Financial Aid Organizations That Help Pay for Your Medications and Surgery

Here’s the Arthritis Foundation guide to private groups that give financial assistance for arthritis medications and joint surgery.


More Arthritis Foundation resources:

Get Help Paying for Medicare and Prescriptions

Pharmaceutical Company Programs That Help Lower the Cost of Medication

If you are like many people with arthritis, you depend on your medications to prevent joint damage and maintain daily function. What if you can't afford those medications? What if you ultimately need joint replacement surgery but can't pay for it? Take heart. You may be able to find financial help, but you'll have to do some homework. The Arthritis Foundation can help you get started.

Below are some resources for financial assistance. To learn more and get the most up-to-date information about any of these resources, visit the websites or call the numbers listed.

This is not a complete list of financial assistance sources. Ask your doctor, nurse or a social worker for guidance if you need help paying for your medications or surgery. Health care professionals have access to some resources that patients don't. Professionals apply on behalf of their patients.

General Prescription Assistance

The Assistance Fund
This program offers multiple levels of financial assistance for prescription expenses.

Benefits CheckUp
This service of the National Council on Aging helps people find government and private programs to help pay for prescriptions and other health and daily living needs.

Good Days from CDF
Formerly known as the Chronic Disease Fund, this organization funds medication co-pay assistance for those who cannot afford their medication. Requires proof of income; offers one-day approval.  

The HealthWell Foundation
Out-of-pocket prescription cost assistance provided to those diagnosed with gout or systemic lupus erythematosus who need one of a select list of disease-specific medications.

A comprehensive source of information on assistance programs available for people having difficulties paying for their medications or health care.

Patient Advocate Foundation
This foundation’s Co-pay Relief program provides assistance with out-of-pocket medication expenses to those who are eligible. Its Patient Services Program provides arbitration, mediation and negotiation to settle issues about access to care, medical debt, and job retention related to their illness.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance
888-4PPA-NOW (888-477-2669)
A clearinghouse funded by biopharmaceutical research companies that provides access to 475 industry and private organizations that help pay for more than 2,500 generic and brand-name medications. It includes more than 40 programs that focus on children.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance for Kids
888-4PPA-NOW (888-477-2669)
A clearinghouse that can direct you to more than 40 financial assistance programs targeted specifically to children (see above).

Rx Outreach
A fully-licensed mail order pharmacy that provides more than 500 brand-name and generic prescription medicines at reduced cost to low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals and families, as well as those who have limited insurance coverage for prescription drugs.

Private Medicare Prescription Assistance 

Patient Access Network Foundation
866-316-PANF (866-316-7263)
This foundation provides annual allocations to help cover out-of-pocket costs related to prescriptions (co-payment, deductible or co-insurance) for low-income patients with specific diagnoses. Maximum annual allocations vary by diagnosis (ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis: $3,800/year; uveitis: $1,500/year). Patient must be on Medicare, and Medicare must cover the medication for which assistance is needed. 

Medicare Rights Center
This private organization helps people in need who are on Medicare find financial assistance through such programs as Medicare Part D Extra Help, a federal program that helps pay Medicare prescription drug costs. 

Assistance with Joint Replacement Surgery

Operation Walk USA
Operation Walk USA is an independent medical humanitarian organization that provides free hip or knee replacement surgeries at participating sites in more than 20 states across the nation. To be considered, prospective patients must: be over 18 years old, be a US citizen or documented permanent resident, be uninsured, and meet certain income requirements.. Medicare and Medicaid patients are not eligible.

Updated: 9-22-2015

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