Public Health

What Organizations Can Help Me Pay For My Medical Bills?

Sophie Wei
Sophie Wei31 Mar 2023

Especially in the United States, medical bills can be incredibly burdensome for low-income families or individuals. Although health insurance can be highly costly, several government programs and independent organizations can assist you with health costs.

1. Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) 

Medicaid provides free or low-cost health insurance to lower-income individuals and children. However, specific eligibility requirements must be met for coverage to be received. Factors such as annual income, location, and household size are considered during the application process. You can use this link to determine your eligibility. You can apply through the health insurance marketplace or your state’s respective Medicaid agency. 

2. Extra Help  

Extra help is an extension of Medicare intended for lower-income individuals that qualify for Medicare. The Extra Help program specifically lowers the costs of prescription drugs by cutting down costs for Part D of Medicare. Extra help is also an application-based program; you can apply here.

3. The PAN Foundation

The PAN Foundation is an independent organization dedicated to helping underinsured individuals with chronic or life-threatening conditions access medications and care. The PAN Foundation partners with healthcare providers, donors, and pharmacies to provide affordable care for underinsured individuals. You can apply for a grant via their online portal if you are eligible. There are multiple types of grants, including co-pay, health insurance premiums, transportation, and renewal grants. If received, these grants help pay for out-of-pocket costs for a 12-month period. 

4. Healthwell Foundation 

Similar to the PAN Foundation, the Healthwell Foundation is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial assistance to those with chronic health conditions. This organization helps to pay for prescription copays, transportation, pediatric treatment costs, health insurance copays, premiums and deductibles, and behavioral health services. Use this link to see what specific disease states are eligible for the foundation’s open funds. If eligible, you can apply for disease-specific grants here

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5. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society 

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for blood cancers. Aside from policy advocacy and research funding, they also financial support, support groups, educational resources, and several other helpful materials for those who are impacted by leukemia or lymphomas. In terms of financial support, LLS offers numerous programs to assist patients with co-pays, transportation, non-medical expenses and more.

6. Aunt Bertha

Aunt Bertha is an online database that can help you locate different social service programs that are local to your area. By just inputting your zip code, this search engine can locate thousands of programs in your area to help you save costs on medical services and food, housing, transportation, and legal services. 

7. NeedyMeds

NeedyMeds is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting individuals to programs to help them afford their medications and other medical service costs. This organization also provides a drug discount card that can help you save on common prescription medications. You can use this link to obtain a discount card. 

8. Patient Advocate Foundation

The Patient Advocate Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides financial assistance and case management services to individuals with chronic, life-threatening diseases. This organization’s case management services include helping patients access care, pay for treatment, and pay for living expenses. Like the other organizations mentioned above, the Patient Advocate Foundation is also application-based and requires you to fulfill specific eligibility criteria. Apply here.

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9. The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics

The National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting underserved individuals through financial assistance, education, and advocacy. This organization offers a wide range of resources for free clinics nationwide. These resources include grant opportunities, discounted services and supplies, medication access, and more. You can use this link to locate a clinic near you.

10. Rx Assist

Similar to NeedyMeds, Rx Assist can help you get the lowest price for prescription medications at your pharmacy. This program provides prescription medication discount cards that you can present to your pharmacist at pick-up. Rx assist also provides resources for providers, advocates, and consumers for up-to-date information.

11. Medicare

Medicare is a government health insurance program that provides free or low-cost insurance to individuals 65 or older. Medicare is split into four major parts: Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Original medicare will have both Part A, and Part B. Part A is for hospital coverage/inpatient coverage, while Part B is for outpatient medical services. Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an alternative to original Medicare; this plan will cost more than original Medicare but will provide more comprehensive coverage. Finally, Part D is for prescription drug coverage; Part D plans are covered in Medicare Advantage plans, but you also have the option to add a Part D plan to an original Medicare plan.

Bottom Line

Although health insurance costs are challenging to deal with in the United States due to a lack of access and transparency, several generous and charitable organizations strive to help people gain adequate access to necessary healthcare services. The above organizations are all excellent resources for medical costs and are great ways to help decrease the burden of your medical bills. 

Sophie Wei

Sophie is a 2024 Pharm D. candidate studying pharmacy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She has a passion for healthcare and writing and hopes to make meaningful contributions to healthcare transparency and accessibility. In her free time, she likes to take care of her houseplants, cook, and hang out with her cat.