To assist you with your healthcare needs, Accredo has provided a list of community resources for the following topics:
Patient Assistance Programs
If you have NO insurance for prescription medications contact the specific Patient Assistance Program of the pharmaceutical company that manufacturers the medication you need. Generally, only if you have no insurance will these companies provide you with free drugs, but a few companies do help patients who have insurance with large out of pocket expenses, i.e. co-pays. A basic listing of pharmaceutical companies and the guidelines of their Patient Assistance Programs can be found at the following websites.
Information on patient assistance programs & other programs designed to help those who can’t afford their medicines.
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of American (PhRMA)
News on pharmaceutical-related issues & information on new medicines; also, link to helpingpatients.org, a search for patient assistance programs.
Volunteers in Health Care
Search for patient assistance programs by company, brand name, generic name, or drug class, also provides a downloadable information packet for prescription assistance for patients.
Please realize that there are income eligibility requirements based upon percentages above the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG). Depending upon the criteria of the program, your income must be below 250%, or in some cases below 330% of the FPG for the size of your family. If you are over-income the pharmaceutical company will not assist you. The 2003 FPG is listed below for your convenience.
The manufacturer may also deny free medication, if you are eligible for insurance coverage through your employer, but refuse to accept the benefits.
If your income is very low the manufacturer may refer you to your state Medicaid office for assistance before they will help you. If you are denied Medicaid, proof of that denial may be required before approval for free drug will be given. The same applies if you have insurance that will not cover the medication, or which has a cap on your benefits. You will need to have a letter of denial of benefits before the manufacturer will assist.
2004 HHS Federal Poverty Guidelines
Source: Federal Register, Vol. 69, No. 30, February 13, 2004, pp. 7336-7338.
Medicaid benefits are generally available to the very poor in this country. Each state administers the Medicaid Program, a.k.a. Medical Assistance Program, in their state with funding from both the state and federal governments. If you are not eligible for standard Medicaid, you may qualify for the Medically Needy Program. Every state Medicaid office has a Medically Needy Program. Generally this program requires the recipients to show proof of, or to pay, a calculated amount of their medical costs. Each state operates this program differently. Some states will refer to this program as the “Spend Down” Program, while others will call it the “Share of Cost” Program. For more information on Medicaid and State programs to assist with prescription drug coverage look in the “Blue” government sections of your local phone directory or information can be found at the following:
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
The CMS is a federal agency within the US Dept of Health & Human Services that runs Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
Medicare is available to everyone over the age of 65, or to people who have been proven to be disabled for at least 2 years. Generally Medicare has no prescription drug coverage, but will cover injectable medications given in the doctor’s office. A few medications, including some oral chemotherapy medications, which had previously only been available in injectable form, are covered at 80% under the Durable Medical Equipment benefits of Part B Medicare. For more information on Medicare go to: http://www.cms.hhs.gov or http://www.medicare.gov
If your monthly income is below a particular level you may qualify for assistance with your premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance or a portion thereof. There are Medicaid programs established to help you with your Medicare costs. Ask your local Medicaid office about applications for the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB), or the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB).
Generally benefits are eligible only to those with disabilities connected to military service, but there are some benefits available to veterans without disabilities. You must apply to determine the Priority Group to which you belong and the limits of the benefits.
Web site: http://www.vba.va.gov/
Apply for VA health care by completing VA form 10-10EZ. This form may be obtained by visiting, calling, or writing any VA health care facility or veterans’ benefits office. You can also call toll-free 10877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387) or access the form on the Internet
Social Security Administration
Information on determination criteria and how to apply for Social Security Disability Income.
International Center for Disability Info
Untangling the Web—variety of disability-related resources.
National Rehabilitation Information Center for Independence (NARIC)
Databases of disability information including research, documents, & organizations; also forms for information/document requests.
The Americans with Disabilities Act Information Line
(10:00 A.M. to 6:00 P.M. M,T,W, & F; 1:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M., Thursday, EST)
Provides guidance on disability rights issues
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Information on clinical trials, on-line cancer drug manual, patient support services & information on childhood cancer.
Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
Family resources for children with asthma, links with age-specific content, & list of informational books, videos, & CD-Roms for children and parents.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Answers to kids’ questions about health issues.
Band-Aides & Blackboards
Information about growing up with a chronic illness from a child’s perspective.
Other Community Resources
United Way in your area may fund agencies, which may offer prescription assistance, or utility or rent assistance, thus allowing you to have the resources to pay for your medication costs. The telephone number of your local United Way can be found in the Business Section of the White Pages of your local phone directory. An Internet search for charities and social services and foundations on a website like whitepages.com can provide you with listings specific to your area that may help you.
The Blue Section of your phone directory list city, county, state and federal government agencies. Check to see if your city or county offers social services, which might have assistance programs to help with prescription costs, or programs to assist with other expenses such as rent and utilities.
When an agency or program states that they cannot help you, ALWAYS ask them if they know of anyone who might be able to help. Sometimes there are unpublicized funds of community churches, synagogues, or civic groups, which may help with short-term assistance. Perhaps you belong to one of these groups, which may be willing to set up a fund in your name to which people can make tax-free donations.
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Health topics A-Z, publications, the facts about health-related Hoaxes & Rumors, National data & statistics, & links to other health agencies.
Up-to-date medical news, webcasts, case studies, resources, & recently approved drugs/indications.
Learn about medical conditions, symptoms, procedures, tests and more. Find and learn about Florida health care facilities and providers in your area.
Growth House – Improving Care for the Dying
Information & referral services for agencies working with death & dying issues.
Health information, including a health library, health care information, & directory of government agencies, daily health news, & online checkups.
Health Resources & Services Administration
US Department of Health & Human Services
Key Program Areas include: Primary Health Care which helps provide health care to underserved populations, also focuses on health care needs of minorities and women.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores
Consumer information including prescription medication education, medication tips, Women’s Health, Asthma Action America, & links.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Information on clinical trials, link to MEDLINE for up-to-date health information.