Health Library

Getting Help to Pay for Prescriptions

While Medicare’s drug plan (Part D) was designed to cut drug costs for seniors and people with disabilities, you may find yourself still struggling to pay for your prescriptions. There are other government programs and organizations that provide pharmaceutical assistance beyond what Medicare offers.

As you do your homework to learn more about your drug coverage, you may also want to look into these potential cost-saving options.

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration offers a program to help pay for expenses related to Part D, including:

  • Monthly premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Co-payments

This program is available to people who meet certain criteria, such as:

  • Having Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and/or Part B (medical insurance)
  • Living in the United States
  • Having a low income and a low net worth

To learn more and apply for extra help, visit the Social Security website.

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs)

Most states offer an assistance program to help Medicare members pay for prescriptions. These programs vary from state to state, but they are designed to ease the burden of prescription drug costs for lower-income people.

Visit the Medicare website to learn more about the assistance program that is available in your state.

Other Cost-Saving Options

While you are researching ways to cut prescription costs, it may be worthwhile to also visit these sites:

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) provides information on public and private programs that can help lower prescription costs. To learn about the resources that may be available to you, search the site by the name of your state or by the name of the pharmaceutical company.
  • Similar to PPA, NeedyMeds lists programs available in your state. This site has contact information so that you can quickly link to a program of interest. You will also find information about the types of programs that are available to Medicare members.
  • BenefitsCheckUp is a site run by the National Council on Aging. Use BenefitsCheckUp to connect with private and government programs that may help you pay for prescription drugs.

If you feel overwhelmed by the high cost of your prescriptions, reach out for help. There are a range of programs that can be used in combination with Part D.


Social Security


Extra help with medicare prescription drug plan costs. Social Security website. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2015.

Get help paying costs. website. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2015.

Participating patient assistance programs. Partnership for Prescription Assistance website. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2015.

State pharmaceutical assistance programs. website. Available at: Accessed September 8, 2015.

Last reviewed September 2015 by Michael Woods, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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