there are a lot of great options out there to help you with the situation you are in.

I was unable to keep up with the paper work through needymeds.com and even with the discount program we were paying over 100.00 a month on prescriptions.

We signed up with Prescription Assistance Programs of America. They charge $50.00 a month for unlimited prescriptions and handle all the paper work, refills and signatures. It was our best option. There website is www.simplefill.com or you can call them at 1-877-420-6496. They were great!

Galowa answered...

i have two other options you may try if those above don't do it for you...

1) I myself was surprised to learn that if you are an AAA (American Auto Association or "Triple A") member, you can present your AAA membership card at any participating pharmacy and get surprisingly good discounts on any medication. This applies only IF you have no prescription drug coverage.

2) I have also discovered that if you have access to a computer, you can make a list of every medication you use, go to the medication's website (just google it to locate the website) and find all sorts of coupons and program cards for discounts on name brand drugs. This is especially helpful for some of the newer, "designer" medications which are not available in generic.

Good luck! : )

Carolbw answered...

Hi, here are some more help. i use a company called RXOUTREACH. They have about 200 drugs or more that you can get a 3 month or 6 month refill for anywhere from $20 to $35 (for 3 month) depending on what's it's for. Also, most major drug companies will help. AstraZeneca is very good. Another thing, if you need meds for stress, nerves or depression your local county mentall health dept. will supply them for about $5 a script. Best of luck! Also, the VA is an excellent option if apliciable.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Prescription Drugs Discount Coupons http://www.mysavings.com/prescription-drugs-discount-coupons.asp?lsid=5

Save on medications with discount coupons valid at over 65,000 drug stores and pharmacies including Walgreens, CVS, Costco, Publix, Rite Aid, Walmart, Duane Reade, Kmart, Target, and more.

And at the site below you can print out coupons for prescription medications you may need help with.


Hope these sites can help you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

If you are choosing between living expenses and medication expenses, I have found 2 things helpful: 1) check with many different pharmacies, not just in your city, but online. Example: Walmart, CVS, Walgreens in my city wanted about $185 for 30 of 200 mg. lamotrigine. 180 miles from us, Costco charged $15.50! (you don't need to be a member to use their pharmacy, which is also online.) 2) When we were desperate, we purchased from an online Indian pharmacy with usually less cost than the co-pay for Medicaid--but had a $25 shipping charge, so buying all at once for 3 months each was economical. Some States purchase out of the US (usually Canada), even though the Feds don't like it. After the newspapers reported that the Feds allow pharmaceutical companies to import their drugs manufactured in China, sometimes with no FDA inspection of the laboratories, I found no moral problem in ordering from outside the country--but beware of scams, such as those not requiring a prescription or a "club" with a monthly fee--deal directly with the pharmacy, such as www.alldaychemist.com. (Incidentally, lamotrigine was half the price at Costco than in Pakistan!)

Sally62 answered...

You should try the following website- http://medicationcoupons.com/

They have coupons for all types of medicine and they have a free discount drug card.

Glou answered...

There are several ways to reduce the cost of high prescriptions. If a physician is agreeable to holistic products there are herbs that can safely be used to control and gradually eliminate various health conditions.

There is also a dental program that provides their prescription drug benefit for FREE. Members of the dental program can then enroll in the mail order pharmacy program. Members will be able to acquire a 90 day supply of medications at prices far below the retail cost.

For more information about this program contact: 301.883.3661 or 888.757.9749.

Galowa answered...

Hi All,

Two new considerations to be added to my previous comment...


1) Is there a generic version of this medication available?

2) Is there an ALTERNATIVE medication which will work EITHER "as well as" or "nearly as well as" the one first prescribed, but which will cost less?

3) Is there a COMBINATION of two or more OTHER medications which will work EITHER "as well as" or "nearly as well as" the one first prescribed, and which will cost less all together?

4) Can the doctor give him a month's free medication to start - to make sure the med works BEFORE you "invest" in it?

5) Can this medicine be ordered in HIGHER DOSE PILLS and CUT IN HALF to the required dosage? This saves a lot of money.

6) Is there a dietary or life-style change which can be made which will produce the same result as the medication?

Once you have these answers from his physician,

(You'd be amazed what pharmacists know that many physicians do not! If the pharmacist has a solution, ask him/her to submit it to the physician for review.)

Good Luck!

Galowa ;- )


Redemed answered...

You can get step by step assistance to take advantage of the Prescription Assistance Program offered by the major pharmaceutical companies from RedeMed. The industry leader in providing prescription assistance to those in need. Visit www.redemedllc.com and learn about how theycan help you. This is a fmaily owned and operated business that can certainly help you.

A fellow caregiver answered...

If you live in an area with Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie or Publix grocery stores check with their pharmacies. I take Lisinopril 40mg and pay $0 for this med. My sister in - law takes a diabetes med which is also free. They have a list of free meds prescribed for both high blood pressure and diabetes.