You may not be taking advantage of all the programs to help you save money on your prescriptions. Nearly 40 percent of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis surveyed by the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) report that cost is a barrier to treatment. The same survey found that 44 percent of people have never used a patient assistance program.
Because insurance deductibles start over at the beginning of the year, the first few months of the year is an expensive time to purchase medication. However, there are resources available to ease the burden. Here's what you need to know.
1. There’s help for biologics, no matter your income.
Anyone taking a biologic that is covered by private insurance can use a copayment program, regardless of income. These programs qualify you for a partial reimbursement that can help offset a deductible, a copayment or coinsurance. Contact your drug manufacturer to learn more about their copay program. Many of them have care coordinators or insurance specialists who can help you navigate the pre-authorization and/or appeals process, and help keep the details of your coverage straight.
In addition to copay programs, help paying for biologics may be available through patient assistance foundations. Contact the manufacturer of your medication first to find out about assistance you may be eligible for, or which private foundations are most likely to assist you.
2. There are resources to fill in the Medicare "donut hole."
If you're on Medicare, you may be experiencing a gap in coverage (the donut hole) or difficulty accessing medication. There are a number of resources available to help with financial costs.
- First, contact the manufacturer of your medication. If your income is very low, you may qualify for assistance from the company. Even if it cannot help you financially, the manufacturer may be able to assist you in other ways and direct you to the quickest source of financial help.
- Apply for Extra Help from the Social Security Administration or call 800.772.1213. Extra Help is the government program that assists low-income individuals with annual deductible, monthly premium and copayment expenses through Medicare Part D.
- If you have already contacted the manufacturer, apply for grants from patient assistance foundations.
- Use the Medicare Formulary Finder to compare plans.
- Check this list of tips on how to lower your drug costs on Medicare's official website.
3. There’s help for phototherapy and topicals, too.
In addition to the biologic and Medicare assistance, there are other resources for treatments including phototherapy, systemics and topicals. See if your drug is covered »
Depending on where you live, there may be assistance available through Medicaid, free and low-cost clinics and other state-sponsored programs. Find help in your state »
NPF health educators can also assist you. Contact us at email@example.com or call 800.723.9166.