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Hello everyone. I am new to this site and I had a question. I have asthma, copd, and allergies. I used to have health insurance until the affordable care act made it cost $1200 a month so I had to let it go. Most doctors won't see me without insurance unless I pay up front. Due to the high pollen count here lately it has made it so I can't go to work. So my main doctor has been the emergency room at the hospital however they get me right at the moment and give me a prescription but not working means no money. Is there an assistance program out there that helps people like us? The meds tend to be very expensive. Thank you for any input.

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  • Kathy P

    Welcome Aaron – that sounds like a difficult situation. Have you looked into ? It can a long process.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Aaron, that is a very frustrating situation! It's really important for folks with asthma and COPD to have good care!

    Have you checked out ? 

    • Some are coupons or other assistance from the makers of asthma medication.
    • Some are patient assistance programs. These programs can:
      • help you pay insurance premiums so that you have proper coverage
      • help you pay for medication co-pays.

    These organizations may or may not have funding right now, but it's important to keep checking.

    Another idea: could you reach out to the social workers at the hospital where you go for treatment? Some communities/hospitals have a sliding scale fee for care so that they can help you stay out of the ER. 

    The website has a search engine to help you find a free clinic, a sliding scale clinic or a low-cost clinic. You might also check with your local health department as well.

    I am assuming that you live in a state where Medicaid has not been expanded for people who may be working but can't afford insurance? 

    Like Kathy said, one option is to apply for disability benefits, but it is a long process.

    A few things to keep in mind:

    • If you apply for Social Security disability, you must be unable to work currently or at ANY job for at least the next 12 months.
    • You must have paid in enough Social Security taxes over your working career, including the last 10 years.

    Here's the , as well as the "blue book" definitions of .

  • Pljohns

    Aaron-that's a tough spot to be in and I'm so sorry you are in it.  does your primary doctor have samples that they could give you?  I managed primary care clinics for years and we always had samples but the doctors wouldn't give them out unless patients ask.  Also, have you tried GoodRX to see where prescriptions are the cheapest in town for you.  Some cities also have a "prescription pantry" of sorts-we use to send all of our samples that we had too many of to a pharmacy service that had a free pharmacy in town for people that couldn't afford their meds-it was called dispensory of hope.  You might want to check if there is one in your city.  Hope you are feeling better soon!

  • K8sMom2002

    Great ideas, Lynn! Samples can be a lifesaver, and I do love the idea of a "prescription pantry …" Maybe that idea will spread!

  • Aaron

    Being I no longer have insurance my primary doctor is the emergency room. I do use goodrx and I love it. I didn't know about the prescription pantry or the free pharmacy. Thank you so much for letting me know I'm going to look into it. I'm so glad I found this group y'all are already a big help.

  • K8sMom2002

    Aaron, I hope there's a free or sliding fee clinic available to you — so much better than having to go to the ER every time. Please know that you aren't alone!

  • K8sMom2002

    @Aaron, have you been able to find any free or low-cost clinics near you? And did you check into whether disability was right for you? It's a long slow process, but if you have documentation from doctors that you've seen in the past, that helps. 

    It sounds like you've had a tough time over the years but are the type to get up and keep going!

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma

    Hi @Aaron, just checking in to see how you are doing and if you were able to find a clinic that has a sliding scale. 

    Thanks!