This has been a very challenging time for everyone in regards to COVID. Perhaps you have had to take time off from work or have lost your job as a result of COVID and consequently lost your insurance, OR perhaps you or your spouse through whom you are medically insured may be looking at a layoff in the near future. How can you continue to manage your treatment and what resources are available to you?
Fortunately, you may be eligible to sign up for Market Place Insurance during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) due to life changes. This enrollment period is effective February 15th through May 15th It also calls for states that run their own insurance markets to open enrollment up to match the federal government.
Fortunately, because of the displacement of jobs and loss of insurance coverage several pharmaceutical companies have extended their COVID financial support.
Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has announced an expansion of its existing COVID patient-support programs. This program provides support to eligible unemployed patients in the US who have lost their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other financial support in global relief efforts against COVID-19.
The expanded patient-support program offers access to any branded Bristol Myers Squibb medicine for free, including those prescribed via telehealth services for patients who have lost their employment and health insurance due to COVID-19. The covered myeloma medications include: Pomalyst, Revlimid, and Thalomid. The program provides immediate access for eligible patients through a single point of entry, a streamlined enrollment process, and vouchers to assist with continuity of care for several self-administered BMS medicines. This program will continue for the first six months of 2021. Once the program ends patients currently enrolled can continue until they have insurance.
BMS: bms.com or (800) 721-8909
Many Myeloma Patients also find themselves insulin dependent. Several pharmaceutical companies have stepped up to provide assistance.
1) Novo Nordisk has launched a Diabetes Patient Assistance Program (PAP) for people with diabetes using Novo Nordisk insulin who have lost health insurance coverage because of a change in job status due to the COVID-19 pandemic to be eligible to receive insulin free of charge for 90 days.
Applicants are not required to provide documented proof of income but must provide documentation showing loss of healthcare benefits, such as a job termination notice, job status change, or proof that COBRA benefits are being offered. In addition, if Medicaid benefits are denied, assistance for eligible patients can be extended past the 90-day-window until the end of the year. Individuals applying for this program must have a valid prescription for a Novo Nordisk insulin and meet certain eligibility criteria.
There may be situations where required enrollment documentation is not quickly accessible and a patient may be at risk of rationing insulin, Novo Nordisk has an immediate supply option available.
NovoCare.com or (844) 668-6463
2) In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eli Lilly and Company introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program to allow patients with commercial insurance and those without insurance to fill their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35. There are no income or employment requirements and co-pay cards are available for download online. The program covers most Lilly insulins, including all Humalog (insulin lispro injection 100 units/mL) formulations. Also, seniors with Medicare Part D will also be eligible for the insulin affordability assistance.
The program is one of several affordability options that can be accessed through the Lilly Diabetes Solution Center. Unfortunately, the program does have limits. Anyone with government healthcare assistance such as Medicaid or Medicare is ineligible. The program has a $7500. Cap per person.
Lilly: insulinaffordability.com, or (833) 808-1234
Don’t forget to check other financial resources such LLS, PAN Foundation, CancerCare and many others for financial assistance that may be available and an option for you.
If you have myeloma related financial concerns or questions there is support and help available through the HealthTree Foundation. Consider working directly with myeloma Financial Coach Diahanna Vallentine or other Myeloma Coaches with financial experience. You can find and connect with them here in the Myeloma Coach program. You may also consider joining the Myeloma Financial Coach Chapter where, each month myeloma Financial Coach Diahanna Vallentine shares financial principles, tricks and tips to help myeloma patients and caregivers. You can find all of the Myeloma Crowd Community Events here.
Find or become a myeloma coach
about the author
Diahanna is the Financial Program Manager for the HealthTree Foundation. She specializes in providing financial help, resources and education for multiple myeloma 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.