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How to get help when you have no benefits

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    How to get help when you have no benefits

    Hi all, I've been posting here and there and I want to see my GP for help.(Its a start) I need help i know that, I dont know what I have but I'm so depressed/moody I feel alive one min and and hour later I can be ready to crawl into a corner and just want to be left alone. I dont have any benefits, My wife is no longer employed and she has none...even if I was to prescribed meds I cant afford much... so how do I help myself when I cant afford anything?

    Hello CSM101. This going to take a while to write, and probably even longer for you to digest so don't hesitate to ask something if you are unsure. Plus I'm not saying all of the options that I list are that affordable, they are just less expensive.

    To start with your GP. Ask him to refer you to a psychiatrist(pdoc), they are covered by OHIP, so no cost to you. Your GP may prescribe medication while you are waiting for a pdoc appt. If he does tell him that you are broke and A) ask for samples, because there is no sense in paying for a medication if it doesn't work and you just have to throw it away B) ask for the most affordable meds. For example Citalopram (AKA Celexa) costs about 23 cents per pill , Escitalopram (AKA Cipralex) about 45 cents per pill , and the two are almost identical antidepressants. , so you may as well try the cheaper one first. So don't be afraid to ask is there anything cheaper that I can take. I find that a lot of docs tend to go with the medication that they prescribe the most, even though a cheaper version may work as well.

    In regards to samples, your GP may not have a particular brand for you to try , but all GP's are well supplied with free sampler packs by the drug companies and they are meant to be given away, so don't feel bad about asking.

    Also some pills are splitable, that is they can be split in half. For example sidenafil is splitable and (sidenafil is generic Viagra, and I know that's not an antidepressant, but I just use it as an example) cost $9.20 for one 100 mg pill and $8.84 for a 50 mg pill. For many men the 50mg works as well as the 100mg so why not just buy the 100mg and split it in half thereby making your cost $4.60 per dosage rather than $8.84. Not all doc's will prescribe that way, but some will.

    Drug store prescription costs can be a major expense. If I buy 30 lorazepam, the drug cost is $1.35, but the prescription fee is 12.99 on top of that for a total cost of $14.34. So I buy 90 at one time and my prescription fee is still only $12.99 and my total cost for 90 pills is 17.04. So I get a 3 mth supply for only $2.70 more than a one mth supp;y. Until you decide on which medication works for you, it's not a good idea to buy 90 days at a time, but once you do, it can help cut your costs.

    Also fees vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, but usually the drug cost stays the same. One pharmacy may charge 12.99 and the next one 8.99 to fill a prescription.

    In Ontario there is also the trillium drug benefit plan. It helps to pay for medications depending on your income. The way they do it is you have to pay a deductible each quarter and then they pay the rest. Example: Family of two income of 30,000, quarterly deduction $210, that is if you made $30,000 you would have to pay the first $210 every 3 mths. For $40,000 the quarterly amount is $325 and for $50,000 it's $450. This may not be the way to go if you have only one prescription, but if you and your partner are getting two or three prescriptions per mth, you could save money. It's not the greatest plan, but it can help and it's easy to apply for. Full details on how much the quarterly deductible is can be found at file:///C:/Users/Valued%20Customer/Downloads/014-S46850E-87.pdf and scroll down to about page 20. For details of the basic plan,

    You might also want to keep an eye on the Mood Disorders Associations of Ontario website as they offer free peer support groups, free information, a call in line and sometimes free programs like WRAP (wellness recovery action plan) Take Care. paul m

    "Alone we can do so little;
    Together we can do so much"
    Helen Keller


      As usual Paul M is the source of info.

      I found out something about drug stores not passing costs down to us. I switched from rexall pharma plus to a locally owned pharmacy before I was paying at least 200 a month for my 20 percent co payment via work but the non chain only charges me and this is with way more meds 30 month and in a blister pack. There is something called a smart card and coupons that name brands always have to give to consumers and pharmacies (I'm in Ontario). Also, there is trillium in Ontario too contact your MPP of whichever province you are located, you can get the constituents phone number email info starting at the provincial main page who is my mpp and go from there. I believe you should check on the city website and the mood disorder organization to see if they can hook you up someway doctors don't keep up with the partial type of social assistance I'm not talking welfare if you are working. In ontario trillium covers low income and mental health is all the rage, hence a social worker, MPP's office and city rep all at once can at least give you contacts. this is what taxes are for.


        Thanks guys I will check this stuff out. I've already switched from Shoppers to a smaller pharmacy that's affiliated with a pain clinic. I know the added costs that some pharms retain, I suffer from cluster headaches some of the worst pain humans can feel. 6 pills costs 121.00 at Shoppers the smaller pharmacy costs 88.00 (I was paying for services like email refills, extended hrs etc.). I'm still working but benefits are minimal to zero.