The majority of Americans have health insurance that includes coverage for prescription drugs. But unfortunately that doesn’t ensure that they can afford the specific drugs their doctors prescribe for them.

In fact, many Americans report that their insurance plans sometimes don’t cover a drug they need — and nearly half the people whom this happens to say they simply don’t fill the prescription. That’s according to a poll released this month on income inequality from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
It happened to Sally Radoci, a retired medical secretary who lives in Baltimore. She’s 78 and on a fixed income, and she suffers from acid reflux.

“I have to eat very small meals, and when I eat, sometimes it feels like everything’s stuck in my chest and I get really bad pain and then I have to throw up.”

Radoci has Medicare, but she also pays for two supplemental insurance policies, including one that covers the cost of drugs. When she was working, the plan she had through her employer covered the reflux medication prescribed by her doctor.