Ask the Specialist: I Don’t Have Insurance. How Do I Pay For Treatment?

 ADHD Weekly, May 24, 2018

Question: I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I was glad to get the diagnosis, because I’ve struggled all my life. I barely made it through high school and have had eight jobs in the past 20 years. Now I’m unemployed, again, I have no health insurance, and I don’t know how I can pay for the medication my specialist prescribed. Where do I go from here?


—Curious in Connecticut


Answer: First, congratulations on seeking an evaluation. It’s great that you’re glad to have a diagnosis to help you understand the struggles you’ve had these many years. Many adults who are diagnosed with ADHD have a similar sense of satisfaction. It’s a relief for them to know there is a medical explanation for many of the challenges they faced.


For a basic overview of the answer to your question—how to pay for ADHD treatment in the absence of health insurance—please read “Paying for Medications” on Insurance and Public Benefits. This page provides information and links for state pharmaceutical assistance programs and programs offered through pharmaceutical companies usually known as patient medication assistance programs. You can also sign-up for CHADD’s Free UNA Discount Prescription Card. This card can, in many cases, provide a discount for certain medications.


You probably know that some other interventions can often be helpful in dealing with the symptoms of ADHD. Regardless of age, it’s important to learn as much as possible about ADHD—what it is, what it isn’t, how it can affect your life, how it’s treated, etc. Treatment for ADHD encompasses more than just medication. For an adult, this can mean simply finding support from others who know what it’s like to face the challenges of ADHD. Check out Find a Local CHADD for information about local groups in your community, as well as online communities that can be helpful. In addition, some adults find it helpful to work with a therapist who has specific knowledge of and experience with ADHD. While your current financial status may pose a challenge, many professionals set fees on a sliding-scale. See our information on Professionals Who Diagnose and Treat ADHD for the types of professionals you should look for, if you decide to go this route.


Resources for paying for treatment:


Do you have a question for our ADHD health Information Specialists? You can call us at 866-200-8098, Monday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. ET or email us at