Five Tips for Paying for PsA Treatment
Managing a chronic disease, such as psoriatic arthritis (PsA), is challenging enough without having to think about paying for PsA treatment or dealing with the cost of drugs. And it is well known that treatments for PsA can be expensive. On average, people with PsA spend more than $2,500 per year in out-of-pocket costs.1 Many people with PsA struggle with the cost of treatment for a number of reasons: no health insurance, expensive co-pays for those that have health insurance, or no coverage for certain treatments for those that have health insurance.
Paying for PsA treatment
Here are some tips to help make treatment costs more manageable for people with PsA:
1. Contact the drug manufacturer
Contacting the manufacturer of a medication to request co-pay assistance might be the most important method to managing the cost of care. Some companies provide co-pay assistance cards - these cards are usually intended for individuals who have insurance coverage, but get hit with high co-pays. To access manufacturer-sponsored programs, visit the brand website for the PsA drug which you have been prescribed.
2. Look into patient assistance programs
Patient assistance programs are typically useful for individuals that have no insurance or has insurance that does not cover the medication. Oftentimes, these programs will offer coupons/partial or full co-pay assistance. There are a few well-known patient assistant programs that might be useful to check out:
The National Psoriasis Foundation also offers a few financial assistance resources by state that may be helpful: https://www.psoriasis.org/access-care/insurance/financial-assistance/state.
3. Ask your doctor to prescribe generics
Generics are usually a cheaper option to their brand name counterparts. There are times where they may not be as effective as some of the brand name treatment options available; however, they still can be helpful to alleviate PsA symptoms. Check with your doctor to see if a generic version of the drug exists.
4. Ask your doctor for medication samples
Because there is more than one medication that is prescribed to treat PsA symptoms, it can be a struggle at times to find the right medication that works for you. There may be instances in which you have to try multiple drugs to understand what is most effective for you - and that can get pricey fast. Asking your doctor if you can try a sample of the medication before you invest in a full month or three month supply may help you save money in the long run. Also, ask your doctor if he or she has any coupons. Oftentimes, pharmacy reps leave coupons with doctors when they visit, which you can use to buy your medication.
5. Call multiple pharmacies to compare costs
Calling multiple local pharmacies may be a viable option for those of you who are paying for the full cost of their medication or do not have a regular co-pay for their medication. Surprisingly, pharmacy prices for a specific medication can vary widely, and there may be a substantial difference in cost of a drug from pharmacy to pharmacy. Additionally, getting prescriptions by mail order can be a less expensive option than getting them directly from the pharmacy. That all depends on the specific health care plan, so be sure to check first!
Paying for PsA treatment can be frustrating and challenging. Hopefully, these tips will put you in the right direction to spend less time worrying about getting treatment and more time focused on feeling better.
Do you regularly track your psoriatic arthritis symptoms?