Managing Prescription Costs

Most stroke survivors leave the hospital with several prescriptions. The cost of these can be a significant blow to any budget. Below are some resources that may help. Typically, these types of programs require:

  • Doctor’s consent
  • Proof of your financial status
  • Proof that you are uninsured or have no drug benefit coverage.

Find out if you’re eligible for a Pharmacy Assistance Program (PAP)

Most pharmaceutical companies offer prescription assistance programs for patients. The programs provide free or low-cost drugs to uninsured people who can’t afford their medication. Most brand name drugs are included in the programs.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)

A clearinghouse for more than 475 public and private assistance programs, including nearly 200 offered by pharmaceutical companies. The programs help qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need.

The PPA website is a portal through which you can enroll in programs that allow you to get your medications free or nearly free. For more information, call 1-888-477-2669 or visit

Rx Assist

Rx Assist has a directory of assistance programs. You can also get a drug discount card that provides 10 - 40 percent savings for many generic and brand name medications. They list programs that help with medication co-pays and those that provide free and low-cost healthcare and information for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.

NeedyMeds has a searchable list of diagnosis-based assistance programs with descriptions and contact information.

They recently launched a first-of-its-kind program with Rx Outreach that helps patients buy generic medication if they’re unable to afford it. Called the Generic Assistance Program (GAP), it will offer nearly 20 generic medications at no cost to eligible people. These drugs are essential to many people’s health. They have a helpline for this program in English and Spanish: 1-888-203-7687.

They also have a list of state-sponsored programs and offer a prescription drug discount card. They offer monthly webinars explaining their many patient assistance resources. Their general helpline is 1-800-503-6897.

Other Ways to Cut Costs

  • Talk to your doctor. Before switching to generic drugs or less expensive brand name prescription drugs, discuss your concerns about costs with your doctor. This is not always the case, but sometimes your doctor may be able to give you free samples of medications until you can enroll in an assistance program.
  • Compare costs at your local pharmacies. Many pharmacies list their prices for commonly prescribed drugs online, or you can call local pharmacies to request prices for your medications.
  • helps you find the best price on prescription drugs. Different pharmacies can have extremely different pricing. The GoodRx website and apps for smartphones and tablets allow you to enter your medication and dosage and find the best deal on your specific prescription. They also provide pharmacy coupons, manufacturer discounts, generics, comparable drug choices and savings tips all in one place. All free to the consumer.

Medicare Part D

If you are a U.S. citizen age 65 or older and qualify to collect Social Security benefits then you should be eligible for Medicare. Medicare prescription drug coverage, commonly called Part D, covers brand name and generic prescription drugs at participating pharmacies in your area. Everyone enrolled in Medicare is eligible, regardless of income, health status or current prescription expenses.

Extra Help

The Extra Help program helps eligible Medicare recipients pay for some or most of their prescription drugs. The level of assistance depends on your situation; for instance, if you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid or receive SSI, the program offers a discount card.

But keep in mind that you can’t use a discount card and Part D coverage at the same time. If you’re enrolled in Part D, it’s better to use your discount card only during your plan’s deductible and coverage gap periods (known as "the doughnut hole"). Your co-pays count toward Part D’s out-of-pocket limit ($4,550 in 2014). But any drugs received through Patient Assistance Programs don’t count toward your out-of-pocket costs. 

Safety Net Providers

Pharmacies in some government-funded hospitals and community health clinics provide medication at low cost and charge you based on your income. Some of these pharmacies waive co-pays for Part D drugs if you ask for assistance.

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs

Some states have PAPs to help pay for prescriptions. Many of these programs coordinate with Medicare Part D regarding co-pays and out-of-pocket costs. See a list of State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs at

Download the American Stroke Association’s free Finances After Stroke Guide for more helpful information.

This information is provided as a resource to our readers. The tips, products or resources listed have not been reviewed or endorsed by the American Stroke Association.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

After stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type of rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy may consist of Several types of therapy. Whether a patient is referred to inpatient or outpatient therapy depends on the level of medical care required.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-part series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Occipital Lobe

Our occipital lobe, the smallest of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, controls how we visually interpret our world.

When Stroke Affects the Cerebellum

The cerebellum contains 80 percent of our neurons. Its job seems to be to make things better. We talked with neuroscientist Jeremy Schmahmann about how stroke affects the “little brain.”

When Stroke Affects the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe helps us make sense of sensory information, like where our bodies and body parts are in space, our sense of touch, and the part of our vision that deals with the location of objects.

When Stroke Affects the Frontal Lobe

Of the four lobes that make up the cerebral cortex, the frontal lobe is the largest. It plays a huge role in many of the functions that make us human — memory, language, movement, judgment, abstract thinking.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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Life At The Curb

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Simple Cooking

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Helping Others Understand

Stroke affects people differently and many of the effects of stroke can be complicated. Helping friends and family understand how a stroke is affecting a survivor can help everyone involved.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!