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How to Find Help Paying for Prescription Drugs

If you are looking for assistance to help you pay for your prescriptions, there are several agencies you may want to contact:

  • Start by contacting your local State Social Services Agency. Social Services can provide direct assistance to individuals in distress and referrals to other local organizations that may be able to help you.
  • Local Health Centers serve populations with limited access to healthcare. A patient’s annual income and family size determines their ability to pay, according to the most recent federal poverty guidelines.
  • If you are a Medicare or Medicaid recipient, you may call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048. CMS can provide information about government-run healthcare programs and referrals to state agencies that administer these programs.
  • Consider contacting the company that manufactures your medication. They may supply you with free or discounted medication. You may also get a list of discount programs by company through the organization Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) that offers the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). You may contact the PPA at 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669).

If you are a veteran, you may also want to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers many programs designed to assist veterans.

Senior Citizens
If you are a senior citizen, you may also want to use the Administration on Aging’s (AOA) Eldercare Locator. This free service can help you locate resources and programs designed to assist seniors in your area. You can also contact an Eldercare Locator information specialist by calling 1-800-677-1116.

Medicare Beneficiaries
Medicare beneficiaries already enrolled in Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program are eligible for extra help with the cost of prescription drugs if they have limited income and resources. You can apply online for extra help. (PDF | requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Understanding Medicare Drug Costs

The cost of prescription drugs is a concern for many older Americans. Medicare Part D is an optional prescription drug plan that is available to anyone on Medicare. People enrolled in Medicare Part D pay a monthly premium and the program helps cover prescription drug costs. Americans 65 or older, or younger people with certain disabilities, are eligible for Medicare.

Finding a Prescription Plan

There are many prescription drug plans available to people enrolled in Medicare and each plan varies in cost and coverage. Many people still have to pay some of their drug costs out of pocket, even with Part D coverage. Use the Medicare Plan Finder to check prescription plan options.

Lowering Your Cost

There are some ways to lower your drug costs on your own. Talk to your doctor about drugs that cost less, like generics, over-the-counter, or less expensive brand name drugs that could work as well as the ones that you take now. There are also government and private programs that might be able to help you with medical and drug costs.

If you’re not already enrolled in Medicare Part D, joining may help, even if you have to pay a late enrollment penalty.