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Current Status of Three Popular Patient Assistance Programs
Current Status of Three Popular Patient Assistance Programs image
Current Status of Three Popular Patient Assistance Programs
Posted Jun 23, 2022

Patient assistance programs funded through non-profits such as Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Patient Advocate Foundation, and Healthwell Foundation offer renewable grants yearly. Many of these funds help bridge the gap for those who need help managing the cost of co-pays, deductibles, or insurance premiums to help those who are uninsured or underinsured. The funds are non-taxable to the patient. Depending on the state, they may not apply to your deductible. As a result of increased demand, these programs are becoming more and more popular. 

Generally, there are income requirements to qualify for the grants, ranging between 300-500% of the federal poverty level. Keep in mind that the national poverty level also considers household numbers. It is essential to apply early for these grants, as they often run out of money early in the year.  However, they will re-open if they receive additional funding.  It is prudent to check in with them often.

If you still have problems covering medication costs, there are more options after exhausting non-profit grant opportunities. Contact the pharmaceutical company that manufactures your medication. They have patient assistance programs that can provide financial help. 

Some patients wrongly assume that if they are Medicare beneficiaries, they cannot participate in pharmaceutical patient assistance programs. However, this isn't always true. For example, Bristol Meyers Squibb has a different department handling Medicare beneficiary's grant requests.  It never hurts to call and ask.

Leukemia Lymphoma Society:

Co-Pay Assistance Program :(Currently fully funded for MM and AML) ​​​​​​

Assists with:

  • The cost of Private, Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE insurance premiums,
  • Treatment-related copays and coinsurance for prescription drugs, labs, scans, tests, etc.
  • Current fund provides $13,000/yr for MM and $10,000/yr for AML

Patient Aid Program : (Currently open to AML and MM)

  • ​Provides a one-time $100 stipend to eligible blood cancer patients to help offset non-medical expenses.

Susan Lang Pay-It-Forward Patient Travel Assistance Program (Currently open for MM and AML)

Assists with:

  • Treatment-related transportation and lodging expenses
  • Eligible patients receive a $500 grant
  • Refer to their site as they have listed state resources that may also have funds available for travel.

Susan Lang Pre CAR T-cell Therapy Travel Assistance Program (Currently Open and  for MM and AML)  

Assists with:

  • Travel and lodging expenses from the evaluation phase through the end of the conditioning therapy phase
  • Treatment-related transportation and lodging expenses for patients who are being evaluated to receive CAR T-cell therapy as either standard treatment or a clinical trial
  • Those who qualify will receive $2,500 to cover the cost of treatment-related travel and lodging expenses for the patient and caregiver, including ground transportation, tolls, gas, parking, car rental, car maintenance, repairs and parts, air transportation, and baggage fees, lodging, and ambulance services.

Urgent Need Programs (Currently open to pediatric, young adults, and age 40 or over for MM and AML)

Assists with:

  • Non-medical expenses including rent, mortgage, lodging, utilities, childcare, elder care, food, transportation, car repair, car insurance, phone service, and acute dental work related to treatment
  • Eligible patients receive a $500 grant

Patient Advocacy Foundation: 

CoPay Relief Fund (CPR) (Open for MM)

  • $12,000/yr, allocates funding to all patients that are approved
  • Available when needed by the patient
  • While a fund is closed to new applications, CPR continues to support all patients in those funds that have an active award

Health Equity Funds (Still Open for MM) 

Assists with:

  • Co-pay, Co-insurance & Deductibles
  • Office visits and administration charges related to treatment
  • Medical Insurance premiums
  • Maximum award of $12,000/yr renewable grant
  • Must have some medical coverage

Developed to get assistance to those people and places who need it the most. Created using the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) and CDC Disease Incidence data, The Health Equity Funds serve people living in 220 counties across the United States identified by the CDC as having the highest social vulnerability scores and are burdened with increased rates of chronic diseases.

The Health Equity Funds are designed to provide support to eligible patients living in one of the 220 counties covered by the funds, which is verified using the zip code of the patient’s home address. All other eligibility requirements, and fund operation, are the same as their general funds.

Healthwell Foundation  

(open for AML all and MM - Medicare Beneficiaries Only)

  • Must have insurance that provides some coverage for medicines.
  • Renewable $10,000/yr for AML and $12,000 for MM renewable grant. Helps cover copays, deductibles, and or premiums.

 

The key to obtaining grants is knowing what your treatment plan will be and understanding what your insurance covers. Understand your insurance limitations. Now would be an excellent time to plan for next year's insurance coverage.

Keep an eye on availability as well as qualifying criteria for grants. If you are close to the income maximum, speak to a financial advisor who can help you maximize possible grant opportunities. Also, refer to our financial resources pages. There you will find organizations that assist with your many needs. If you need particular help, please request a Myeloma Coach with financial experience.


Find or become a myeloma coach

 

The author Diahanna Vallentine

about the author
Diahanna Vallentine

Diahanna is the Financial Program Manager for the HealthTree Foundation,  specializing in financial help for multiple myeloma  and AML patients. As a professional financial consultant and former caregiver of her husband who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, Diahanna perfectly understands the financial issues facing myeloma patients.

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