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Drugs: How To Save Money When Buying Or Using

Government Programs That Provide Drugs

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Many states offer prescription drug assistance programs for their residents. These programs may be for people with limited income and/or assets or they may only be for people with a specific diagnosis or for specific segments of the population.

State programs vary widely as to:

  • Eligibility. For example, Minnesota's program is for married couples with incomes under $15,000 while New York's program pays for some of the cost of drugs for married couples with incomes of up to $50,000.
  • The amount you pay, if at all, for deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.
  • Whether the drugs are paid for in part by the state or whether they are discounts.
  • Whether there is a cap on benefits.

To locate a state program which helps with drugs, consider the following: 

  • Medicare provides a list of state pharmaceutical assistance programs which offer help paying drug plan premiums and/or other drug costs. See: offsite link. Select your state.
  • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, an organization of America's pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups, has a site to help find a patient assistance program as well as public and private patient assistance programs. 888.477.2669, offsite link
  • AARP has a list state-by-state of drug assistance programs. Go to offsite link and look under "exclusive Web resources."
  • If you have HIV, every state in the U.S. now has some form of ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) program. See State ADAP Programs
  • If you are under age 55: A list of State Drug Assistance programs and contact information can be found at offsite link or call the local Area Agency on Aging in your state. You can also find your agency via the Eldercare Locator at 800.677.1116 or look at the National Conference of State Legislatures Web offsite link and click on "Public User"
  • Particularly if you are age 55 or over, to find programs for which you may qualify:

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