Insurance companies regularly update their formularies to classify drugs under certain payment categories. It’s best to ask your doctor to help you find out what payment category your drug is in before you go to the pharmacy to avoid an unpleasant surprise when the bill arrives.
However, many prescription medications for mental health conditions are very expensive and even with health insurance, you can find yourself paying a lot for a prescription.
Help Paying For Medication
The ongoing cost of prescription medications can be a challenge, especially if you are taking more than one prescribed medication.
Some pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs to individuals and families with financial needs. These programs typically require a doctor’s consent and proof of your financial status. They may also require that you have either no health insurance or no prescription drug benefit through your health insurance.
In addition, there are county, state, and national prescription programs for which you may qualify and special drug discount cards offered by some pharmaceutical companies.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need through the program that is right for them. Many will get their medications free or nearly free. For more information, visit http://www.pparx.org/ or call 1-888-477-2669.
It is important to let your doctor know if you cannot afford your prescriptions. In some cases, they may be able to give you free samples of your medications. Discuss with your doctor if switching to generic drugs or less expensive brand-name prescription drugs is a safe option for you.
When a doctor determines that a brand name medication is medically necessary for you or if you are seeking a generic that is identical to the brand but you have trouble affording the higher cost of the brand name medication, a third option may be available. This third option is an authorized generic. An authorized generic medication is a medication made by the original creator of the drug, using the exact same formula (including inactive ingredients) as the original drug. It is manufactured by the maker of the brand name medication and distributed by a special generics division of the drug company. An authorized generic medication will cost the same as a generic medication. But you may have to specially request it from your pharmacy because they may not keep it in stock. Not all medications are available in authorized generic form, but you can check to see if yours is at www.authorizedgenericmedicines.org/product-finder.
Another way to cut costs is to compare the prices of your prescription drugs at different retail pharmacies (CVS vs Walgreens vs Walmart, etc.). Many retail pharmacies list their prices for commonly prescribed drugs online. You can also call local pharmacies to request prices for your medications.
Consider using a prescription savings card such as FamilyWize as another way to cut costs. FamilyWize, a trusted MHA partner, is a community service partnership focused on enabling everyone, both insured and uninsured, to have access to more affordable medications.
The FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card:
- Is FREE for all
- Has no eligibility requirements
- Gives you discounts on your meds, whether you have insurance or not
- Saves you an average of 54% on mental health medications