NeedyMeds’ mission has always been to help patients find help covering the costs of health care expenses. A previous guest post from Consumer Reports outlined the problem patients may face when confronted with expensive prescriptions, sometimes having to choose between needed medicine and groceries for their family. Two recent studies show that the problem may be growing as out-of-pocket costs for health care are continuing to rise.
According to a study from TransUnion Healthcare, the consumer’s share of healthcare costs rose by 13% from 2014 to 2015. The report also shows that while costs rose, patients had fewer resources to pay for the increase expenses, as the amount of revolving credit had declined. Out-of-pocket costs include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.
The University of Michigan conducted a second study that calculated the average out-of-pocket expenses for an inpatient hospital stay for a patient with private insurance was more than $1000, increasing 37% from 2009 to 2013. Forbes reported on the study, noting deductibles rose 86% in the observed time and coinsurance rose by 33% over the same period.
Much like patients who have to choose between potentially life-saving medication and food on the table, rising out-of-pocket costs can lead to putting off a doctor’s visit until they are sicker and at higher risk for serious health complications. No one should have to sacrifice their health due to a lack in finances. For those unable to afford their medications, NeedyMeds has an extensive database of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs). NeedyMeds also has information on Coupons and Rebates that can help lower the cost of necessary medications. For those without any prescription coverage, the NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card saves 0-80% on any prescribed medication. A plastic card can be ordered online or requested by calling our toll-free helpline at 800-503-6897, or a printable version can be found on our website as well as a smartphone app on Apple and Android devices. NeedyMeds also has information on national Diagnosis-Based Assistance programs (DBAs) that provide various forms of assistance including help with deductibles, copays, and coinsurance to individuals with certain diagnoses.