New Beginnings Support Group

  Reducing Costs

A Chapter of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance

A free support group for people with mood disorders & their loved ones

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Reducing Treatment Costs

People often feel that they cannot afford the financial burden of caring for their disorder.  Psychiatry visits, therapy, medications, etc. can add up to very high monthly costs.  There are ways of reducing these costs without impacting your quality of care though.  Here are some ideas.


Many insurances plans cover mental health expenses.  If you are unsure about your insurance contact your company for specific information about coverage.  It is important to find out the limits of insurance coverage.  Many plans limit items such as the number of therapy visits in a year and sometimes there is a lifetime cap on certain items.


Mental Health Providers - (Psychiatrists, Therapists, etc.)


Psychiatrists and therapists often have a "sliding scale" of charges.  They rarely mention this unless specifically asked.  They realize that their services may be too expensive for some people so fees can often be adjusted based upon a person's ability to pay.  Remember though that these people have their own financial responsibilities and therefore deserve appropriate compensation for their services.


If you live near a college than has degrees for psychiatry or one of the various degrees used by therapists, then students (or interns) may be available nearby at little or no cost.


Prescription and OTC Drug Cost Reduction


The Slash Drug Costs Nonprofit Organization 


There are ways for people of any income level to reduce their total drug costs.  This site is a place where people share their methods for lowering expenses.   NOTE: New Beginnings does not advocate all of the methods given on this site to cut prescription expenses.  Any changes that involves using something other than exactly what is prescribed should always be discussed first with your doctor.


If you have a low income then possibly you qualify for certain public health coverage such as Medicaid.  In New Jersey there are plans to help with prescription costs such as "Senior Gold" (which is not just for seniors) and "PAAD".


New Jersey's PAAD and Senior Gold programs  New Jersey's PAAD program will provides state-funded prescription assistance to over 190,000 New Jersey residents.  New Jersey's Senior Gold program provides state-funded prescription assistance to nearly 30,000 New Jersey residents.


Rx4NJ, a Web site designed to help low-income, uninsured New Jersey residents get free or discounted brand-name medicines.

Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs 
Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs is a public education project of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports. Consumers Union is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace and to empower consumers as they buy products and services. 

NeedyMeds is a 501(3)(c) non-profit with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or healthcare costs. The information at NeedyMeds is available anonymously and free of charge.

The Partnership for Prescription Assistance 
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance brings together America's pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or private program that's right for them. Many will get them free or nearly free. Its mission is to increase awareness of patient assistance programs and boost enrollment of those who are eligible. Through this site, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. To access the Partnership for Prescription Assistance by phone, you can call toll-free, 1-888-4PPA-NOW (1-888-477-2669).


Many people fill their prescriptions in a foreign country such as Canada to take advantage of lower costs.  It is important to know that this is against federal law.  You may spend your money on these drugs only to have them seized by U.S. Customs.  There also is an increased chance of getting "counterfeit drugs" from some locations.


I-SaveRx  or call 1-866-I-SAVE33.

There is a program that several states are doing to help their residents reduce drug costs and increase the safety of buying drugs from a foreign country. It should be noted that the federal government also treats this program as illegal. The program is called I-SaveRx. It is available and open to all Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and Vermont residents (other states are considering joining the program).. 


Shopping around for the best prescription prices can make a large difference.  Strangely enough, "Mom & Pop" drug stores often beat the prices of major drug store chains.  Sometimes super-stores or "club" stores have better prices.  Be careful if you shop on the internet because it is easier to be defrauded.


Pharmaceutical companies often have programs to provide drugs at little or no cost to people who cannot afford them.


NAMI List of Patient Prescription Drug Assistance Programs

Some pharmaceutical companies offer medication assistance programs to low-income individuals and families. These programs typically require a doctor's consent and proof of financial status.


If you currently receive Social Security income then you may be covered by Medicare.  Remember that there are different types of Medicare coverage for various purposes.  It is good to talk with a Social Security representative to get information about coverage.


Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Since January 1, 2006, everyone with Medicare, regardless of income, health status, or prescription drug usage has had access to prescription drug coverage. 


General Health Care Expenses


Medicare: Your Medicare Coverage 
Welcome to the Medicare Coverage section of This section provides information about your health care benefits in the Original Medicare plan (sometimes referred to as "fee-for-service"). By searching this database you will find: 
Some of the services and supplies the Original Medicare Plan covers; 
The conditions that must be met for some services or supplies to be covered; 
How often services or supplies are covered (limits); 
How much you pay; 
Who you can contact if you have additional questions; 
Some of the services and supplies the Original Medicare Plan does not currently cover.


Help With Living Expenses


Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a monthly benefit for people who have worked in the past and paid Social Security taxes. SSDI benefits are paid to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of their disability.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a Federal income supplement program funded by general tax revenues (not Social Security taxes). It is designed to help aged, blind, and disabled people, who have little or no income; and it provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter.


Help With Legal Expenses and Advocacy

Unfortunately another need that can come from having a mood disorder is legal help.  Many lawyers will help people with low incomes or disabilities for free or low cost.

Community Health Law Project of New Jersey

The Community Health Law Project (CHLP) is a nonprofit advocacy and legal services organization dedicated to serving the needs of low-income people with disabilities in New Jersey. Their mission is to provide legal and advocacy services, training, education, and related activities to persons with disabilities and to organizations representing their interests, with an emphasis on those most vulnerable and needy.


New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (NJP&A) is the consumer-directed, non-profit organization that serves as New Jersey's designated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in the state.


In partnership with individuals with disabilities and their families, NJP&A works to protect and advance the rights of people with disabilities. NJP&A provides information and referral and a broad range of advocacy services, including legal representation in numerous cases in state and federal courts.

New Jersey Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
210 South Broad Street, 3rd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
(609) 292-9742 or (800) 922-7233 in NJ Only
(609) 777-0187 (Fax)
(609) 633-7106 (TTY)

Camden County NJ Division of Disability Services 1-888-285-3036 (ask and you may get  referrals for other counties)



Camden County NJ Division of Mental Health Services (609) 567-7352/567-7353 (ask and you may get  referrals for other counties) 


Camden County NJ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVR) 856-614-2500 (They may recommend an attorney or ask and you may get  referrals for other counties) 

Lowenstein Sandler law offices does a LOT of pro bono social justice work.  They may not take the case but they may recommend someone.)


Seton Hall University School of Law - Center for Social Justice's Pro Bono program (via the American Bar Association search site)


American Disabilities Act Violations

General Description - Any company with 15 employees or more must make significant allowances for disabilities such as Depression or Bipolar Disorder.  Allowances are often made in other areas such as public access and housing.  The Federal government will handle your case or legal resources listed above may do it.

Legal Definition of ADA Disability Discrimination
EEOC (Federal - Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) (856)964-6887  They will sue companies for you. 

Federal EEO Complaint Filing Procedures  How to register a complaint against an employer.


EEOC Litigation Statistics basically they win almost all cases.)


U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  Philadelphia District Office  
Location:  The Bourse Building
21 S. Fifth Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Phone:  1-800-669-4000
Fax:  215-440-2606
TTY:  1-800-669-6820
Director:  Marie M. Tomasso
Regional Attorney:  Jacqueline McNair
Office Hours:  The Philadelphia District Office is open Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (No appointments are scheduled after 4:00 p.m.) Please call first to obtain information or schedule an appointment.

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