Prescription Drug Assistance Programs

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If you have Medicare or are eligible for Medicare

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Website: www.medicare.gov
Toll-free number: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) [English- and Spanish-speaking staff are available at this number 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.]

Medicare is the United States’ health insurance program for people age 65 or older, although certain younger people with disabilities might also qualify.

This federal government website can help you sign up for Medicare (if you’re 65 or older) and choose the right Medicare-approved prescription drug plan (called the Part D plan) based on where you live, your income, and the drugs you take. You can join a Part D plan during open enrollment if you already have Medicare Part A and/or Part B.

You may qualify for “Extra Help” if you have very limited income and assets but don’t get Medicaid. If you qualify for Extra Help, you may not have to pay a premium, deductible, or co-payments for Medicare Part D. You can apply or get more information about this by calling Social Security (see the “To learn more” section). Some people automatically get Extra Help and do not need to apply, such as those who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or those who already have full Medicaid and Medicare.

If you’re enrolled in a state pharmacy assistance program, including Medicaid, you will likely also be enrolled in Medicare Part D. If you have prescription drug coverage through your current health insurance or you get discounts on your prescriptions through other programs, review your coverage closely to see if the Medicare drug plan will save you more money on your prescriptions.

If you don’t qualify for Extra Help, Medicare also keeps a list of drugs for which there are private prescription drug assistance plans on their website at www.medicare.gov/pharmaceutical-assistance-program/index.aspx. You can search by the drug name and find details on the programs available as well as their contact information.

You can learn more details about the Medicare Part D drug plans and how to choose one in our document called Medicare Part D: Things People With Cancer May Want To Know. You can read it on our website, or call us to have a free copy mailed to you.

Medicare Access for Patients Rx

Website: www.maprx.info

Medicare Access for Patients Rx, called MAPRx, links you to information about Medicare Part D, also called the Medicare Prescription Drug Program. It answers common questions about Medicare Part D, and has a state-by-state listing of other possible resources and programs.

MAPRx does not directly serve Medicare recipients, but it’s a good, easy-to-use source of information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Medicare Rights Center, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and many other organizations and agencies. Free fact sheets can be downloaded from the website or from related website links.


Last Medical Review: 10/18/2013
Last Revised: 11/05/2013