Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A Helping Hand

Good health care and the right medication can make a world of difference in the lives of people with COPD and other chronic illnesses. But health care and medication are costly and for the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans who need them, the cost puts what they need out of their reach.

There is some help available. The sites listed below are a good place to start. And don't be reluctant to talk to your doctor about your finances - he or she may have other suggestions to help you along.'Information you need to get your medicine'NeedyMeds is the best source of information about assistance programs that help with the cost of medicine and other healthcare expenses. (their page is very slow to load - give it time, it's well worth it)

Benefits Check Up - benefitscheckup.orgMany older people need help paying for prescription drugs, health care, utilities and other basic needs. Ironically, millions of older Americans — especially those with limited incomes — are eligible for but not receiving benefits from existing federal, state and local programs. Ranging from heating and energy assistance to prescription savings programs to income supplements, there are many public programs available to seniors in need if they only knew about them and how to apply for them.

Developed and maintained by The National Council on Aging (NCOA), BenefitsCheckUp is the nation's most comprehensive Web-based service to screen for benefits programs for seniors with limited income and resources. - Your Benefits Connection" is a resource for all citizens and includes information on a variety of benefit and assistance programs for veterans, seniors, students, teachers, children, people with disabilities, dependents, disaster victims, farmers, caregivers, job seekers, prospective homeowners, and more. Citizens are encouraged to visit the website regularly, particularly when life events - applying for college, seeking food/nutrition services, property damaged following a storm, retirement, starting a business, etc. - occur that could change their eligibility status.

Using is simple: Go to and determine how you want to search for benefit programs. Search by locating Federal or State benefits, browse by category, or immediately take the questionnaire. You may answer a list of confidential questions to determine your potential eligibility and receive a customized report detailing the programs you or the person you are helping may be eligible to receive and information on how to apply."