Multiple sclerosis is a lifelong disease characterized by numbness, fatigue, and sometimes there could be loss of mobility. Although there is no cure, symptoms can be treated, but the treatment costs tend to add up eventually.
“My state has a high-risk pool for people who would not be able to get insurance. It costs me $900 a month and I still pay $100 each month out-of-pocket for my MS treatment,” says Stachowiak, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2003. “Unfortunately for people with a chronic disease in the United States, insurance can still be a minefield that you have to navigate your way through, but some help is available.”
If you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and in need of financial assistance, here’s a useful article. This article outlines three different ways by which you may seek help towards treatment cost; they include medical fundraising; non-profit organizations; and grants.
1. Medical fundraising
If you wade through the internet for financial assistance for multiple sclerosis (or any other disease for that matter), it is likely that you stumble upon medical fundraising Web sites. Yes, online medical fundraising is one of the widely represented platforms for crowd funding these days.
Online medical fundraising sites necessitate that you create or sign up a page that outlines your disease state and adds a personal touch to it by including your story. Then, you need to set a fundraising goal (say $15,000). There are non-profit fundraising sites and for-profit sites. For-profit sites charge a small fee on the donations you receive; this is needed for site maintenance and other administrative purposes.
2. Non-profit organizations
The HealthWell Foundation helps eligible patients with coinsurance, copayments, healthcare premiums, and deductibles for some medications and therapies. If you are unable to afford a prescription drug despite the insurance company covering it, the HealthWell Foundation offers coinsurance and copayment assistance. In addition, the organization helps patients with insurance premium.
The National MS society is a non-profit organization that helps patients through fundraising, research, and activism.
Patient Access Network Foundation provides financial assistance to patients with chronic illnesses, including multiple sclerosis. It offers $1,500 to $8,500 towards medication costs each year.
Grants for multiple sclerosis patients
The MSF Home Care Assistance Grant Program offers home care, therapy visits, respite care, and free transportation services. Home Care services include personal hygiene services, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation and transportation. Therapy visits to an occupational, physical or speech therapist are made available. Respite care provides the family members the assurance that the patient is being cared for by a properly trained individual when they are away. The transportation service involves receiving the patient at the hospital, providing transportation, and getting the patient settled comfortably at home.
Brighter tomorrow grant (up to $1000 per patient) by the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation offers appliances, televisions, furniture, hobby supplies, retreats, and various home modifications.
The diagnostic fund by Multiple Sclerosis Association of America covers the cost of MRI. Their Equipment Distribution Program provides patient with equipment for safety and convenience, while the Cooling Equipment Distribution Program provides equipment that protect patients from heat sensitivity.
1. Homecare grant program: http://www.msfocus.org/Homecare-Grant-Program.aspx
2. Brighter tomorrow grant: http://www.msfocus.org/Brighter-Tomorrow-Grant.aspx
3.HealthWell Foundation: what we do?: http://www.healthwellfoundation.org/what-we-do
4. The costs of MS treatment: http://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/costs-of-ms-treatment.aspx
5. How to get free help with your medical bills: http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411949,00.html