Saturday, August 9, 2014

Myeloma warriors: Here is help for paying for those expensive drugs!

I wrote this very important article for www.myelomacrowd.org. If you know of anyone fighting myeloma, please share. There are many amazing financial resources to help those in treatment for myeloma. Here are four of those resources to get you started.

I have personally benefitted. Just a few months ago, I called the Patient Network Access Foundation and after a 20 minute phone call, was approved for $10,000 in co-pays for Thalidomide. They did not cut me a $10,000 check but every time I pick up my meds, the pharmacy uses my approval code and they bill them directly. Instead of paying thousands of dollars, I pay zero. Don't let a phone call or the perception that "you make too much" stop you from calling!

For more info, click here.

Need help with pricey medication co-pays?

Co-pays for medications can be staggering. Recently, we heard from one patient whose co-pay for a month Revlimid was over $5,000. The good news is that there is help, and applying is simple, usually requiring a single phone call. Oftentimes, approval is given right over the phone within minutes. In the case of our patient, she was approved for a $10,000 grant for 12 months in just a few minutes.
Here are four excellent resources for myeloma patients to help get you started.

Chronic Disease Fund877-968-7233 press option #0
www.cdfund.org
Approvals are granted same-day. Patients must have medical insurance coverage, been prescribed a medication that is part of the CDF Formulary and meet program income criteria.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society877-557-2672
www.lls.org
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Co-Pay Assistance Program helps pay insurance premiums and meet co-pay obligations. It also finds additional sources of financial aid. The Co-Pay Assistance Program offers financial help toward:
  • Blood cancer treatment-related co-payments
  • Private health insurance premiums
  • Medicare Part B, Medicare Plan D, Medicare Supplementary Health Insurance, Medicare Advantage premium, Medicaid Spend-down or co-pay obligations
For myeloma, there is up to $10,000 in assistance for those who qualify:
  • Have a household income that is at or below 500 percent of the U.S. federal poverty guidelines as adjusted by the Cost of Living Index (COLI)
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico and be medically and financially qualified
  • Have prescription insurance coverage
  • Have an LLS Co-Pay Assistance Program-covered blood cancer diagnosis confirmed by a doctor (see covered diagnoses listed above)
Patient Access Network Foundation866-316-7263
www.panfoundation.org
Up to $10,000 per year to help cover medication co-pays. To qualify, patients must meet these criteria:
  • Insured and insurance covers the medication for which the patient seeks assistance
  • The medication must treat the disease directly
  • Patient’s income must be below a designated percentage of the Federal Poverty Level, depending on individual fund requirements
  • Patient is prescribed a high cost drug for the disease, depending on individual fund requirements
  • Patient must reside and receive treatment in the US. They do not need to be a US citizen
Celgene Patient Support800-931-8691
www.celgenepatientsupport.com
Celgene offers the following support to qualifying patiens:
  • Co-pay Assistance: Patients may be eligible for help to reduce medication co-pays to $25 or less. This depends on the insurance coverage and what Celgene medication the patient’s doctor has prescribed
  • Celgene Free Medication Program: Patients who don’t currently have any health insurance or enough insurance to cover the cost of medication, may qualify for free Celgene medications
  • Transportation Assistance: Celgene Patient Support can help locate options to assist with the costs of traveling to and from a doctor’s office