Find Financial Help
When you look at all the expenses that are part of life with lupus, it can be shocking—average costs as high as $50,000 a year. Even if you make good money, you might need help with those costs. Keep reading for ideas to try when you’re looking for some financial relief.
It’s hard asking for help. It’s good to know there may be options for me when I need them.
Discuss with your doctor
No matter whether you’re seeing your primary doctor or a specialist,specialists: healthcare providers with additional training or certificates related to certain diseases or conditions. it may be a good idea to talk to them about the cost of your medications. You might consider sharing your personal situation, your insurance, and your ability to cover your healthcare costs. Ask:
- Will this new medication/lab work/specialist be covered by my health insurance? They may not know off the top of their head, but they can help you find answers.
- Is there a genericgenerics: medications created to work the same as brand-name medicines but may cost less. available for this medicine (such as steroids)?
- Can you point me to any programs to help with my medication costs?
- Does your practice have a payment plan option for visit costs?
If you have to spend time in the hospital, make sure to speak to their staff, too. A social worker or case/care manager is trained in working with Medicare,Medicare: a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and certain younger people with disabilities. Medicaid,Medicaid: insurance program that provides free or low-cost health coverage to some low-income people, families with children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Many states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover all people below certain income levels. and other programs to help you with financing the care you need.
Ask your pharmacist
Find out if your pharmacist knows of any ways you can save. Many drug manufacturers offer savings on their products. Or there may be programs in your community that can help.
Do some research
Consider searching online for the websites of all the medicines you are taking. Many pharmaceutical companies offer co-pay coupons. They may also have Patient Assistance Programs (PAP) and other financial resources for medicine at a reduced cost.
Don’t assume you won’t qualify. Fill out any online forms or call their toll-free numbers to ask if you’re eligible.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has created a search engine that allows you to look for financial help. Just click the link and enter the names of each of your medicines.
Other sites such as NeedyMeds, FamilyWize, or GoodRx may also be able to help you find lower prices and other ways to save on your prescriptions.
Contact government agencies
You may want to explore government resources at the national, state, and local levels. For example, the Social Security Administration offers disability benefits, if lupus makes it impossible for you to work. You can find out more about whether you may qualify and how to apply at their website.
Many local agencies offer help for living with or paying for chronic conditions like lupus. They can also tell you about free or reduced-cost care for those who qualify. Contact your local health department to learn what’s available in your area.
Connect with advocacy organizations
There are some organizations that help patients access care and treatment recommended by their doctor. Check out any resources that advocacy organizations, such as Patient Advocate Foundation, may have. Or you may want to reach out to one of the lupus resource organizations for help.