Here are several free and low-cost health care resources that may be helpful. If you know of any in your community and want to share the URL (web address) please go ahead and post them here in this thread.
Together, we can help one another through these difficult times.
HRSA.gov --Have you heard of HRSA-supported health centers? They care for you, even if you have no health insurance. You pay what you can afford, based on your income. These include dental, immunizations, and mental health care resources.
BenefitsCheckUp.org -- “Many older people need help paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. Ironically, millions of older Americans — especially those with limited incomes — are eligible for but not receiving benefits from existing federal, state and local programs.”
Free Clinics-- Use the search to find state and local free clinics and see if one is near you.
NeedyMeds.org Clinics--You do not have to provide any documentation to validate your income. You do not have to provide any other form of identification, such as proof of citizenship or “green card.”
Other--Please make sure and check local resources for tests PAP smear, mammograms, prostate cancer screenings, cholesterol screenings, bone density tests, and blood pressure checks. Drug stores, grocery stores with pharmacies, Planned Parenthood, community health centers, local hospitals, senior centers and women's clinics will often have these tests/exams available at low cost or even free. Keep your eyes peeled!
Note:None of these are WebMD sites, so we cannot guarantee content. Clinics may change requirements and/or services offered. Please contact them directly to find current information.
Everyone is concerned about cutting costs on everything these days, including prescriptions. So I thought I'd share a few tips that might help.
1) See if you can get a generic that is on that list of several hundred drugs available at Wal*Mart for about $4.00 for a 30-day supply. Target and Fred Myers chains also have the same program. Check that list and see if any medication you take is on it, and get your prescription transferred there if it would be cheaper. Also, don't be shy about printing out the list and asking your doctor about it. Sometimes there are generics or substitutes available for medications you may be currently taking.
2) Check the inserts for your prescription drug's manufacturer. If you don't have one, ask your pharmacist for the insert, or look it up online. Contact the maker (they usually have toll-free phone numbers) and see if they have a prescription assistance program--you'd be surprised how many of them do. The good news is that drug makers Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, and AzstraZeneca have created or expanded their Prescription Assistance programs.
3) You may be interested in checking out the Partnership for Prescription Assistance . Their mission is to "help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that's right for them. Many will get them free or nearly free." Also, take a look at NeedyMeds.com (These are not a WebMD sites, and we cannot guarantee content).
4) Use the pharmacy at CostCo, a warehouse store which can buy in bulk so their prescription prices are very low. You do not have to be a CostCo member to use their pharmacy.
5) Ask your doctor about samples or coupons he or she may have available for patients.
Some of you may know of disability advocate and award-winning journalist Richard Cohen's Strong at the Broken Places blog. Have you ever wondered about Richard and his life with M.S., or about the people's he's interviewed and written about, including those with chronic pain?
Wonder no more!
"A Patient Voice" is the name of the series of 17 video and audio clips that are companion pieces to the blog. They're from 5-32 minutes long, so I suggest taking them in slowly and looking at the matching blog as you go along.
On RAtv , you can meet real people facing RA's challenges. Learn about diagnosis, working with your doctor, diet and exercise. Remember, people of all ages can get RA, including children. It's not just 'old age' aches and pains, but an autoimmune disease that can ruin joints and typically requires the help of a rheumatologist to manage.
From here you can find links to Tracking Your RA Pain, How Well Are You Managing Your RA , and RISE, which is our educational program that can help you understand treatment options.
Here's a chart where you can Compare the Various Biologics used for treating RA. "There are a number of biologic drugs approved to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Biologic drugs work by targeting immune triggers that cause joint inflammation and damage in rheumatoid arthritis."
You can compare route, dosage, side effects/cautions, and more!
I saw this assessment tool and thought it might be helpful for some of you. The Rheumatoid Arthritis Health Check will assess the severity of your RA and just how much your symptoms are impacting your well-being.
At the end, you will get:
Personalized information about how well you are coping with your condition.
A tailored report you can use to talk with your doctor about the best treatment regimen for you.
Tips from WebMD Health Experts for managing your symptoms and keeping RA from interferong with your life.
Once you take the assessment, were the results better or worse than you expected? Did you get some tips and information that was helpful? Do you have anything to share that you think the RA Health Check missed?
I've been fortunate to be the moderator here for over two years since the community first started. I want to thank everyone for allowing me to share your stories and lend support upon occasion. I have enjoyed every moment.
Your new moderator, Lainey, will be taking over on Monday, April 10th. I know you'll really enjoy having her here, and I hope you'll make her feel welcome.
Hello and welcome! I am sorry to hear about the pain in your right foot. Has your rheumatologist offered physical therapy to you? Has he or she discussed how long you'll be on prednisone and what the long-range plan is?
I know you've already received a lot of great support, but I thought I'd give you a link to a guide of RA Medications . I believe Humira has been on the market since 2003, but your doctor can confim that. If you're concerned about any potential side effects, please have an open discussion with your doctor and/or pharmacist.