Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can become a financial burden with expensive treatments and medical care. If cost is a concern, some medication manufacturers offer copay assistance for rheumatoid arthritis drugs.
Not everyone, however, is eligible for these programs. One myRAteam member shared, “With my current insurance, I might not qualify for the manufacturer’s savings plan! I need it. It’s so frustrating!”
Fortunately, there are nonprofit organizations that may offer access to health care resources and financial assistance. If you meet the eligibility criteria, they may offset your health insurance copays, coinsurance, premiums, and deductibles. Some may also help pay for your medications, travel costs, and other expenses.
This article will cover how to find nonprofits for RA support, some tips for applying to these programs, and other possible sources of financial assistance.
There are a number of ways to find nonprofit financial assistance programs. One option is to contact your local county or state health organizations. You may also search online with phrases like the following:
If you have any questions about finding RA-related nonprofit programs, your pharmacist or health care provider may be able to advise you.
Several websites are available to help you find nonprofit assistance programs.
On NeedyMeds, you can search by diagnosis to find condition-specific assistance. NeedyMeds will list available assistance programs along with a short description of services. NeedyMeds will also let you know whether the program is statewide or national.
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit advocacy organization with a free online tool called BenefitsCheckUp. This tool may help you find benefits such as income and food assistance. You may also qualify for housing programs and help with your medication, health care, and travel costs.
The Assistance Fund is a nonprofit foundation that improves access to medications by assisting with medication-related costs, such as copays. The fund has copay assistance programs based on medical conditions, including RA. It may also offset other expenses.
The Patient Advocate Foundation offers copay relief funds based on medical conditions. The RA copay relief program awards a yearly maximum amount to help with office visits, insurance plan premiums, deductibles, and copays. The RA program also offers links to other potentially helpful resources.
The Patient Access Network Foundation is a nonprofit foundation that provides funds to people diagnosed with RA and other conditions. The funds are used to help cover RA-related medications. The foundation also has a FundFinder tool to help you find financial assistance from other organizations.
Rx Outreach is a nonprofit mail-order pharmacy that improves access to medications. It provides hundreds of different prescriptions at reduced prices to people with low income. The pharmacy also offers its services to uninsured or underinsured people.
Operation Walk USA is a nonprofit charity organization. This charity provides knee and hip replacement operations at no cost to qualifying people with severe RA that requires surgery.
Once you’ve found some nonprofit assistance programs for RA, it’s time to apply. The application process may understandably feel overwhelming. Read on for some helpful tips.
Each nonprofit program has eligibility criteria. You must meet the program’s conditions to qualify for assistance. Programs may request the following from you:
Before applying, make sure you meet the program’s requirements. If you have any eligibility questions, contact the program directly.
Nonprofit programs may provide funds for only one calendar year. Therefore, you’ll need to reapply for enrollment on a yearly basis. If there are not enough funds, some programs may have waitlists, which may also expire every year. So, if you’re still on the waitlist by the end of the calendar year, you’ll need to rejoin the waitlist for the next year.
Finding ways to remember these annual tasks will prevent gaps in financial assistance. It can be as easy as setting a calendar reminder on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
Don’t lose hope if you don’t find a nonprofit currently offering financial assistance for RA. Nonprofit programs are constantly updated. It’s good to visit nonprofit websites often to check on the status of RA-related funding programs. Consider signing up to receive updates and notifications from these sites.
If you’re not currently eligible for RA-related nonprofit programs, there are other ways to find assistance.
The following Medicare and Medicaid programs are available to assist with health care coverage.
Simplefill is a prescription advocacy program for people who require costly medication. It uses programs that offer funds or grants for chronic diseases. The programs are available from foundations and medication manufacturers. Simplefill monitors your eligibility for these programs, makes sure you receive your prescription drug, and offers follow-up support.
If you’re unable to pay for your bill in full, hospitals and medical facilities might offer payment plans. These payment plans may be low-interest or interest-free. Make sure to ask about a payment plan that might help break your invoice into smaller payments over time.
While asking for financial help is difficult, consider reaching out to your social network and community. They can be an important source of support for you as you manage your chronic condition.
If you belong to a religious organization, for example, it might have funds set aside to offset medication costs. In addition to your physical community, you can also reach out to your online social network.
On myRAteam, the social network for people with RA and their loved ones, more than 189,000 members come together to share support, advice, and stories from their daily lives.
Have you applied for nonprofit assistance to help with medical costs? Have you used other sources of financial assistance for RA care? Share your tips in the comments below. You can also start a conversation by posting on myRAteam.