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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

Prescription Drugs Programs for Low Income Patients

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QUESTION: I am a juvenile type 1 diabetic, have a heart condition called Torsades de Pointes, and I have celiac sprue. I dont get Medicaid anymore and I have a child. I'm not able to afford my diabetes supplies nor my other supplies for the other problems. I need an affordable insurance company to get coverage through.

ANSWER: There is no affordable health insurance option that you'll qualify for until the Affordable Health Care Act launches subsidized health insurance and expands Medicaid in January, 2014. Short term, your biggest problem is prescription drugs and supplies. You need them. There are hundreds of programs nationwide that help low-income patients (usually less than $30,000/yr annual income for a single person) obtain medications at little or no cost. Many are listed with the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, a drug industry-managed clearinghouse. About half the programs are run by large pharmaceutical companies. The rest are sponsored by makers of generic drugs, private foundations and government agencies. The partnership has helped about 5.5 million people nationally. People who apply can get free drugs or low cost prescriptions for just $3 to $5. To access the drug assistance programs, call the clearinghouse at (888) 477-2669 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time or go to the website. You'll have to answer some screening questions to determine your financial eligibility and medical condition.

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