In a survey released in early 2018, only 37% of Americans said they would be able to pay for an unexpected $500-$1000 cost. 63% of respondents said they would need to resort to measures such as cutting back other spending, using a credit card, or borrowing money from friends or family in the event of a costly emergency. We have been writing for years on our position that people should not have to decide between health care or groceries or skipping prescriptions. There are ways to build a health spending plan to ensure you are financially able to pay for medical expenses, no matter when they arise.

There are a number of savings options available that can help make the most of income. Health savings accounts (HSAs) or Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) deposits are often made pre-tax through the employer, and can be spent tax-free on qualified medical expenses. FSAs and HSAs both allow people to save money in tax-advantage accounts, but there are key differences:

FSAs can be used with any type or no insurance; HSAs can only be used/contributed to in conjunction with a high-deductible health plan.

Money in FSAs not

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We are almost to 2016, and the high costs of prescriptions are still a huge problem for millions of Americans.  Despite laws like the Affordable Care Act (ACA), drug prices continue to vary and rise in ways that are often too much for patients to navigate.  A recent poll found that a third of those currently taking a medication experienced a spike in price in the past year. Consumer Reports was able to uncover a lot of information with a national price scan of five common generic drugs. With their findings in mind, there are tips one can follow to get lower prices and better deals on needed medication.

=&0=&  Even pharmacies within a few miles of each other can vary widely in price, sometimes by hundreds of dollars.  Furthermore, chain drugstores consistently charged the most among the medications and locations polled. Independent and local mom-and-pop pharmacies were found to have bargains on prescriptions, and sometimes are flexible to match or beat competitor prices. =&1=&  Many chain stores offer common generics at prices as low as $4-$15 for a 30- to 90- day supply when people pay out of pocket.  NeedyMeds has a database of locations and medications available through these discount programs. Sometimes pharmacists will insist you must use your health insurance, even it the price is higher than the cash price or the price with the NeedyMeds drug discount card. They are wrong – you never have to use your health insurance if you can get a better price not using it. =&2=&  For drugs you will be taking long term, getting enough medicine to last three months as opposed to one can be cheaper.  We mentioned the discount programs available above, and for those using insurance it would equate to only one copay instead of three. =&3=&  It may seem awkward or something better used at a car dealership, but Consumer Reports found that pharmacists either have some flexibility when asked or are able to find a coupon or card that can bring down the price, or offer one of the discount programs they may have available for those not using insurance. =&4=& Read more

Most of us have heard of clinical trials, but many are unclear as to what they are and how to find them. When it comes to creating life-changing drugs and innovative new therapies, medical research is critical. And being so actively engaged in your own health care can grant you access to the most ground-breaking treatment options available. It also allows you to interact with leading medical experts from some of the most preeminent medical facilities in the country.

Additionally, participating in a clinical trial helps the medical community better understand worldwide health concerns. In turn, new and effective treatment options can be explored and developed. Volunteering in this way can be rewarding on many levels.

What exactly is a clinical trial?

Clinical research studies are designed to improve human health and well-being by exploring new medical treatments, preventions, diagnostics and medications. Evaluating the safety and efficacy of new approaches is what drives clinical trials, and also what propels advancements in global health.

Clinical trials fall into one of four categories:

Phase I studies assess the safety

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By now, many of loyal users have probably noticed that we came out with a new website layout in January. We did not change the content of the website, but have updated the layout, navigation, resource names and descriptions. Above all, we did this to make it easier for you to find help you are looking for. Read on to learn about how we refreshed our look and how to find the same resources you’ve come to depend on in the past seventeen years.

How Did We Improve the Website? General Improvements:

— • Made it more intuitive for new users and regular users alike.

— • Reorganized categories of information to make it easier to quickly find the appropriate type of assistance.

— • Improved the descriptions of resources, making them clearer and easier to understand.

How else Did We Improve the Website? Some Specific Improvements to Look Out For:

—•  All of our resource links are now all along the top bar, rather than along the side and top.

—•  On our homepage we now have announcements, so you’ll never miss a thing, as well as a slider featuring some of our special services.

•—  The NeedyMeds drug discount card and

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