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Struggling to pay for prescriptions? There are ways get free or discounted medication

Struggling to pay for prescriptions? There are ways get free or discounted medication
Posted at 4:26 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 13:20:35-04

Prescription drugs can be expensive, especially if you are struggling to make ends meet as the U.S. works to rebound. However, there are ways to get free or discounted medications right now.

Express Scripts is one pharmacy benefit manager offering discounts. Its new program is for anyone who has lost health care coverage because of the pandemic.

You can get a 30-day supply of a generic drug for $25 and some brand name drugs for $75. You may also want to ask your pharmacist if Parachute Rx discounts are available. Also ask about discount programs the pharmacy is offering.

“You really would not know about these programs. They might not be necessarily advertised very often,” said Ronna Hauser, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA).

The NCPA says both independently owned pharmacies and large chains have these programs. They say it helps, especially now, to let the pharmacists know about your financial situation.

“A lot of them are offering opportunities for reduced prescriptions,” said Hauser. “I have seen some of our members setting up programs for unemployed patients who have lost their jobs recently and if they can show that they have lost a job and are currently unemployed, our members are offering discounts or either free or discounted medication.”

Another way you could get free or discounted prescriptions is through a pharmacy that partners with a community health center. About one in five independent pharmacies do this. Some that are part of national chains offer this too.

Ask the drugstore if it's a 340B pharmacy. And then, ask for the name of the health center it partners with, so you can connect with them and see if you qualify.

A charitable pharmacy is another option that provides free prescriptions to people who meet certain income limits. You can search for these pharmacies on the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics website.

Click here for your one-stop resource guide

Reopening Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine and the State of Ohio have established a plan to begin reopening Ohio businesses starting May 1. Below is a timeline of the businesses allowed to reopen.

May 1: Medical care – non-essential surgeries and procedures that do not require an overnight stay will be allowed beginning May 1.
May 4: Manufacturing, distribution and construction businesses that were ordered to cease activities may reopen on May 4, as well as general office environments.
May 12: Retail establishments and facilities will be allowed to reopen on May 12.
May 15: Salons, barbershops, day spas, tanning facilities, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and piercing businesses. Restaurants will be allowed to serve patrons on outdoor patios. More details here.
May 21: Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen for dine-in service. Read more here. Campgrounds will be allowed to reopen. Read more here.
May 22: Horse racing will be allowed to resume, with no spectators. Casinos and Racinos are not included in the reopening. Read more here.
May 26: Gyms, fitness centers, regulated pools, recreation centers and studios will be allowed to reopen, with new requirements. Non-contact and limited-contact sports leagues, such as golf, baseball and tennis will be allowed to resume. BMVs across Ohio will reopen, but government officials encourage citizens to utilize the BMVs online services when possible. Read more here.
May 31: Day care centers will be able to reopen in Ohio. Read more about the plan to reopen day cares here. Day camps and summer camps will also be allowed to operate. Details on that here.

While these announced reopenings encompass the majority of the businesses, agencies and events closed and canceled by the state's orders, the governor has not yet made an annoucements on when K-12 schools in the state will reopen, nor when places of public amusement, such as theme parks, gambling businesses, skating rinks, movie theaters, and others will be allowed to reopen. See a full list of indoor and outdoor places that remain closed here.

Click here for more details on the state's "Responsible RestartOhio" plan.