Tips for Paying for Treatment with Parkinson’s

Dealing with a chronic illness like Parkinson’s disease (PD) can be expensive, and many people with PD find they need help paying for treatment, as well as the other services and equipment that they need. For patients with insurance, costs can range from on average $2,500 for newly diagnosed patients to up to $44,862 for advanced patients in a skilled nursing facility.1

There are several different avenues for getting help with healthcare costs, as well as other financial needs.

Health insurance

Health insurance protects the patient and family from being solely responsible for the cost of medical services. A person with PD should have health insurance that includes hospitalization, major medical coverage, generous prescription coverage, and possibly long-term care insurance. There are various types of insurance, available through employers, the government, and for individual purchase.

Pharmaceutical manufacturers

Several pharmaceutical companies offer patient assistance programs to provide free medications to individuals that cannot afford their medicines.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials provide another avenue for getting needed medications, as well as providing an opportunity for people with PD to participate in research that can benefit the larger Parkinson’s community. In a clinical trial, medications and basic healthcare monitoring are covered. To find current PD trials, go to ClinicalTrials.gov or Fox Trial Finder on the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research website.

Government assistance

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), also known as Disability, can provide financial assistance to people of working age who are unable to work because of their health condition.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is another government assistance program that provides a monthly amount to help people with disabilities who need support to meet their basic living expenses.

Non-profit organizations

  • Melvin Weinstein Parkinson’s Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals with PD. Funds are available to assist with medical equipment, such as walkers, wheelchairs, and canes, as well as funding for home health care.
  • Parkinson’s Wellness Fund provides grants to individuals with PD and their caregivers for health care services. The grants are given in vouchers that are good for services through a network of professionals that provide care.
  • Patient Access Network Foundation provides assistance to individuals with PD who have insurance but cannot cover their out-of-pocket expenses to pay for their medications.
  • The Assistance Fund provides funding for medications for several conditions, including PD, to eligible individuals. Financial assistance is available to help cover co-pay costs of medications after insurance has paid its portion.

Respite care

Caregivers who live with and support someone with PD may need respite care to provide caregiving assistance. In addition to local agencies that may be available, national programs for respite care for people who cannot afford hourly home care include the National Family Caregiver Support Program and VA Respite Care.

Additional financial assistance programs

The Parkinson’s Foundation also provides a listing of financial assistance programs and organizations.

Written by: Emily Downward | Last reviewed: March 2017
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