A woman in her early 20s called 2-1-1 for help with asthma prescriptions. Expecting to pay $80 total for 2 medications, she was shocked when the price came out to more than $385. With no health insurance and working part time while going to college, she didn't have nearly enough money to cover the cost.

Recognizing the caller's need, the Specialist who took the call transferred her to 2-1-1's MedRefer program, which I oversee. After talking with her about the medication and her financial situation, I helped her enroll in a drug company program that would provide an immediate 30-day supply of one of the medications from a local pharmacy.

For the second prescription, I was able to identify and text her a discount card that reduced the price of the pills from $53 to $16, which she found affordable.

Next, we talked about her health insurance options. With the recent changes in Medicaid rules and her mother's change in income, both she and her mother appeared eligible. I explained the Medicaid application process and gave her all the information she would need to get started.

I also gave her information about nearby community clinics in case she needed to see a doctor before her Medicaid was processed.

When I called back two days later to make sure she hadn't encountered any additional obstacles, I confirmed she had picked up both medications and was awaiting approval on her completed Medicaid application.

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