Posted 10/18/2008 3:59 PM (GMT -7)
Yes, check with your local county or city goverment agencies, because they might have clinics, which operate on a sliding scale, depending on what you can pay. Also, make sure to bring it up with your doctor, try to negotiate with him. See if he will accept payments or perhaps accept the same payment as your insurance company would have usually made.
As for your medications....first check all the major box store pharmacies as they all now have a bunch of medications for $4 per prescription and some have them for even less. Their websites usually list all the medications that are available under these plans. Maybe some of your meds might be on those lists. If not, maybe your doc can prescribe something else that is similar to what's on those lists.
Then, besides that, you can try PPARX or RX Assist. You put in your information and they match you up with any prescription assistance programs that might be available. Many of these programs are availalbe directly from the drug makers. I had to do this recently because, though I have a basic private insurance, it's bottom of the barrel and only covers up to $500 per YEAR for meds....and I met that cap in 2 months. And I take several meds to control my pain. Unfortunately, none of them were on the chain pharamacies $4 plans, nor anythign similar. Plus the ones I am takign were working fairly well. So I investigated teh prescription assistance programs on my own. I also made an appt. with my docs to discuss my situation and ask them to sign the assistance paperwork. They also had to write me new scripts to send in. Some of them actually didn't even know about these prescription assistance plans! But anyway, after talking with my PM, he was able to change 2 of my meds around. They are the same med, but different dosages that come in generic, and both together cost about $30/month ,which is a huge difference from what I paid before for some doses that only came in brand name. Then for Lyrica, I applied directly to Pfizer's Connection to Care Program. They have different tiers of programs, where you might pay different low-cost co-pays per month, depending on your income. I am on unemployment right now, but I still just about met their income cap, so I called them to ask them about it. The girl was very helpful and told me which program of theirs i MIGHT be able to get. She told me all the forms to download off their site and exactly what to do and send in. Since I was close to the income cap, she told me to write a hardship letter to describe my situation, plus I had to send proof, such as my UE stubs and such. So I sent all the info plus new scripts to them. Then the following week I received a letter stating that......I qualified for their FREE drug program!@!!!!! I was like OMG!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!! So now I am getting my Lyrica free every month, and before it was costing over $200 per month, because I'm also on 2 different doses of it. So I went from having over $500 per month med costs to only $30 per month, plus I have another generic med from my Rheum, which only costs $45 every 3 months.
Now for me, I also only have $500 yearly cap on all diagnostic testing (all labs, blood test, etc..MRI's, x-rays, any kind of testing). And i've already met that cap as well...so I can out of luck with getting any tests done. And it figures, because I am overdue now for getting some followup testing done by my Gyno for a potentially severe problem, but I have no way possible to pay for the testing out of my own pocket now.
So I strongly urge you to look into these prescription assistance programs! They can save you a TON of money, if you qualify. And look into the clinic thing or the social services as others suggested.