Getting medications when you have no income

Elderly hands opening a pack of pills

The following is present for informational purposes only.

When you’re unemployed with no regular income flowing to your bank account it can be hard to make ends meet. That’s especially true if you take prescription medications. The cost of prescription meds is on the rise, making it challenging to get what you need if you have no income. Even more challenging if you also have no insurance.

There are ways to get the medications you need though. And at little or no cost to you.

Contact the manufacturer

Some pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance for medications they manufacture. To qualify, you’ll most likely need your doctor’s written consent, as well as proof of your financial status. They may also want proof of your health insurance as these programs are often for those with no insurance or no prescription drug benefit through their insurance.

Connect with an aid organization

There are also a few organizations that can help:

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance can help if you don’t have prescription drug coverage and you meet certain qualifications. If you meet the qualifications, you can receive your medications for free or nearly free. You can easily find the information you need to submit your request on their website and they work with over 475 public and private programs, including pharmaceutical companies, to help people get their prescription medications.

Together RX Access is another service that helps you connect with programs to get your medications at little to no cost to you. They can also help you find access to other healthcare services. Their program offers the Together Rx Access Card that you can use at local pharmacies to receive the eligible discounts. It applies to both brand-name and generic medications. The card is free to get and free to use.

Needy Meds can help you find assistance for disease-specific programs. If you qualify for their programs, you can receive help for additional expenses like utility bills. You would qualify for a program like this if your health issues require utilities like electricity to run healthcare equipment or phone service to call 911. They also provide information on state sponsored programs under their “Government Programs” link on their homepage.

You can also access help through your local programs. Mental Health America will put you in contact with local and state services in your area. And your state Medicaid office can provide assistance for both medications and healthcare services.

The Medicare Part D Plan is a government assisted program that offers prescription drug coverage. It covers both brand-name and generic prescriptions and everyone who receives Medicare is eligible. There are no other qualifications. It works on its own, as just a prescription plan, or as a supplement to more comprehensive coverage like an HMO or PPO.

Other services you may find helpful include:

These programs will help with financial assistance if you have insurance and your co-pays are high. Even when you have no income, getting your medications is a priority for your health and wellbeing. Using these services will help you get the medications you need with little to no cost to you.

For more tips on reducing the cost of prescription medication, check out our comprehensive guide to finding affordable medications.

Tagged in Managing medical bills and debt, Navigating change

Emilie writes about overcoming debt, while balancing trying to eat healthy, stay fit, and have a little fun along the way. You can find more of her work at