GERMANTOWN, Md., Aug. 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to Medicare patients living with gastric cancer. Through the new fund, HealthWell will provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the lining of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms and therefore can go undetected, according to the Gastric Cancer Foundation. Though there has been a significant decrease in the number of people diagnosed with stomach cancer in the past 60 years, worldwide it is the fourth most common cause of cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. Stomach cancer often may be cured if it is found and treated at an early stage. Unfortunately, the outlook is poor if the cancer is already at an advanced stage when discovered.
"Many families that are touched by gastric cancer are struggling to manage the financial burden imposed by specialized medical treatments and hospitalization," said Paul Gottsegen, co-chair of the Gastric Cancer Foundation. "The new fund from HealthWell provides a crucial bridge to help manage the additional expenses placed on families. This generous initiative will be deeply appreciated and give further cause for hope in their journey as they fight stomach cancer."
"Often times, patients living with gastric cancer do not present symptoms until the cancer is advanced. At this stage, treatment options can be limited and can represent a financial burden, especially for those on Medicare," said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "We applaud our generous donors for recognizing the unmet need these patients face in accessing and affording critical treatments to manage their disease. We are honored we can now offer a financial lifeline so Medicare patients living with gastric cancer can concentrate on their care, not the cost."
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 320,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 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 Gastric Cancer Foundation The impetus for the Foundation came from JP Gallagher, a Silicon Valley marketing executive, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer at age 37 and could not find reliable information about the disease. He battled the disease for six years before passing in 2013, leaving behind a wife and three young children. Gallagher along with Feinstein formed the Foundation to give patients and families better knowledge of the disease and to encourage more research funding. For more information, visit www.gastriccancer.org or follow the Foundation for the latest gastric cancer research news at facebook.com/GastricCancerFoundation or on twitter.com/GastricCancerFD.