Finding Help to Afford Your RA Medications

Managing a chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can be made more difficult if you are unable to afford your medications or health insurance premiums.

Copay assistance programs help patients who cannot afford to pay for prescription medications despite insurance coverage. Frequently, drug manufacturers are able to provide financial help directly which should be your first resource to explore. To access manufacturer-sponsored programs, visit the brand website for the drug that you have been prescribed.

For patients who do not qualify for manufacturer programs (perhaps due to insurance coverage through government programs such as Medicare), the following non-profit organizations offer additional help paying for medications.

Requirements to be able to participate in financial assistance programs

In general, to participate in these programs, the patient must have valid medical insurance that covers the prescribed medication, which in turn must be included on the program formulary; and the patient must meet annual household income criteria established by each program. One program included below offers help with generic medications regardless of insurance coverage.

Unfortunately, funds for many of these programs will be exhausted or committed to other patients. Check back often with the program to inquire as to when a program will reopen for applicants. Always call to ask; do not hesitate because sometimes programs may re-open and close within a matter of days.

The Assistance Fund

The Assistance Fund Copay Assistance Program offers financial support to individuals with various diseases who need help paying for their out-of-pocket expense for approved specialty medications covered by insurance. Participants must have health insurance and meet certain financial requirements. The copay program has separate funds for ankylosing spondylitis, juvenile arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and uveitis. Applications and supporting documents may be submitted online.

Patient Access Network Foundation (Medicare patients only)

The Patient Access Network Foundation offers financial support to individuals with rheumatic diseases who are covered by Medicare and need help paying for out-of-pocket costs related to covered FDA-approved disease-modifying therapies. Patient household income must fall at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. The maximum award available to each participant varies by program; however, enrolled participants may apply for a second grant during their eligibility period if funding is available. Separate funds are available for ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and uveitis. Applications may be submitted over the phone at 1-866-316-7263 or online.

Programs that help you find financial assistance programs:

Needy Meds

Partnership for Prescription Assistance

Programs that provide access to lower cost medications:

Good RX

GoodRx is a program that may save you money on prescriptions by providing current prices at local pharmacies for specific medications and by offering drug coupons that can be used in lieu of insurance. Patients can be on Medicare, Medicaid, or have other health insurance and still purchase medications through GoodRx.

RX Outreach

Rx Outreach is a nonprofit mail-order pharmacy that offers generic medications at a reduced price to low-income patients. More than 450 medications that treat most chronic diseases are available. Patients can be on Medicare, Medicaid, or have other health insurance and still purchase medications through RX Outreach. To be eligible, the family’s income must fall at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. Most prescriptions are filled in 90- or 180-day supplies at varying costs.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The RheumatoidArthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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