Everyday, I hear from people who are struggling to pay the costs of bipolar disorder. There is no question it's an expensive illness but there are a number of things you can do to lower the cost to you. Let's take a look at a few of them.

  • Let your doctor and therapist know you are on a 'fixed income' limited budget or have financial problems. Ask him/her for any suggestions on how to lower the cost of your medicine and doctor's visits.
  • Ask your doctor if he/she has free samples of any of your medicines you are on. Free samples several times a year can save you a lot of money over time.
  • Get a prescription card. Some people like prescription cards, some people don't. Some of them are worth it and some aren't. Take a half day to do some research to see if there will be any savings for you with them. To find some go to www.google.com and type 'Prescription Card' or 'Prescription Drug Card' and check out what you find.
  • Call all the local and state mental health centers and ask for any plans on lowering the costs of your care. In different states there are different programs depending on your needs. Try thiese programs as well:http://www.themedicineprogram.comhttp://www.freemedicineprogram.com/http://medicinebridge.com/http://www.wecaremedicalmall.org/www.wehelpmeds.com    DISCLAIMER: I am NOT endorsing the programs, I have no involvement in them. Make sure you get all the facts first before you do anything.
  • Get the right insurance. A lot of people don't have the right insurance plan or aren't maximizing it. I can't get in to how to do this other than, sit down and ask yourself, is there a better way to maximize my plan. Call all the 800# associated with your plan. Ask questions. Talk to you human resources department. Ask others with your plan. Once you start thinking this way, you will be amazed at what you start to figure out.
  • Get low cost or free medicine from your doctor. Some doctors actually have medicine on hand through a system they self create for those in need. Make sure you ask your doctor
  • Ask your doctor for a sliding scale of payments. Many times when you tell a doctor of your financial hardship-and be ready to prove it with tax information, bank account records and bills so they believe you, he/she will work out a reduced fee program. I have heard of some doctors and therapists knocking off up to 75% of their fees. In some cases, some doctors work for free if you agree to pay their regular rate at a point in the future. Be honest and talk it over with your doctor and see what he/she says.
  • Go to free local screening instead of paid ones. If you look in the paper, you will see a health care directory and calendar. You will find there are many screening that are done for free or at a very low cost. They are sponsored by reputable doctors and hospitals. The thing is, most people never use them. You should.
  • See if you qualify for free medicine through the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association at 202-835-3450 that lists a complete list of companies that offer free or low cost medicine for needy individuals.