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Everyone knows, whether they deal with it directly or not, that the cost of medical coverage including medications has gone through the roof. For those individuals on Medicare, resulting either from age or disability prescription, medications are not part of the plan. This is a separate policy which must be purchased.
As a result of complications from her medical issues, Mary (an example patient) is now on disability and unable to return to work - she is only 52. She is on a staggering number of medications per month.
Medicare offers an online program whereby the patient will input their medications, dosage, etc. and they will be told if they are covered for the co-pay and estimated annual out-of-pocket cost.
Depending upon one’s income, additional assistance towards the patient’s premium may also be available from Social Security, referred to as Supplemental Security Income and anyone finding themselves in such a situation should check into this.
In Mary’s case, the majority of her medications are not covered by these available plans, but what is worse is that because of that, her annual out-of-pocket costs would be over one hundred and ten thousand -- yes, thousand -- dollars a year.
I know this sounds outrageous, and it is, so I can understand why Mary sees no point in paying for a policy which isn’t even going to cover the medications she needs.
Just about every pharmaceutical company provides programs to help assist those having difficulty obtaining their medications, often for free. Obviously there are qualifications which must be met, and one of those is that the patient has no drug coverage -- at all.
The annual income qualification is usually based upon a percentage of the federal poverty limits, which takes into account the number of family members.
While investigating these figures for my small town in Florida I was astonished to find out that one drug company in particular extends their percentage 300 percent beyond the poverty level determined by the federal government.
This new calculation extends the yearly income level to qualify for assistance.