6 ways to get help with prescription costs

You may find it necessary to get help paying for prescriptions even after enrolling in 

Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D)

. For example, you may reach the annual spending limit and enter what is called the coverage gap. Here are 6 tips to consider if you think you might need to get help with the costs of prescription drug coverage.

1. Consider switching to generics or other lower-cost drugs.

There may be generic or less-expensive brand-name drugs that would work just as well as the ones you're taking now. Talk to your doctor to find out if these are an option for you. You might also be able to lower prescription costs by using mail-order pharmacies.

2. Choose a Medicare drug plan that offers additional coverage during the gap.

There are plans that offer additional coverage during the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, like for generic drugs. However, plans with additional gap coverage to help pay for prescriptions may charge a higher monthly 

Premium

.

Check with the drug plan first to see if your drugs would be covered during the gap. Find health & drug plans.

3. Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs. 

Some pharmaceutical companies offer programs to help pay for medications for people enrolled in Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Find out whether there’s a Pharmaceutical Assistance Program that can lower prescription costs for the drugs you take.

4. State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs.

Many states and the U.S. Virgin Islands offer help paying for prescriptions, drug plan premium,s and/or other drug costs. Find out if your state has a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program.

5. Apply for Extra Help.

Medicare and Social Security have a program called Extra Help—a way for people with limited income and resources to get help with prescription costs. If you qualify for Extra Help, you could pay no more than:

  • $3.40 for each generic covered drug ($3.60 in 2020)
  • $8.50 for each brand-name covered drug ($8.95 in 2020)

6. Explore national and community-based charitable programs like these that help pay for medications: