One of the great links on our blogroll is courtesy of our own Bob Vineyard: Bob collected and organized his Patient Assistance Programs roundup as a way to help his own clients, and has graciously shared them with us.
The PAP is a compendium of links that "provide assistance to low income individuals & families when it comes to medical care."
And our West Coast contributor, Bill Halper, braved the flames to bring us a link to the Foundation for Health Care Coverage Education. At Coverage for All, "you'll find options for free or low cost health coverage," as well as other valuable and helpful tools. We've just added CFA to the blogroll.
Thank You Bob and Bill!
When I recently told a friend about these resources, he was surprised, and a little angry, that this information wasn't more widely publicized. It's really not a deep, dark secret, but I do agree that the industry could do a better job of making people aware of these tremendously helpful programs.
We're just doing our part.
And Mike has pointed out that, regardless of one's insurance plan, it may well be worthwhile to take advantage of the new generic offerings at such retailers as Walmart, Target, Kroger's and others. For some, this will be an obvious savings (i.e. those whose plans include a minimum generic co-pay, usually far in excess of $4), while for others the savings may not be as large (those without such restrictions).
Again, it's all about consumer empowerment and transparency:
How much more empowered can one be than to have so many choices? And how much more transparent can we get than "$4" in blazing neon?