The cost of health care services and prescription drugs has been steadily increasing throughout the years. In a recent study done by the National Coalition on Health Care, it was found that the total expenses for health care rose by as much as 6.9% – roughly twice the current inflation rate. The latest available data on health care spending showed that health and medical expenses amounted to 2 trillion dollars in 2005. This amount is expected to increase to 2.9 trillion in 2009 and to 4 trillion by the year 2015.
With the rising cost of health care and prescription medication, it is no wonder that people are getting delinquent about their health. Studies show that the number of people who a) stop taking medications; b) forego refilling prescriptions; and c) buy miracle medicines are steadily increasing. If you are taking a number of prescription medications, you may be glad to know that there are smart ways to get cheap but quality prescription drugs. Below are some methods that you can use to get low-cost prescription drugs:
Ask for assistance from social workers.
By law, every hospital has a social worker that helps patients find assistance programs and grants if they cannot afford medical care and their medications. If you are finding it difficult to pay for health care and prescription medications, ask the information desk at your hospital for the social worker’s office in the vicinity. Inquire about the requirements you need to submit and follow up to find out if you qualify. It is also important to inform your doctor firsthand that you cannot pay for the full cost of health care and prescription medication. He or she can refer you to a social worker or other programs that can assist you in your financial fix.
Look for assistance programs from drug companies.
Drug companies may be the last thing on your mind when you think of health care assistance but they do offer it. Major pharmaceutical companies often have assistance programs for people who are taking a number of prescription medications. This is particularly useful for you if you are taking several prescription medications from the same manufacturer. For example, Merck, a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer, offers patients taking Merck medications a patient assistance and a prescription discount programs. These programs aim to help patients get quality but cheap health care for free or at least, for a lower cost. Ask your doctor about the manufacturer of your prescriptions and check its website for possible assistance programs.
Get in touch with organizations that provide health care assistance.
Aside from the government and drug companies, you can also look to civic organizations for health care assistance. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is one such organization that aims to bring discounted and low-cost medications closer to patients. You can check its website and see if you qualify for its assistance programs. With a database of over 400 programs and 5000 medicines available for no-cost or reduced assistance, you have a high chance of qualifying.