GERMANTOWN, Md., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide assistance to patients living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease). Through the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $15,000 in copayment or premium assistance to eligible Medicare patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.
According to the ALS Association, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The motor nerves affected by ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control. Onset of the disease typically occurs in people between the ages of 40 and 70. There are two different types of ALS: sporadic and familial. Familial ALS is inherited, while sporadic ALS can affect anyone. Sporadic ALS is the most common form of ALS, accounting for 90 to 95 percent of all cases. ALS is approximately 20 percent more common in men than women. There is no cure for ALS.
Barb Newhouse, President & CEO, ALS Association, commented on the fund, "The financial impact on people living with ALS, and their families, is extreme and often results in their not benefiting from potential options. This program will provide important financial assistance to cover copayments and premiums to eligible individuals, resulting in their ability to access care they would otherwise not be able to afford."
Terry Heiman-Patterson, Co-Chair, Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) added, "The support provided through individual grants from the HealthWell Foundation will provide a critical resource for people living with ALS (PALS) and clinics to meet the challenge of providing care and medications when there are significant co-pays and lack of a secondary insurance for already financially strapped PALS and families with ALS. This is certainly an unmet need."
To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell's ALS Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.
"Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are now able to offer ALS patients on Medicare a financial lifeline to assist with costs associated with the treatment and management of their disease," said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "Through the fund, we hope to mitigate the constant concern about the financial burden of treatment these patients face each day. We are excited that, while we can initially assist with grants up to $15,000, individuals may apply for a second grant within 12 months depending on availability of funding."
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 250,000 underinsured patients in more than 50 disease areas 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.
About the ALS Association The leader in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships. The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information, visit www.alsa.org.
About the Northeast ALS Consortium (NEALS) Representing over 100 clinical trial sites across the US and Canada, NEALS translates scientific advances into new treatments for people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Motor Neuron Disease (MND) as rapidly as possible. To achieve this goal, NEALS functions as an academic research consortium, a contracted research organization, a care provider, and a resource tool for the ALS community. To learn more, visit https://www.neals.org/about-us/our-mission/.