Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Managing the Costs of Hep C Treatment: 7 Strategies That Work


With proper treatment, most people can be cured of hepatitis C. But antiviral treatment can be expensive, especially if you have little to no health insurance coverage.

Here are some strategies you can use to help manage the costs of hepatitis C.

Check if you’re eligible for medical benefits

It’s easier to manage the costs of treatment if you have health insurance. If you don’t have health insurance and you’re worried that you can’t afford it, you can check to see if you might qualify for help to get insured.

Depending on your health status, household composition, employment history, and income, you might be eligible for government-sponsored medical benefits. For example:


If you have a disability or you’re over the age of 65, you might qualify for Medicare. To learn if you’re eligible for this federal benefits program, use the eligibility and premium calculator at Medicare.gov.

Medicaid and subsidized insurance plans

If your income is low, you might qualify for your state’s Medicaid program. To learn about the eligibility criteria, visit your state’s Medicaid website. You can also find out more at Medicaid.gov.

If your income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but low enough that paying the full cost of insurance premiums is difficult, you may qualify for a subsidy. You can get more information at Healthcare.gov.

Health benefits for veterans

If you’re a veteran, you might be eligible for comprehensive medical benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). For more information, visit the Health Care section of the VA website.

If you’re a spouse, dependant, or family caregiver of a veteran, you might also be able to receive medical benefits through the VA. To learn more, visit the Family and Caregiver Benefits section of the VA website.

Some states might have additional programs available to help people manage the costs of treating hepatitis C. Visit your state government’s website to learn about potential programs.

Consider applying for disability benefits

If complications of liver disease have made it hard for you to meet your responsibilities at work, you might qualify for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. If you receive Social Security disability benefits for two years, you will also be enrolled in Medicare.

It can be challenging to navigate the disability benefits application process. Consider visiting a community legal services center in your area to learn if there are disability rights advocates or other professionals who can guide you through the process.

Look into assistance programs from drug manufacturers

Many drug manufacturers operate patient assistance programs to help uninsured and underinsured patients afford the costs of medication. Consider contacting the manufacturer of your prescribed medication to learn if you qualify for financial assistance.

You can also use the Partnership for Prescription Assistance or RxAssist database to learn more about these programs. The American Liver Foundation also maintains a helpful list of pharmaceutical patient assistance programs specifically for hepatitis C.

Connect with a nonprofit that offers support

Some nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations offer financial support to help people cope with the costs of hepatitis C. For example, you might qualify for one or more of the following:
  • copay, coinsurance, premium, or deductible assistance, if you have insurance
  • discounts on medication, with or without insurance coverage
  • travel support, to help cover the costs of traveling for treatment
  • other types of financial support

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