GERMANTOWN, Md., April 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to people with sickle cell disease (SCD). Through the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant period to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.
About Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells. People with sickle cell disease have an abnormal type of hemoglobin, the red blood cells that contain mostly hemoglobin S, according to the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA). These red blood cells can become sickle-shaped (crescent shaped) and have difficulty passing through small blood vessels. Sickle-shaped cells block small blood vessels resulting in less blood flow in that part of the body. Tissue that does not receive a normal blood flow eventually becomes damaged, causing complications of the disease. Sickle cells are destroyed rapidly in the body causing complications, including anemia, jaundice and formation of gallstones.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 100,000 individuals in the U.S. have sickle cell disease. It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects 1 out of every 365 black or African-American births, and 1 out of every 16,300 Hispanic-American births. There is currently no universal cure for sickle cell disease.
"We are excited that the HealthWell Foundation will provide much needed resources to individuals living with sickle cell disease during this difficult time. I am pleased that they are partnering with SCDAA to support the sickle cell community and reach as many individuals as possible," says SCDAA President, Beverley Francis-Gibson.
"Individuals living with sickle cell disease can face a multitude of challenges managing their condition. Often, treatments begin at birth and continue for a lifetime, presenting undue financial strain on the patient and their families," commented Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. "We are honored to be able to assist people living with SCD and to provide a financial lifeline, so they are able to start or continue essential, sometimes lifesaving, medical treatments. Thank you to our dedicated donors for recognizing this critical need and for helping us serve this patient community."
To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell's Sickle Cell Disease Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.
About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 70 disease areas for more than 500,000 underinsured patients. Since its inception, HealthWell has provided over $1.6 billion in grant support to access life-changing medical treatments patients 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. HealthWell ranked 33rd on the 2019 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100 percent fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.
About the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America
SCDAA's mission is to advocate for people affected by sickle cell conditions and empower community-based organizations to maximize quality of life and raise public consciousness while advancing the search for a universal cure. To learn more, visit https://www.sicklecelldisease.org.
SOURCE HealthWell Foundation