Recently my health insurance was cut off due to my parent's employer pulling some bookkeeping trick for the past few months where we were being given health insurance but it was off the books - constantly despite my father raising the issue.

Because of this, when my parent left the employer (due to various matters), we weren't eligible for COBRA as the employer health plan technically wasn't valid so now we're in a two week window without coverage until my family's new plan kicks in.

My family actually tried giving the former employer the payment for another month, but ultimately the employer refused to pass the check along.

Unfortunately I happen to take a few medications for various conditions (two of which are a brand name medication in different capsule sizes which cannot be combined into one - confirmed with my pharmacist and insurance company pharmacy line) and I wasn't able to do my refills before the cutoff date (too early) so I'm now left with staggered run out dates for my meds and I'm not sure what to do.

I currently have a prescription savings card from AAA which does seem to do a decent cost savings especially if I only buy 10 days of medication to hold me over, but the brand name medication totals at around $200 for just 10 days and the generics are about $100-$150 so I'd like to trim that if possible.

I've already checked Walmart RiteAid CVS and the other major pharmacies for their catalog of discount generics however they don't have any of my items on the discount list so I'm looking to ask for any other suggestions.

The question boils down to: If you lose your health insurance for a short time and you're in a transition window, what can you do if – God forbid – something serious happens or if you have a condition which requires routine medication?

The key aspect being that the transition window is large enough to be devastating (from as little as a day), but short enough that you are not eligible for short-term gap health insurance and the like (which I believe is usually 6 months to a year although I could be wrong).

  • If you live near either border, take a drive to Canada or Mexico. Oct 17, 2011 at 0:34
  • 3
    @duffbeer703 - With all do respect to our south of the border friends... DO NOT GO TO MEXICO FOR DRUGS. First it is illegal. Second it is not regulated like the US you may only pay $30 for the drugs but they could also just be vitamin pills and they could be formulated completely differently than in the US. Though if you get caught smuggling the drugs into the US then you will not have to worry about where you are getting your medicine.
    – user4127
    Oct 17, 2011 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


Check with the manufacturer of the name brand medication. Most of them have programs to help people who need their medication but can not afford it. They may be able to send you coupons for discounted or free medication.

You can go to a free clinic. If your income is low enough the free clinic will provide medicine until you can get back on insurance.

You can do what alot of people who work hard and do not have insurance do and pay for it outof pocket. You can talk to your doctor and see if there is an alternative to the expensive medicine that your insurance used to pay for. It may not be as effective or may have other side affects but many people are forced to go with these alternatives.

You situation is certianly unfortunate but also not terribly uncommon. You probably also have recourse against the former employer but if they commited fraud, and faked your insurance there probably is not alot of money to recoup. If it was a person who commited fraud then you may be able to get a judgement against them that would survive bankruptcy and the business but it will probably be at least 5 years before you can recoup anything possibly much longer and your attorney will probably not take it on contingency.


Your doctor may also have free samples available. You could call, explain your situtation and ask to see if they have any free samples.

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