In these difficult economic times, more and more of us are finding ourselves without health insurance. And even those who still have insurance are finding their deductibles and co-pays increasing. For that reason, I have put together a collection of healthcare resources that may be able to help if you have no insurance or if the insurance you have is inadequate. If you know of others, please post a comment and share it with us.
Free or Low Cost Medical Care
• The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPARx.org) has a Free Clinic Finder. Type in your zip code to find free and low-cost clinics in your area.
• NeedyMeds.org also has a searchable directory of free/low-cost/sliding-scale clinics. You can search by state or zip code.
• The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a listing of federally-funded health centers that can be found in most cities and many rural areas. Federally-funded health centers care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford based on your income. Health centers provide:
- Checkups when you're well.
- Treatment when you're sick.
- Complete care when you're pregnant.
- Immunizations and checkups for your children.
- Dental care and prescription drugs for your family.
- Mental health and substance abuse care if you need it.
All you have to do is enter your address, county or state to find the health centers near you.
• Most cities, counties and/or states have Health Departments that offer free or low-cost healthcare based on your income. Check your local phone directory or google the name of your county or state with Health Department (Ex., Greene County Health Department).
Free and Discounted Prescriptions
• If you do not have prescription drug coverage, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPARx.org) can help you locate public and private patient assistance programs that you may qualify for. I have been able to get my most expensive medication free through PPARx for three years.
• NeedyMeds.org provides a wealth of information about and links to:
- Patient Assistance Programs for brand name and generic drugs
- Government Programs
- Programs for Children
They also offer a drug discount card that can save you up to 80% or more off the cost of:
- Prescription Medicines
- Over-the-Counter Drugs
- Pet Prescription Drugs
• Most large chain drug and discount stores like Walgreens, CVS, WalMart, Target and Costco have programs that offer many generic drugs at a special low price. Some require a small annual fee but others do not. Check the store's Web site or call them to check their fees and find out which of your medications are included. I've personally been using WalMart's $4 Prescription Program for a couple of years and have saved hundreds of dollars on my prescriptions.
Help With Insurance Premiums or Co-Pays
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPARx.org) provides a list of organizations that provide financial assistance for certain healthcare costs to patients who qualify financially and medically.