Times are tough, and if you’re uninsured with bipolar disorder, finding and paying for treatment and medication can seem like an insurmountable challenge. In Bipolar Disorder for Dummies, we offer some suggestions on how to access more affordable mental healthcare assistance, including seeking treatment at community or county mental health clinics or University medical centers. Other community resources such as churches, religious organizations, or support groups such as NAMI and DBSA can help you locate affordable care. Following are some suggestions on where to turn for help when you can’t afford your prescription medications:

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist. Your doctor or pharmacist may be able to provide you with enough medication for the time you need to explore other, more permanent solutions. Of course, if you don’t have money to pay for medication, you probably don’t have money to see a doctor, either, so go to the next bullet.
  • Contact your state or local Mental Health America affiliate. Call 1-800-969-6642 or search the directory at www.nmha.org/go/searchMHA.
  • Check out available Medicare prescription drug plans. If you qualify for Medicare, use the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder to search for prescription assistance programs.
  • Contact Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). You can call 1-888-477-2669 or visit Partnership for Prescription Assistance.
  • Visit RxAssist. RxAssist provides a database of prescription assistance programs you can search by medication name or the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the medication. You can often access an online form for applying for assistance.

Prescription assistance programs usually require a doctor’s consent and proof of financial hardship. To be eligible, you must be without health insurance or have no prescription drug benefit through your insurance company. Carefully review the eligibility requirements before applying, so you don’t waste loads of time trying to pursue an option that’s unavailable.

If you’ve tried any of these or other prescription assistance programs or have additional suggestions to offer, please share your experiences and insights.