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Easing the Cost of Psoriasis Treatment During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a financial burden on many. Try these tips for easing the cost of psoriasis treatment.

Easing the Cost of Psoriasis Treatment During the Pandemic

Many people have faced temporary or permanent job loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that many people with chronic health conditions like psoriasis may not be able to afford medications due to loss of income or loss of healthcare coverage.

If you are struggling to pay for psoriasis treatment or healthcare, there are a number of steps and strategies that may help make treatment more affordable. Here are some ways to get started.

Check with your healthcare provider
Remember, if you are having trouble taking your psoriasis medication for any reason—whether it’s cost, side effects, uncertainty if it is working, or something else—talk to your healthcare provider. Treating psoriasis is an ongoing process, and many people with psoriasis try a number of treatment approaches before finding one that is effective.

You can ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about ways to lower the cost of medications, such as copay savings programs (also called copay cards) and patient assistance programs (also called PAPs). In some cases, your healthcare provider may also be able to prescribe a less expensive medication or provide samples of a medication—which can be helpful for people who are still searching for a treatment that is effective.

Check with the drug manufacturer
Many pharmaceutical companies offer copay cards, PAPs, and other programs that can help make treatments more affordable. Information about the particular programs that a manufacturer offers—and the criteria for those programs—can usually be found on the company’s website. Check the label on your medication packaging for the URL.

In order to participate in a savings program, people must meet certain criteria. The criteria can vary depending on the type of program. It may also vary from program to program, and some programs may be restricted in certain states.

For manufacturer copay cards, participants are typically required to have private or commercial insurance. People who are insured through Medicare or Medicaid are not eligible. When you participate in a copay savings program, you’ll be issued a copay card, which you will present to your pharmacist while filling your prescription.

Patient assistance programs are for people who do not have insurance, or those who have health insurance but cannot afford the out-of-pocket expenses of healthcare. The eligibility criteria for a PAP will be different than a copay card. The benefits offered will vary from program to program.

If you are not sure what type of program is right for you or cannot find the information you are looking for online, you can try calling customer support. Look for a number on the website or on the packaging for your medication.

Check with patient advocacy organizations
There are also patient advocacy organizations that sponsor copay cards, patient assistance programs, and tools to help people with psoriasis find financial assistance. Some examples include:

  • NeedyMeds.org, which offers a patient assistance program.
  • GoodRx.com, which offers copay cards that can be used instead of insurance.
  • MedicineAssistanceTool.org, which is a search engine that helps people find financial assistance to pay for medications.

Finding affordable healthcare

Medication is only one aspect of managing psoriasis, and psoriasis is only one aspect of your overall health—you also need to see a healthcare provider. If healthcare appointments are unaffordable, the National Psoriasis Foundation recommends visiting a community-based Health Center (you can find out more about Health Centers at findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov). University hospitals may also offer lower cost healthcare.

Medically reviewed in October 2020.

Sources:
Kim Parker, Rachel Minkin and Jesse Bennett. "Economic Fallout From COVID-19 Continues To Hit Lower-Income Americans the Hardest." Pew Research Center, 2020.
National Psoriasis Foundation. "Financial Assistance."
Kate Volpicelli Leonard. "Five Tips for Paying for PsA Treatment." Psoriatic-Arthritis.com. December 23, 2016.
GoodRx. "What Are Manufacturer Copay Cards?"
GoodRx. "What Are Patient Assistance Programs?"
HealthCare.gov. "How to find low-cost health care in your community."

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