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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Financial Assistance Ideas

This is taken from the GASTROPARESIS FACEBOOK PAGE. Several of our members wrote in to weigh in on financial assistance ideas. If you have additional ideas, please leave a comment on this entry and I will be glad to update!

Here is what we have compiled:

1. Medicaid (source varies by state)

2. Medicare (source varies by state)

3. Food Stamps (source varies by state)

4. Disability (source varies by state)

5. WOMEN'S HEALTH (recommended by Teresa) - offers award-winning comprehensive websites that provide reliable, accurate, commercial-free information on the health of women.

6. SSI (source varies by state)

7. NEEDYMEDS.ORG (recommended by Carrie) - for help with cheaper drugs, low cost clinics, low cost cat scans/MRIs.

8. RX OUTREACH (recommended by Carrie) - list of medicines to help people with costs regardless of insurance, just based on income.

9. Negotiating the contract rate with insurance (recommended by Carrie) - insurance companies have a special, contracted rate with certain hospitals. You can usually negotiate a 15-25% payoff amount.

10. "OBAMACARE" (recommended by Rebecca) - new rules on pre-exisiting conditions.

11. VERMONT CHRONIC CARE INITIATIVE (recommended by Katie) - VCCI focuses on the whole person. Registered nurses and medical social workers encourage healthy behaviors and help with related issues such as housing, food security, and transportation to medical appointments. They help beneficiaries talk with their health care providers and may meet with both to develop and support a plan of care.

12. Your Community (recommended by Jen) - "our community stepped up and helped us. They donated enough $$ and supplies to get us through a year of out of pocket medical expenses...you can do fundraisers, benefits."

13. The Health Department (recommended by Tammi) - your local health department prices based on a sliding scale of income. They may be able to do free blood work and help you until you're able to get on your feet.

14. DISABILITY TAX CREDIT IN CANADA (recommended by Alain) - in Ontario and Canada there are a lot of programs for disability. The first step if you are in Canada is to get your doctor to evaluate you so that you can obtain a certificate of disability. This well help you and your family get a tax credit.

15. MODEST NEEDS (recommended by Audra) - Modest Needs is a registered charity that promotes the self-sufficiency of low-income workers by helping them to afford short-term, emergency expenses.

16. Local Churches (recommended by Margaret) - Check with churches too. They may have resources to help you or might be able to refer you. Many churches have food pantries and might be able to help assist you short-term.

17. PATIENT ADVOCATE FOUNDATION (recommended by Debra) - The fund will assist patients suffering from Multiple Myeloma with their co-pay needs during treatment. These funds will be made available to Multiple Myeloma patients who are insured and qualify both medically and financially.

18. Drug Manufacturers (recommended by Debra) - try calling them to see if you can get your prescriptions at a discounted rate or see if maybe you could get them for free with coupons.

19. Utility Companies (recommended by Debra) - try calling your utility companies for extra help with bills while you're applying for assistance.

20. GASTROPARESIS AND ME (recommended by Karen) - soon, this nonprofit organization will be able to help those who may need financial assistance.

21. WALMART - places like Walmart and Kroger have discount prescription programs. You can get most generics for $4.

22. HOPE AIR IN CANADA (recommended by Corry) - Since 1986, Hope Air has been arranging free flights to get financially-disadvantaged Canadians to the healthcare they need. Hope Air is the only registered, national charity that provides free flights to people who cannot afford the cost of an airline ticket to get to medical expertise or specialized medical technologies that usually exist only in larger urban centers. Hope Air is unique among Canadian charities in what we do. And we are proud to provide all flights to our Clients completely free of charge: no cost is transferred to Clients.

23. GO FUND ME (recommended by Ariella) - A personal way to collect online donations from organizations, friends, and family in order to receive help with medical expenses.

24. GIVE FORWARD (recommended by Garry) - GiveForward's online fundraising pages empower friends and family to send love and financial support to patients navigating a medical crisis. Start a GiveForward page today to ease the burden of your loved one's out-of-pocket medical bills.

25. CARING BRIDGE (recommended by Garry) - An online space where you can connect, share news, and receive support. It’s your very own health social network, coming together on your personalized website. And thanks to those who donate, they are available 24/7 to anyone, anywhere, at no cost.

26. Pets (recommended by Lora) - "It is fairly simple to get a favored pet established as a 'emotional support' animal, thus making it possible to take the pet with you EVERYWHERE (without additional fees when traveling!) That would help those in hospitals, housing issues, travel, etc. There are no actual requirements for training, just need a doctor to fill out the proper paperwork for a certificate. Here's a WEBSITE with a little info on the subject.

27. GOOD RX (recommended by Carrie) - Compare drug prices at over 70,000 pharmacies, and discover free coupons and savings tips. Even if you have insurance or Medicare, GoodRx can often find you a better price!