The cost of COPD medications is absolutely astonishing… According to an article written by Everyday Health an uninsured COPD patient with only 3 medications can spend on average $815.00 every month.
Let that sink in, $815.00 per month for 3 medications!
That doesn’t include any other expenses like rent/mortgage, food, other treatments, or doctors appointments… Nor does it include medications for other conditions you may have. That is strictly for Advair, Combivent, and Spiriva at their average price without insurance.
Given the fact that a lot of people suffering from COPD are living on a limited income due to the debilitating nature of the disease, having to pay $815.00 every month for 3 medications is crippling.
Even if you have insurance the cost of treating COPD can be a huge burden.
So what can you do to ease the financial burden of COPD?
That’s exactly what we are going to discuss today. And no, we aren’t going to write a whole blog post on how to prioritize your budget or how to ask your doctor or pharmacist for the generic version of the medications you need.
So here’s where to start:
Write Down Every Prescription Medication You Take
Writing down every medication you take is a great starting point to ease the financial burden of COPD. The act of creating your list isn’t going to have a direct effect on your financial situation, but it’s going to make the process a lot easier.
Since you’re already in the list making mode, go ahead and list out every prescription medication you take. There’s a good chance you can save money on all of your medications, not just your COPD meds.
Okay, now that you have your list of medications ready to go we can move on to the reason you clicked on this post: how you can save money and ease the financial burden of COPD.
Prescription Assistance Programs
One of the best ways to save money with COPD is by applying for prescription assistance programs. The cost of prescription medications is astronomical and unfortunately with the current state of the health system it doesn’t seem like the costs are going to go down anytime soon.
There are a number of different prescription assistance programs available to you and you can easily find them online.
Below are 4 of the best non-profit websites that will help you get prescription assistance.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) has helped nearly 10 million Americans get prescription assistance since they opened in 2005.
PPA acts as a directory of sorts to connect you with one or multiple prescription assistance programs available in the US.
They have access to 475 public and private programs; 200 of which are offered by biopharmaceutical companies. From the 475 total programs, PPA offers access to more than 2,500 prescription medicines.
How does PPA actually work?
Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a fantastic website and resource at your disposal. It’s a highly recommended site to help you get prescription assistance and it’s fairly easy to use. To make it even easier for you here are step-by-step instructions on how to use PPA to apply for prescription assistance:
Start by grabbing your written list of prescription medications you wrote down. Once you have your list in front of you, begin to input all of your medications in the search bar under the “Get Prescription Help” section. Once your medication shows up on the screen, select the correct version and press “Add to My Medicines”. Do this for your entire list of medications.
Once you have all of your medications added to the site, click “Next” to move onto the next step.
After you add all of your medications to the site you will be prompted with an 11 question survey. This survey will help pre-qualify you for certain programs that PPA offers so you have an idea of which programs you may qualify for. The pre-qualification survey does not guarantee that you will be covered under that program.
Once you get your survey results you will see a list of programs you qualify for. You will need to formally apply to all of the programs you qualify for. PPA makes this so easy and gives you the option to download and save your applications to your computer or you can opt to have PPA e-mail you a blank application.
Fill out all of the necessary applications and gather all of the required documents, then return them to the program to formally apply for prescription assistance.
Once you are approved by the prescription assistance program(s) you applied to you will begin receiving your medications at a discounted price or for free!
NeedyMeds was founded in 1997 by Dr. Richard J. Sagall and Libby Overly, a medical social worker. They set out with the intentions to provide people with one of the best websites to access information on prescription assistance programs, coupons for prescription medications, and more!
They work with multiple programs including government assistance programs, generic medications, name brand medications, and they even work with programs to help get you assistance with dental and medical clinics!
How does NeedyMeds actually work?
NeedyMeds is essentially a one stop shop for assistance on most of your medical related expenses. They work with a number of different prescription assistance programs and offer a ton of coupons/discounts/free trials for different medications. They offer a number of different educational resources like webinars. And NeedyMeds also has their very own discount card that is available for anyone and everyone to use, without needing to qualify!
If you ever have a problem using their website or have any questions you can get help from one of their employees! With that being said, here is a step-by-step guide telling you how to apply for prescription assistance through NeedyMeds:
Start by grabbing your list of prescriptions that you wrote down a little bit ago. Once you have your list in front of you, enter one of your medications into the search bar on the left. You will only be able to enter one medication at a time.
After you enter your medication into the search bar you will be taken to a new page. Select the option that matches your prescription and then click on the pill button.
Clicking on the pill button pulls up all of the prescription assistance programs that are available for that one prescription. Select the program that sounds most appealing to you or the program you have the best chance of qualifying for.
Follow the instructions in the program information to apply for assistance. The nice part about NeedyMeds is that they post the requirements you have to meet in order to qualify for a certain program.
Once you get approved, you will start to receive your medicine. If you don’t get approved, you can use the NeedyMeds discount card, apply for government assistance, or try to apply for one or more of the $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs.
RxAssist was founded in 1999 to provide patients with a quick and easy way to apply for prescription assistance. Unlike some of the other websites listed, RxAssist strictly focuses on prescription assistance programs.
While RxAssist does not operate their own prescription assistance program they do work with a number of different prescription assistance programs, Medicare part D, low cost medication programs, and almost anything related to pharmaceutical access.
How Does RxAssist Actually Work?
RxAssist is simple and easy to navigate from the start. They have a specific section for consumers to make the process as organized as possible and they work with a number of different programs to give you the best chance of getting prescription assistance!
On top of working with different programs, RxAssist has their very own prescription discount card that anyone can use, even if you don’t qualify for prescription assistance.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for prescription assistance through RxAssist:
Grab the list of medications you wrote down and click the “Learn More” button underneath the Patients section.
You will have to enter your medications one at a time. Enter your medication into the search bar provided and select the option that matches your prescription. You may notice that there are multiple options that match your prescription, this is because there are multiple prescription assistance programs that work with that specific medication.
Once you select the option that matches your prescription you will be taken to the prescription assistance program information page. You will find the program eligibility requirements, program contact information, and the application you need to fill out to apply for the program.
It’s time to fill out the prescription assistance program application. You will find the application form on the right side of the page. Simply click the link that says “Form (English)” and the form will open. You have two ways you can fill out the application and submit it to the program; you can download it and fill it out on your computer or you can print it out and fill it out with a pen.
Follow the applications instructions to submit it to the program. Once you are covered, you will begin to receive your medications. If you don’t qualify for a specific program, check to see if there are other assistance programs that will cover your medication and print out the RxAssist discount card.
RxHope is the largest independent web-based online resource for patient assistance programs. As a part of the Triplefin group of companies, RxHope has a staff of professional, caring, and concerned people dedicated to make the process of getting assistance as easy and stress-free as possible for you.
RxHope works with multiple patient assistance programs to get you the help you need. Whether it’s a government funded program, a program provided by the pharmaceutical company, or a private program, RxHope will help you with every step along the way.
How Does RxHope Actually Work?
As the largest independent online resource for patient assistance programs RxHope provides you with a number of different programs you can apply for. Because RxHope is the largest online resource for patient assistance programs they have a specific section for patients and caregivers to make the process as simple as possible.
To ensure your experience with RxHope is as seamless as possible, their dedicated team can help walk you through the application process from start to finish. They will help you determine if you are eligible for a specific program, fill out your application, and streamline the entire process until you start receiving your medications.
Here is a step-by-step guide showing you how to apply for prescription assistance programs through RxHope:
Grab the list of medications you wrote down and click on the button that says “Patients and Caregivers”
Click on the button that says “Medication Search”. You will find that on the left side of the page. This will bring up a screen with three options to choose from. Since you already wrote down your list of medications, it’s recommended that you choose the “Brand Name” option. This will allow you to search for medication by name.
You will now start to search for your specific medications. The RxHope website only allows you to search for one medication at a time. After you search for one of your medications you will see a list of all of the available prescription assistance programs for that specific medication.
Decide whether you want to print the application and fill it out by hand or download the application and fill it out on your computer. Once you complete the application, you will need to submit it back to the prescription assistance program. You can either mail it or fax it back to them.
Once you get approved you will begin to receive your medications at a discounted cost or for free!
If you have any issues, the RxHope team is here to help you. You can request help by going to this page and clicking on “Start Your FREE Online Patient Assistance Request”. From there you will need to fill out some basic information and then you will get help from RxHope.
Whether you’re living on a fixed income, work full-time, or have a stockpile of cash lying around there’s no denying that COPD is a ridiculously expensive disease to manage. With the recent Medicare cuts and the increasing cost of health care in the United States making ends meet is only getting more difficult.
The prescription assistance websites listed above will help you clear a little bit off of your plate.
Remember that there is usually more than one prescription assistance program available for each drug. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t qualify for a certain drug program. And although you may not be eligible for some of the programs, there are still other options to reduce the cost of your prescriptions like discount cards and generic drug programs.
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