How to Find Affordable Medication

How to Find Affordable Medication

Medication is often an important part of mental health treatment. However, finding affordable medication can be very difficult - particularly if you need to use brand name drugs. Here is our guide to finding affordable help.


Medicaid/Medicare Public Options 

With the passing of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare have been expanded so more people who need them now qualify for them. With Medicare Part D, prescription medication is now covered at a great savings to you. Your state’s human services office will be able to see if you qualify for this program.

Affordable Care Act

Speaking of the ACA, it is available to help people find health care within their budget. Using the Affordable Care Act and your state’s insurance marketplace, you are able to find insurance plans that may make medication more financially available to you. This may not make much sense at first, since you have to pay for your policy. Subsidies exist that can make insurance cheaper based on certain criteria, so it may end up being cheaper for you to have an insurance policy and get your medication, than have no insurance and medication. Insurance agents are available nationwide to help you find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Before you sign up for any program, make sure the medication you are prescribed is covered, as some policies may have certain classes of meds that are not covered.

Local Agencies and Programs

There are a multitude of local grants, foundations, and human service agencies that help with basic needs, like medication. These will vary from state to state and community to community. Services like 211, or, exist to provide information and referral to human service programs. Some communities will use the United Way as their information and referral provider. For prescription assistance, there are specific referral programs that can help you find aid programs near you. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance, or, is one example that provides free referrals to local programs and prescription assistance.


There are websites that offer prescription discounts, based on location, pharmacy and prescription. These are essentially prescription coupons that the pharmacy can use to lower their price to you. Or they are similar to discount cards that take a certain amount off a prescription for you. is one example of these, but there are others as well.Your pharmacist can review these options with you as well, and help you price them out.

Major Retailers

Major retailers want you to shop their. So much so, that they will give you cheap or no cost prescriptions just to get you in the door. Walmart is an infamous example of this, offering free to very low cost antibiotics just so you will come in and likely spend your money on other things there. Retailers can work out deals with pharmaceutical companies to get their medications at discounted rates, or in large quantities and pass the savings on to you so you will become a regular shopper there. Use this to your advantage.

Shop Around

You are very rarely required to have your prescription filled at a particular pharmacy, if there is more than one option available to you. Yes it does happen, based on insurance plan, but it is far from the norm. Knowing this, be an educated consumer and shop around for the best price. You have every right to call a pharmacy, give them your prescription information and ask them what their price would be. You are under no obligation to get your script filled there. Pharmacies do not all offer drugs at the same price, so calling around or using a price tracking website like will help you save money.

Pharmaceutical Companies

Yes they do help sometimes. Pharmaceutical companies often have coupons or programs of their own that will help you get your medication for free or reduced cost. This is again based on factors like medication and income, but it is a solid chance for you to get help with your medication. When you get your script, find out the name of the manufacturer, then call or search that company’s website for information on savings programs.

Your Doctor

 Your doctor can help you with more affordable medication by writing prescriptions for generics, that are often cheaper than the brand name medication. You can also make things more affordable by getting 90 day supplies. Sometime when a prescription is written for a 90 day supply it will be cheaper than if you got three 30 day supplies of that same drug. While this may not seem a huge savings, it can be enough to make a difference in your budget. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about savings from generics and 90 day supplies of your medications.

Medications can be expensive, but help is out there for you. Talking to your doctor and your pharmacist are great options because they can help you find local resources or guide you in ways specific to your community. If you feel like you want to try treatment methods for mental health concerns without medications, please search our site for therapists that work on a low cost or sliding scale basis. Help is here for you.

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Jason Simpkins
Posted on 10/06/2018 by Jason Simpkins

Jason Simpkins is a writer at Open Counseling. He is a clinical social worker in Michigan and is dedicated to having quality mental health care available to everyone. And as a University of Michigan graduate, he says a hearty, Go Blue!