Money Matters - Simplified

Getting Medicines Sans Insurance

Most of us believe that getting prescription medications in the absence of a medical cover would make you pay from your nose. The Money Times refutes this myth by suggesting some ways out.
If you do not qualify for any state run assistance program, get in touch with the manufacturer of the desired medicines, directly.

Without an insurance cover, getting prescription medicines becomes far too out-of-reach for an average American. But, there is no reason to lose hope, for there are plenty of ways out.

Donate Unused Medicines

- Medicines and medical equipment are an essential element in alleviating suffering, and international humanitarian relief efforts can greatly benefit from donations of appropriate medical supplies.

- We all have unused and leftover medicines from various illnesses. We can all donate them for a healthy cause so that these medicines can be put to appropriate use rather than being wasted.

- You can search for organizations that accept these medicines and make the list of medicines that they require on a regular basis. If you already have them in a large quantity, good, if otherwise, you can either wait for them to get accumulated or buy them right away.

- Place all pill bottles in a plastic bag and place this bag inside of a cardboard box. All pill bottles should be closed securely. No loose capsules or tablets should be present in the plastic bag or box.

The Law of Karma states – ‘Do unto others what you would like to be done to you.’ Therefore donating medicines can help you and your family to remain healthy too.

It may seem a little unjust but the cost paid by us for most prescription medicines is much higher than paid in most other developed countries.

In wake of such circumstances, it often seems difficult to allocate money for these medications in the absence of a suitable insurance cover.

Here is what you could do the next time you have to buy a prescription medicine and are not covered by an insurance policy for the same:

1. Order Medicines Outside US
When medicines are so much more dearer, why not order them outside the United States?

There are numerous pharmacies in other countries, especially developing countries like India, which accept orders for medicines and send them promptly at a small extra price including courier charges.

All you would require is a list of the contents of your prescribed medicine. You might not be able to get the same brand, but can surely find the same composition in a different name.

You could try out a pharmacy which has already been tried out by somebody, so as to avoid chances of being duped. Or best still, make payment by the way of a check, so that you can stop payment if medicines are found unsuitable.

2. Discuss Problem with Your Pharmacist
Your pharmacist could also be of great help in procuring the desired medicines for less.

He is the person who is in direct touch with the medicine manufacturers, and is in a better position to guide you regarding the on-going discounts and other attractions on them.

3. Talk to Your Doctor
Medicine is a noble profession and those practicing it are usually ready to help their patients.

You could try talking to your doctor about your problem. He might be able to bail you out of the situation by passing-on the sample medicines received from manufacturers, free of cost.

He could also prescribe an alternate medicine, which costs lower than what he had prescribed earlier. Further, your doctor could also pass on the discounts or other rebates provided by manufacturers, if any, on your medications.

4. Avail State Offered Medicare
Don’t assume that you do not qualify for state offered health care schemes. Most Americans are not completely aware of the state sponsored health care facilities that they could avail for free.

You could save up to 95 percent of your expenses on prescription medicines by availing these schemes. So, it is always better to fist check-out before assuming anything.

If your income is far more that the permissible limit to avail such health care facilities, you could still be eligible for some help for your children’s medicines.

Plus, the state runs scores of programs for those of 65 years and over or for those who suffering from some disability.

If you fall into either of these categories, check if your prescribed drugs can be procured from these programs.

5. Contact the Manufacturer
If you do not qualify for any state run assistance program, get in touch with the manufacturer of the desired medicines, directly.

Explaining your financial situation and lack of health insurance to him can prove to be of great help. He might be able to give you discounts or even provide the desired medicines for free.

Manufacturers usually run two kinds of assistance programs:

- Discount drug card program

- Prescription Assistance Program (PAP)

Find out which one you could qualify for. The manufacturer could demand for some papers before he sanctions your free or discounted supply of the desired medicines. You could be required to fill up a few forms, giving a proof of your income.

Here’s wishing you a quick recovery!