Thursday, August 23, 2007

Prescription Advocacy - Frequently Asked Questions about Patient Assistance Programs

Patient assistance programs run by large pharmaceutical companies have been in existence for more than 15 years. A major problem is that few people know about the existence of these programs or understand the complicated application and approval process required to participate in a Prescription Assistance Program.

AmeriPlan USA, a discount health plans company, recently added a new program called AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Program (APAP). This program is available to all AmeriPlan dental and medical plan members who meet certain income eligibility requirements and have $90 or more in monthly prescription expenses. In many cases, members may have hundreds and even thousands of dollars in prescription expenses each month. The AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Plan can help patients navigate through the complicated application process so that they can receive their medications for free.

Here are some frequently asked questions about Patient Assistance Programs taken from the AmeriPlan website:

What is a Patient Assistance Program?

These programs are offered by the pharmaceutical industry to assist low income people who don’t have prescription drug coverage. These programs have been in existence for the past 15-20 years. So far PAPs have only reached a fraction of those who need them. APAP provides a real value to those who need expert advice, assistance and processing of needed prescriptions through PAPs.

Why do drug companies offer these programs?

PAPs are the philanthropic effort of the drug companies to reach out to those people who have low incomes and no drug coverage.

Where do these medications come from?

Medications are generally mailed directly from the pharmaceutical companies to the client’s home or in some cases, to the doctor’s office. APAP will notify the client in such cases.

Are PAPs a type of Rx discount plan?

No. Discount plans only provide patients a discount on their medication either at the pharmacy or through mail-order. PAPs provide access to free drug programs offered through the pharmaceutical industry. APAP provides a service to these consumers – taking the time and effort to apply and re-apply for these programs on their behalf.

How does AmeriPlan have access to these free prescriptions through PAPs?

APAP applies on behalf of the client to Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are offered by various pharmaceutical companies. For the average consumer, the application process of applying to multiple PAPs can be very challenging due to each pharmaceutical company’s individual eligibility requirements.

What are the elibility requirements to qualify for these programs?

A qualifying applicant needs to be within 2 times the federal poverty line and have no current coverage for specified medications.

For more information on the AmeriPlan Prescription Advocacy Program visit: and read my blog post: A Little Known Secret - Patient Assistance Programs.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Affordable Dental Plans

Now that it is back to school time and your child will be required to bring in completed dental and medical examination forms, it might be time to give some thought to your family’s dental plan. What if you or your children need some serious dental work? What if your child needs orthodontic treatment? If there are any senior citizens living in your household, they may have medical coverage through Medicare, but do they have an affordable dental plan?

It is a known fact that 7 out of 10 Americans do not have a dental plan. Even among those who do have dental insurance, many dental plans prove to be very inadequate. In my work as an AmeriPlan® Independent Business Owner, I speak to many individuals each day who lack affordable dental coverage. Even if they have the good fortune to have dental insurance provided by their employer, often these plans do not provide any coverage for orthodontic treatment for their children, have waiting periods for ongoing conditions, and most have serious limits on coverage. With the high cost of dentistry, a $1,000 per year limit for dental treatment won’t take a family very far.

Discount dental plans provide the consumer with an excellent choice for saving money on dental care. These affordable dental plans are reasonably priced alternatives to expensive dental insurance plans. Savings can range from 25% for specialist treatment to 80% for exams. Most major dental services, such as root canals, fillings, crowns and bridges, and orthodontic treatment, offer savings from 50% to 60%, literally cutting a family’s dental bill more than half.

Some added features that a good discount dental plan provides are:

· No limit on visit or services
· Ongoing dental problems are accepted
· Instant savings
· No paperwork
· No age limit
· No waiting period
· Orthodontia and cosmetic dentistry are included

When looking for an affordable dental plan, look for a plan that offers a good choice of dentists in your area, is a member of the National Association of Dental Plans, and has an 800 customer service number. In addition, many dental plans offer value added services such as discounts on vision care, prescriptions, and chiropractic. For more information on affordable dental plans, visit my website at:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Little Known Secret - Patient Assistance Programs

With so many uninsured and underinsured people in the United States and the high cost of prescription drugs, you hear stories about people who have to make a decision about whether to pay for their groceries or their prescription medications. You also hear of people who cut their pills in half because they cannot afford their medications. Unfortunately, patients taking multiple medications or receiving treatment for conditions like Cancer, HIV-AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other serious illnesses may face hundreds and even thousands of dollars in prescription costs each month.

For over 15 years, more than 200 pharmaceutical companies representing 1,100 brand-name drugs have been providing prescription medications to eligible individuals through Patient Assistance Programs. These programs assist eligible individuals who cannot afford their prescription medications due to limited income or other financial hardships.

A major problem is that few people know about the existence of these programs or understand the complicated application and approval process required to participate in a Prescription Assistance Program.

AmeriPlan®, a discount benefits company, has partnered with EZ Meds USA to help patients take advantage of these Patient Assistance Programs. The AmeriPlan® Prescription Advocacy Program (APAP) provides an easy, affordable way to obtain costly prescription medications.

Traditionally, participation in a Patient Assistance Program required a lengthy qualification, application and approval process for the patient for each medication. Now, with the AmeriPlan® Prescription Advocacy Program, all the legwork is done for you, allowing you to receive your medications at substantial savings ~ worry-free!

For a small monthly fee, AmeriPlan® does all of the legwork on the Member’s behalf, allowing the Member to enjoy a worry-free way to receive their medications at substantial savings.

These services include the following:

· Determine initial eligibility for the client
· Gather all the necessary documentation
· Complete the required application on the client’s behalf
· Send properly competed forms to the prescribing physicians for completion
· Send completed physician forms to the appropriate Patient Assistance Programs
· Monitoring every step of the process from initial application to medication delivery
· Medications come in 90 day supplies and all refills and renewals are handled automatically

For more information on this excellent program visit:

Monday, August 13, 2007

U.S. Lags Behind 41 Nations in Life Span - Commentary

The following AP article caught my attention the other day when it posted on AOL news: “U.S. Lags Behind 41 Nations in Life Span.” Although the U.S. spends more per capita on health care than any other nation, the article states that Japan and most of Europe surpass the United States in life expectancy.

Dr. Christopher Murray, of the University of Washington, was interviewed for the AP article. He stated that: “Something’s wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries.” In fact, U.S. life expectancy moved down from 11th place to 42nd on the list.

Although several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized countries, researchers state that a major reason is the fact that over 47 million Americans lack health insurance while our counterparts in Canada and most European countries have universal health care.

In addition to the uninsured, many Americans are underinsured and may lack prescription drug coverage, adequate mental health coverage, or dental insurance. People without adequate health insurance will wait longer before seeking treatment allowing illnesses to become more serious and difficult to treat. The uninsured and underinsured may also skip necessary preventative examinations and treatment. Every day there are people in the U.S. who have to make the difficult choice between skimping on food and paying for their medications. This should not be the case in a wealthy country like the United States.

It is not by choice that many people do not have health insurance. Smaller companies can no longer afford the high cost of health benefits for their employees. This leaves employees to find their own insurance. For those with pre-existing conditions, it may be impossible to find coverage, even for those that can afford the high premiums. For many, the high cost of health care is beyond their means to pay.

Consumer Directed Health Care companies can make paying for health care more affordable. Discount health plans can be combined with high deductible health savings plans to keep costs more affordable for businesses. Discount health plans can also help individuals and families who do not have insurance pay for needed health care by reducing the costs of doctor and dental fees; ancillary services such as lab tests, imaging studies, hearing aids, diabetic supplies; prescriptions; vision; and chiropractic care. For more information on affordable health care plans visit:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What Are Discount Health Plans? Part 1

If you follow the news regularly, you hear the shocking statistic that over 48,000,000 Americans do not have any health insurance. In addition 7 out of 10 Americans do not have a dental plan. The cost of medical insurance has quite literally “gone through the roof.” The cost of insuring a family is well over $900 a month—well beyond the means of the average family to pay.

Unless you work full time for a large employer, you may find yourself among the 48,000,000 plus Americans with no health insurance. If you are self employed, lose your job, work part time, or work for a small company, you will find yourself among the uninsured. Even for those that can afford the high cost of carrying their own health insurance, insurance companies are looking for reasons not to cover an individual. If you find yourself looking for your own policy and have a chronic condition such as asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental illness, or high cholesterol, you will find it difficult or even impossible to purchase health insurance. Even conditions like overweight or prescription drug use will disqualify you from a traditional policy.

Discount health and dental plans were created to help individuals, families and businesses who either could not afford or were turned down by traditional health insurance. Discount health plans enable consumers to purchase healthcare products and services at discounted rates.
Members of discount health plans typically enjoy discounts of up to 80% on all major healthcare services. Patients enjoy instant savings without the paperwork, waiting periods, or preauthorization needed for required treatment. Unlike traditional insurance, all ongoing conditions are accepted. In addition there are no limits on mental health treatment or dental visits. Deep discounts are also provided on services not normally covered by traditional insurance such as cosmetic surgery, alternative medicine, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontia, and even Lasik eye surgery.

For more on discount health plans subscribe to this blog and visit my website at:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Importance of Prevention

The tragedy of the I-35 West Bridge in Minneapolis was probably caused by a combination of infrequent bridge inspections, the failure to heed warning signs, and lack of adequate care and maintenance. Our hearts and prayers go out to those people who were killed or severely injured in this tragedy. By some miracle the death toll was not as high as it could have been, but this tragedy could have been averted with a proper schedule of maintenance.

The same is true of our bodies. We should not neglect regular examinations or signs that something is not right. It is important to know your body. Do a skin examination to look for any unusual moles or lesions. Women should do monthly breast self examinations. Make a note of any unusual symptoms that you may have. If they persist, see your health care provider for further evaluation. Don’t neglect periodic medical or dental exams.

Even better, practicing preventive medicine can avoid many of these problems in the first place. Many chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease could be prevented by proper diet, nutrition, and a regular exercise program. Avoidance of additives and junk foods also play a role in preventing illness and poor health. The use of vitamins and supplements can also limit the ravages of the aging process.

Often people forgo preventive care because they lack money. As was said very often this past week, a bridge shouldn’t fall into a river in the United States. It should also be said that all Americans should have access to proper healthcare no matter what their level of income. For some ideas on how to reduce the cost of healthcare, visit my website at:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Welcome to

Welcome to This will be a serious blog where we can discuss healthcare issues such as the high cost of medical care, alternative medicine, consumer directed healthcare, vitamins and supplements, current topics in healthcare, and other issues related to healthcare. I hope to share some lighter moments also.

Here are some of the topics that I will be writing about in this blog:
  • The medication of our school children
  • Natural cures for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other chronic illnesses
  • The high number of uninsured and underinsured in the United States
  • Ways to cut medical care costs
  • Consumer driven healthcare
  • Why cash paying patients are charged more in hospitals
  • The role that HMOs and big pharmaceutical companies play in the high cost of medical care
  • Current health issues
  • Alternative and preventive medicine
  • Dental and medical discount benefit plans
  • How invented diseases keep drug company profits healthy
  • A little known secret that will save you hundreds of dollars on your prescriptions
Look for posts on these topics and more in the next few weeks and months. Your commentary on these important issues is welcome. To subscribe to my monthly health issues newsletter visit my website at: