Q. I am anticipating going on disability. I am on numerous medications. How do I get them covered or is there a prescription plan to help/pay for these?


A. Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries become eligible for Medicare after two years of receiving disability benefits. There is no help with medical benefits prior to Medicare eligibility. When you are eligible for Medicare, you will be entitled to purchase a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Until then, there are a variety of options available to assist people with their drug costs:

Medicaid: This program, jointly funded by state and federal governments, provides medical assistance, including prescription drug coverage, for certain individuals and families with low incomes and limited resources. Contact your local Medicaid agency for information

Veterans Benefits: For veterans, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covers prescription drugs prescribed by a VA doctor if filled at VA facilities. There is a small co-payment. Call 1-800-827-1000.

State-sponsored programs: Half of all US states offer a state-sponsored program to assist elderly and/or disabled citizens with their drug costs.

Pharmaceutical company and pharmacy discount cards: You can sign up for discount programs with drug manufacturers, pharmacy chains and other suppliers. Some of these programs require that you have no other prescription coverage, that you meet an income limit or that you pay a fee. In some circumstances pharmaceutical companies provide free prescription medicines. Access to free medicines is through your own physicians.