More than 3 million people in the United States are infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is a virus that can destroy the liver and cause liver cancer. About 15-25% of people who become infected will clear the virus from their bodies without any treatment, according to the CDC. Over the last few years, new medications have been released onto the market that have high cure rates, almost up to 90% or higher cure rates depending on the drug and population tested. However, these new medications are costly. Paying for hepatitis C cures is a major concern for healthcare administrators and patients.
Here is a compilation of resources for finding financial assistance to pay for hepatitis C medications or even receive free treatment.
Medicaid is a government program for low-income families and individuals. It includes a compilation of insurance plans that have fee-for-service and managed care options. Medicaid patients have access to hepatitis C therapy due to negotiated contracts between pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Medicaid plans get charged the lowest rates offered by pharmaceutical companies in comparison to other payers. Pharmacies receive a minimum rebate of 23.1% of the average manufacturer price. Eligibility for Medicaid varies from state to state.
For more information visit medicaid.gov.
Drugs for HCV are covered through Medicare part D. Commercial health plans and PBMs negotiate discounts or rebates with pharmaceutical companies. As of July 2015, all part D plans cover at least 1 recently introduced hepatitis C drug. Most plans still charge high coinsurance and require prior authorizations for the new hepatitis C drugs.
The Veteran’s Health Administration
The Veterans Health Administration gets rebates through a federal supply schedule. This schedule sets drug prices for many government agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, federal prisons, and Department of Defense. These agencies typically get substantial discounts over average wholesale price (AWP) medications.
Next: Manufacturers Copay Coupons And Other Prescription Assistance Programs