Finding Health Insurance & Medication Assistance

Access to health insurance is important to all Americans. However, people who have chronic health conditions sometimes find it difficult to obtain health insurance, particularly if they are unemployed or unable to work. People with epilepsy are also often faced with the extra burden of paying for their own medicines to control their seizures. Fortunately, there are programs in Pennsylvania designed to ensure that consumers have access to health insurance and receive their much-needed medicines even when they cannot afford to pay for them.

Health Insurance

Medical Assistance

Some people are eligible for Medical Assistance through the PA Department of Public Welfare (Medicaid). To qualify for Medicaid, one must meet the income and other requirements set by the PA Department of Public Welfare. To find out more, or to see what the requirements are, contact the PA Welfare Information Helpline at 1-800-692-7462. If you have access to a computer with the internet, you can apply online at the COMPASS website by clicking here.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

In addition, Pennsylvania has a state children’s health insurance program called Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that extends Medicaid coverage to children whose parents’ income is too high to qualify them for Medicaid. This program does have prescription drug coverage for children. For more information on this program, or to apply, call 1-800-986-5437. If you have access to a computer with the internet, you can apply online by clicking here.

Help Paying for Medicines

If you do not have health insurance and/or your health insurance does not include prescription drug coverage, help may be available.

PACE/PACENET

Many of Pennsylvania’s senior citizens are eligible for a prescription drug program called PACE/PACENET. These programs are administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and offer comprehensive prescription coverage to older Pennsylvanians to cover the cost of most medications that require prescriptions, including insulin, syringes and insulin needles. These programs do not cover over-the-counter medicines, medical equipment or doctor, hospital, dental or vision services. There are no premiums or monthly fees charged to people who enroll in these programs.

You can learn more about PACE and PACENET and even enroll in these programs on-line by visiting the Department of Aging website at www.aging.state.pa.us or call 1-800-225-7223.

Pharmaceutical Company Patient Assistance Programs

Many pharmaceutical companies also offer Patient Assistance Programs for people who cannot afford the cost of medications and have household income too high to be eligible for Medicaid. For a list of pharmaceutical assistance programs for some of the most commonly prescribed epilepsy medicines, click here.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can always call the Epilepsy Foundation Western/Central Pennsylvania at 1-800-361-5885 (Western PA) or 1-800-336-0301 (Central PA) for help enrolling in a Patient Assistance Program.

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