After COBRA runs out, what are some agencies, resources that might help me with my meds and medical care?   I live in ILI'm terrified about not being able to get medical care as I have some health...

After COBRA runs out, what are some agencies, resources that might help me with my meds and medical care?   I live in IL

I'm terrified about not being able to get medical care as I have some health issues that require some meds.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Once COBRA is exhausted, you will have to do considerable research to provide for medical care and prescriptions.  First, you need to find out if you are income-eligible for Medicaid, which is probably administered by your county. If you are not eligible for Medicaid, check with your state government to see if there is any low-cost state-managed insurance program you might be eligible for.  Another alternative is a private insurer, but this is often more costly than COBRA, particularly if you have pre-existing conditions. 

If you are not able to find any help through any of the options above, you might consider whether you have any medical conditions that would make you eliglible for SSDI.  If you are, I believe you will be eligible for Medicare one year after you are determined eligible for SSDI. 

If none of these are helpful, check with your doctors to see if they offer discounts for cash or discounts for the uninsured. Also, always ask if they have medication samples or discount cards from pharmaceutical companies. Always ask if a generic is available.  If you live in a major metropolitan area and there is a medical school or major hospital system, see if any clinic might be able to treat you at a reduced cost.  If possible, find a service that allows you to purchase a three-month supply of medication, which is often at a deep discount. Compare costs of drugs.  Often, major drugstore and discount stores have better prices than a neighborhood drugstore.

Last but not least, write to, email, and call your senators and representatives and tell them you want healthcare reform now, including a public option!