Don  t Let Chronic Pain Tax Your Finances

Expenses for treating chronic pain can really add up. There are doctor's appointments, therapy appointments and prescriptions. But for people who live with chronic pain, relief is priceless. How do you balance the benefits of  treatment against the costs? Read on for ideas for making treatment more affordable.

Chronic pain affects millions of Americans and is one of the top causes for lost productivity and lost days at work.  Having an effective treatment plan for your pain condition may mean the difference between making a living and not. If you're missing work because of pain, it's time to see your doctor. He may be able to prescribe medications and therapies that are covered by your insurance and help get you back to the workplace. 

Ask your doctor about:

  • Prescribing three-months worth of medications instead of one. While this may not be an option for all medications, those that are, may be less expensive.
  • Reputable, reliable, online pharmacies that may have cheaper, more competitive prescription prices.
  • Shop around. Not all doctors and pharmacies charge the same for similar products and services.

If you don't have insurance or are among the millions of Americans who are under insured (their policy doesn't cover everything or their premiums and co-pays are more than they can afford), there are many programs that can help deflect costs. Many pharmaceutical companies provide prescription medications to patients who can't afford them. Ask your physician to help you make that connection.

Check out:

  • The National Council on Aging Benefits Checkup Guide for programs that may help you afford your prescriptions and therapies.
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance, which helps qualifying patients without prescription drug coverage get the medicines they need for free or nearly free.
  • The HealthWell Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps people with insurance who cannot afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.

Other options:

  • Consider opening a health savings account (a tax-advantaged medical savings account) at your work.
  • Investigate long-term care insurance
  • Talk to a financial counselor/attorney about how to protect your assets.
  • Apply for Medicare and Social Security Disability Benefits.


National Council on Aging -

Partnership for Prescription Assistance -

Healthwell Foundation