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.
Co-Pay Assistance Program :(Currently fully funded for MM and AML)
Patient Aid Program : (Currently open to AML and MM)
Susan Lang Pay-It-Forward Patient Travel Assistance Program (Currently open for MM and AML)
Susan Lang Pre CAR T-cell Therapy Travel Assistance Program (Currently Open and for MM and AML)
Urgent Need Programs (Currently open to pediatric, young adults, and age 40 or over for MM and AML)
CoPay Relief Fund (CPR) (Open for MM)
Health Equity Funds (Still Open for MM)
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.
(open for AML all and MM - Medicare Beneficiaries Only)
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.
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about the author
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.