Financial Assistance for the Mito Cocktail

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Author: Heidi Martin-Coleman, RN  “Cut the Red Tape” Advocate

Many physicians suggest dietary supplements, vitamins, minerals, and other medications for individuals with Mito.  Frequently, a number of supplements are administered simultaneously, hence the nickname “Mito Cocktail.”  The specific combination and doses of supplements and medication included in a patient’s Mito Cocktail are highly individualized in order to meet the needs of that specific person’s cellular function.

Many individuals with Mito find that dietary supplements and medical food help to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.  However, the monthly out-of-pocket costs of medically necessary supplements can be staggering.  Information regarding financial assistance for the Mito Cocktail and other medical food is one of MitoAction’s most frequent requests.  Since financial assistance programs vary from state to state as well as country to country, keeping up with current funding sources is a daunting task.   This guide is designed to provide a starting point for patients and their families to identify potential sources of financial assistance for the Mito Cocktail.  As you explore some of the resources offered in this guide, please keep in mind that financial solutions are just as varied as the supplements in the cocktails themselves.  You may need to investigate two or three potential sources of assistance before finding one that meets your needs.  Several options require lots of phone calls, internet searches, and letter writing.  Some suggestions, such as appealing coverage decisions by private insurance or Medicare, can be quite time-consuming.  No matter which action you decide to take, Don’t give up! 

 The fight for insurance coverage for vitamin and mineral supplements, electrolyte replacement solutions, amino acid and lipid replacements or supplements, and medical food is tedious and on-going.  It is critically important for people with Mitochondrial Disease and the people who care for them.  We are trail blazers, and our efforts to spread the word regarding the benefits of the prescription-strength Mito Cocktail components and the medical necessity of these medications will eventually make insurance authorization easier for our children, and our children’s children. 

 Before you Start:

The keys to a successful insurance approval or appeal are education, persistence, and documentation. Read the explanation of benefits provided by your private health insurance, Medicare supplement, or other program   Make copies of your Mito Cocktail prescriptions, letters of medical necessity, any lab results that support the letters of medical necessity, and documentation of your Mito diagnosis.  More information regarding documentation of insurance approval or denial is discussed later in this article.

This guide is broken into several segments to facilitate your search for assistance in meeting you or your child’s medical needs:

©COPYRIGHT 2014 by Heidi Martin-Coleman and MitoAction.org. This document may be reproduced and offered free of charge with permission from Heidi Martin-Coleman and MitoAction.org, for professional use with individual families.


[1]  http://www.webmd.com/drugs/drug-13945-levocarnitine+oral.aspx
[2]  Sentinel Event Alert: Preventing Pediatric Medication Errors; Issue 39; 11 April 2008; http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/SEA_39.PDF (accessed 1/26/14)
[3] http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYOu/Consumers/ucm109760.htm
[4] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/online-pharmacy-safe/story?id=20098809