Cheap and Free Medicine Options for Low Income

There are several different types of medicine programs for low income people and families that you might want to consider if you need help getting your meds, but simply cannot afford to buy them outright, or don’t have insurance to help to cover the cost of prescriptions or even medical care.  While you will not necessarily have every option listed available to you in your area, there’s bound to be at least one option which will help.

Community Clinics

All over the US, there are community clinics which offer free services to people in need, including low income families and people.  You will find many of them by simply looking at your local yellow pages to see what’s out there.  While you won’t always be able to get free meds, you can often get the diagnosis of the meds you need for your medical condition.  This will save the money of a doctor visit, which in turn, could free up the money you need to purchase your medicine outright.  In addition, you might be able to get sample packs, in some instances, from the medical provider of the med you should be taking.  For short term medical needs, this is a very good option to keep in mind.

 Medicaid – Not Age Specific

Many people mistakenly think that the Medicaid program is only for senior citizens who need financial assistance with their prescriptions.  This is not true.  The program is not age specific and is designed for people who are not insured or are not adequately insured.  The low income guidelines with this program are pretty strict, so not everyone will be able to quality for the aid.  Still, it’s worth looking into, especially if you were under the impression you had to be a senior citizen to get any help from this type of government program.

Prescription Discount Plans

Many drug plans are free to join, while others charge a small, often onetime fee to participate.  Some can offer big discounts from local and national pharmacies, which could save you enough money to be able to buy what you need to treat your condition properly.  Since many of the plans are free to join, you can join several of them and see which ones have the best discounts for the pharmacies in your area, and for the meds you need to treat your condition.   If you are able to access the levels of discounts for the specific meds you need on the fee based plans, just try to figure out if the cost of the plan will be offset by the reduction in price.  If you will be taking a medication for a prolonged period of time, you will find that it’s often financially sound to pay a little upfront and get a long term discount off the purchase price.  Just uses caution as you check them out.

Government Help

All fifty states have some form of medical assistance program they offer to low income families.  While you may or may not qualify for medical assistance from the government, it’s generally free to apply and the guidelines for qualification are generally pretty straightforward and easy to understand.  For the most part, you will be able to find out if you qualify within minutes of checking into it.  If it looks like you will be able to qualify, be sure to fill out all the forms correctly and completely, so you don’t have to delay your benefits at all.  Be warned that most plans will not offer any form of help from services or medicines already provided or purchased, so you don’t want to delay.  If you qualify for other types of government assistance, like food stamps, or low income housing, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for the medical programs for low income people.  Even if you don’t qualify for help with your medical needs, you might qualify for some other forms of public assistance, which could free up the money you need to purchase your prescriptions outright.

Contact Manufacturer Directly

Many manufacturers of meds give away some to those in need, who simply cannot pay for the medicine on their own.  From diabetic testing supplies, to oral medications, you will find that there is often some type of assistance form goodwill offerings from the manufacturer.

To find out if the manufacturer of the prescriptions you need offers such programs, simply contact them online and ask.  In addition, if you plan to do this, find out from your doctor about some of the other options you have.  Many times, there are several different meds which will treat the same symptoms.  You might find that while some aren’t offering to help out low income families, others are.  It’s worth checking out and it could save you a ton of money on your needs. 

Ask for Sample Packs

You won’t always have this option available to you, but it’s always worth asking the doctor if they have some samples on hand of the drug they want you to take.  You will find that some of them are available in sample packs, which can help to save you some money on your medical needs.  Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything to ask the doctor for this while you are already there, so be sure to double check and see if it’s an option for you.  You might be surprised at how many meds the doctor has access to with sample packs.  It’s worth asking and you should not be embarrassed to ask.

Going Generic

If you simply aren’t having much luck with the other options, be sure to ask you medical provider if generic equivalents will work for you.  If they will, they are generally priced much cheaper than the name brands, so you will be able to save some money.  You can also call around to the local pharmacies and see if any of them offer a slightly lower price.  You’ll find they are generally priced about the same, but there could be some variance, so it’s worth looking at.  You would probably price shop if you were looking for a television or other item, so it only makes sense to do it with your medications as well.  While this is typically the least attractive option for most of low income people who need free medicine, or at least need help to pay for their medications, it’s one you might have to use to save some money.