Latest News For You | For Agency Professionals
Staying Healthy When Finances are Tight
Health care has always been an important consideration, but in times of financial distress, it becomes a critical concern. Here is a review of the health resources available in our state. If you need help finding the resource that is right for you, dial 2-1-1 and let one of our experienced resource specialists help you.
There are several medical assistance programs that are jointly administered and funded by the state and federal government.
- Medicaid is designed to help those with very limited or no income.
- NJ FamilyCare is a program that is designed to assist residents who are ineligible for Medicaid but who still cannot afford health care. This program is geared to help New
Jersey’s uninsured children and parents and guardians who fall within certain income criteria.
- Medicare is set up to help older citizens or those who are permanently disabled.
To be eligible for Medicaid
This medical assistance program pays medical bills for certain individuals of any age with low income and limited resources. To be eligible you must be:
- A resident of NJ
- U.S. Citizen or qualified alien (most immigrants who arrived after August 22, 1996 are barred from the program for five years)
- Meet specific standards for financial income and resources
To apply for Medicaid, contact your County Board of Social Services.
If you are NOT eligible for Medicaid because you fall above the income requirements, you may be able to get medical benefits through NJ FamilyCare. NJ FamilyCare is for families who do not have available or affordable employer insurance, and cannot afford to pay the high cost of private health insurance.
To learn more about this program and eligibility requirements, go to the NJ FamilyCare Web site or call 800-701-0710. Applications are available online.
Medicare is for older citizens and those with a disability.
If you are 65 years or older; under the age of 65 with certain disabilities or have permanent kidney failure which requires dialysis or a transplant, than you are eligible for Medicare.
Medicare has two main parts – one that covers hospital costs and another that handles some related expenses.
Part A is hospital insurance and it helps people pay for inpatient hospitalizations, critical access hospitals (small facilities that give limited outpatient and inpatient services to people in rural areas), skilled nursing facilities (not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, and some home health care.
Part B is medical insurance that people pay a monthly premium for. It helps people pay for doctors' services, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A doesn't cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary.
To enroll in Medicare, contact your local Social Security office or call 800-772-1213.
Other Health Resources in our State
If you are NOT eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or NJ FamilyCare, but still need help meeting your medical needs and expenses, there are places in New Jersey to turn to for affordable health care.
Federally Funded Qualified Health Centers
Comprehensive community-based primary health care is available on a sliding fee scale at any one of the 20 Federally Funded/Qualified Health and Migrant Centers (FQHC) in the state. The FQHCs all target the health care needs of the medically underserved within their respective service areas. Typical services include internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, geriatrics, medical and surgical sub-specialties, laboratory, podiatry, pharmacy, x-ray, dental, and mental health services. Care is provided at costs that are substantially lower than at other settings and are based on ability to pay. For a complete listing, click here.
Centers for Primary Health Care (CPHC)
New Jersey’s Centers for Primary Health Care (CPHC) offer a wide range of health care services for the entire family as well. You don’t need health insurance to get care at a center. Centers serve the uninsured and underinsured, as well as patients with Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance. If you’re uninsured, your bill will be based on your ability to pay. No one is ever turned away for lack of funds.
To find a CPHC click here.
County Wellness Programs
Save on prescription drugs, eyecare, hearing aids and more. This free program is open to Bergen County residents as well as all NJ residents and there is no age or income requirement. To learn more call 201.336.7400 or visit their Web site.
Funds for Catastrophic Relief
When your child’s illness or condition, be it acute or chronic, is not fully covered by your insurance or other state or federal programs you may be eligible for help from The Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund which provides eligible families with financial assistance to help them cover medical expenses that were previously incurred because their child became catastrophically ill or injured. Covered expenses include, but are not limited to, special ambulatory care, acute or specialized in- or out-patient hospital care, medical equipment, medically-related home modifications, home health care and medical transportation. To learn more or to get an application, click here or call their Family Line 800-335-FUND (3863).
Disease or Condition-Based Assistance
If you have been diagnosed with a particular disease or disorder that is associated with a non-profit organization, you may be able to find financial assistance and emotional support through that group. Locate them on the Internet and call to inquire about their services. For many organizations, the only eligibility requirement is a qualifying diagnosis. For example, The Muscular Dystrophy Association is well known for its patient clinics, orthopedic assistance program and the summer camps that it coordinates.
Mental Health Resources
When you need mental health counseling or services you can call a community mental health agency in your area directly to arrange for an appointment. Many mental health agencies are listed in the telephone Yellow Pages under Mental Health Services, or you can call your local county office to locate an agency near you. For your local office contact information - County Mental Health Administrator's Office
The Division of Mental Health funds about 120 private, not-for-profit community agencies to provide a full-range of mental health services. You will not be denied services if you are unable to pay for service at these state supported agencies - each of these agencies has a sliding fee scale based on your ability to pay. Find a mental health agency near you.
What if a person is in crisis?
Sometimes an individual is in emotional crisis and cannot wait for a regular appointment to receive services. To provide services in such situations, Screening/Crisis Centers were established in each county. Emergency services are provided 24-hours a day, seven-days a week, and are typically located in general hospitals.
An individual may walk in without an appointment, or the individual may be brought to the screening center by a parent, friend, spouse, police officer, mental health worker, or any other concerned individual. If the person in crisis is unable or unwilling to come to the center, a mobile outreach team can be sent to the person. Find a Mental Health Screening/Crisis Center near you.
If inpatient hospitalization is needed, the screening center may refer the person to a State or County Hospital or to an inpatient bed located in a general hospital closer to the individual's residence. The goal of inpatient treatment is to stabilize the individual, and to link the individual with needed community support services so that they can return to the community.
Crisis Helplines will put you in touch with crisis counselors any time of the day or night.
For emotional support, you can call New Jersey MentalHealthCares’ Disaster Mental Health Helpline toll-free at 877-294-HELP (877-294-4357). A TTY line is also available at 877-294-4356.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. Reach out and ask for help at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255).
Many people have difficulty affording health care, including prescription medicines, but there are assistance programs available that are government based and privately sponsored.
Discount Prescription Programs
Rx4NJ is a program that connects qualified, low-income people with discount prescription drugs, direct from the pharmaceutical manufacturer. For those who don’t have prescription drug coverage and earn less than 200% of the federal poverty level (approximately $19,000 for an individual or $31,000 for a family of three) the Rx4NJ Web site may provide access to free, or nearly free prescription medicines. You may also learn more by calling 888-793-6765.
RxCut offers a free card that may benefit you regardless of whether or not you have insurance. It can be downloaded from the RxCut Plus website. You can save up to 75% on prescription medications at over 54,000 pharmacies and up to 50% of the usual and customary charges for lab and imaging services at over 2,000 locations.
Discount Prescription Drug Cards from American Consultants Rx may enable those without medical insurance or those with limited prescription plans to receive a discount of between 15% to 40% off of the full cost of their medication. Download a discount card.
Another place to look for assistance in finding free or nearly free medicine if you don’t have a prescription plan is through The Partnership for Prescription Assistance. There are no charges associated with using the PPA and almost all of the programs in the organization’s database offer their services free of charge. To learn more call 888.477.2669 or visit their Web site.
Compare Prices Before You Buy
The N.J. Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry will help consumers compare the retail prices charged by many pharmacies for the 150 most-frequently prescribed prescription drugs. By comparing prices here, consumers can see what a pharmacy has reported to the State that it charged for a specific prescription drug. Comparing the prices listed in this registry will help a consumer find the pharmacy in his or her area with the lowest retail price for a specific prescription drug.
To use this registry all you need to know is the name of the medication, its dosage and your town or zip code. Once you’ve identified this information, you’ll be able to search the database and get a listing of the prices being reported by area pharmacies. To access the registry click here.
Pharmaceutical Companies Provide Assistance Too
A number of pharmaceutical companies are trying to help ease the burden of prescription medications as well. The following programs were designed with income eligibility requirements and are only for those without prescription insurance coverage. All say they are willing to make allowances for people who are facing medical or financial hardships. You must be taking a medication produced by the pharmaceutical company in order to be considered for assistance. You can see if you qualify for assistance by contacting them directly or visiting their Web sites for more information.
County Wellness Discount Programs
Residents of Atlantic County will receive between 10% and 50% off retail prices on prescription drugs if they enroll in the Atlantic County Resident Prescription Savings Program. All that is required is a completed application form, proof of residency and an annual fee of $20 per household. You can not use your insurance card when using this savings program. To learn more call 800.633.0037 or visit their Web site.
Save on prescription drugs, eyecare, hearing aids and more. This free program is open to Bergen County residents as well as all NJ residents and there is no age or income requirement. To learn more call 201.336.6405 or visit their Web site.
Pick up the phone and dial 2-1-1 when you need help.
You are encouraged to dial “2-1-1” 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you need help in understanding and finding available assistance services. Language translation and TTY services are offered to any caller. You can also
search the database of services in your local community or Chat Live with an experienced community resource specialist. 2-1-1 will help identify with you the best local resources to fit your individual needs during times of financial distress or for life’s everyday situations.
If you know of additional resources that would be appropriate to include, please let us know by contacting us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research Sources Include:
Page last modified 12.13.11
|| - SHELTER RESOURCES
|| UTILITY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS -