Effective March 23rd, 2021, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has expanded their lists of treatments and items that their grants will cover. For those of you who already have a grant from them for the year, this will allow you to perhaps use the full grant to pay for other needed care in additional to co-pays and deductibles. LLS is really stepping up their support of blood cancer patients. This more inclusive use of grant funding is hard if not impossible to find through other organizations. And, right now, their funds are available, so even if you are unsure if you qualify, please reach out to them. You may be surprised that you can get some financial help. And, you can reapply every year! The max yearly grant is $11,000.00 which can go a long way in providing much needed financial help.
Let's review briefly some of the more common expenses that are covered under the grant program.
- Covered Labs, Scans and Tests: There are so many that are covered. Please refer to: lls.org. Go to covered expenses and lists.
- Covered Expenses: which would include, blood boosters, transfusions, chemotherapy, including oral and intravenous treatment, colonoscopy and endoscopy, insurance co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance for private or government health insurance plans and Medicaid spend-down and so much more.
- Covered Drugs Including Supportive Drugs.
Be aware of what your insurance plan covers. You must maintain coverage at all times and the assistance that you are requesting must be covered by your insurance carrier. The program cannot provide financial assistance for drugs or treatment that are not included on your insurance drug formulary.
If you are unsure if your drug is covered or if lab test or other expenses are covered, contact the LLS co-pay program. If, however, your doctor has prescribed a medication related to your treatment and it isn't on the covered list, please submit a doctor’s note including the name of the drug and its supporting medical necessity for your treatment plan. This is important for review or your request will be denied. And, if you feel that a drug has been denied, there is an appeal process through the Co-Pay department Monday-Friday 8:30am – 5pm ET. Call 1877-LLS-COPAY or 1-877-557-2672.
Please reach out to LLS at the above listed number if you have any questions. And if you have not yet filled out a request for financial assistance, please do so as soon as possible. It’s very common for them to run out of financial resources during the year.
LLS also offers financial help for non-medical expenses including: rent, mortgage, lodging, utilities, childcare, car insurance, phone service (land line), and acute dental work related to treatment. For those patients that are eligible, you will receive a $500, once within a 12-month period. At the end of the 12-month period you can reapply.
Additionally, the Susan –Lang Pay-It –Forward Patient Travel Assistance Program. Is available to patients. This program is available to blood cancer patients with significant financial need, who may qualify to receive financial assistance for approved travel related expenses.
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.