GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, today announced the launch of a new fund to provide financial assistance to underinsured patients suffering from multiple myeloma. Through the fund, HealthWell will provide grants up to $10,000 to assist patients with copayment or premium costs. Multiple myeloma patients who are insured and have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible under the fund.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells (a type of white blood cell), which are found in the bone marrow. According to the American Cancer Society, multiple myeloma is a relatively uncommon disease and an estimated 26,800 new cases will be diagnosed in 2015. While some patients present no symptoms at all, others may experience common symptoms such as bone problems, low blood counts, and kidney and nervous system problems including severe back pain, numbness and muscle weakness.
"A substantial number of multiple myeloma patients face significant hardship when it comes to treatment choices and the ability to cover out-of-pocket drug copayment and premium expenses," said Sharon Saias, Vice President Marketing and Communications, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. "The financial lifeline being offered through the HealthWell Foundation addresses a critical need for these patients and allows them to access medical treatments that are vital to managing their disease."
"People living with multiple myeloma face many challenges, not only in managing their disease, but also in covering the cost of their treatment. Depending on the stage of their disease, patients may undergo several courses of therapy, which can be emotionally and financially draining," says Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "As a result of the continued generosity of our donors, we can now offer these patients support so they can start and continue treatment without the added burden of financial worry."
To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell's Multiple Myeloma Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised more than $300 million since its inception and directs nearly 90% of its total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator's coveted four-star rating for 11 consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. Visit www.themmrf.org for additional information.
About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 200,000 underinsured patients by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford.
HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.
SOURCE HealthWell Foundation