Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease that has an unpredictable course and can be a life-long disability. Reportedly, MS affects approximately 400, 000 people in the United States. Although, there is no unified approach to tackling MS, adapting yourself by modulating the right doses and kinds of medications, managing your diet, participating in regular exercise and learning various coping skills and mechanisms can help make your life a little easier to deal with MS.
Another facet however, of dealing with MS is managing your finances. Multiple sclerosis can be an expensive condition to cover, where patients have reported spending thousands of dollars per year on medication, treatment and other associated costs to having MS. As MS takes an unpredictable course, the financial situation might be a difficult barrier to overcome. Therefore, we have tried to bring together various multiple sclerosis financial aid resources that diversely meet the needs of MS patients. This is a short guide to help you find the right kind of financial assistance for your MS needs.
Patient assistance programs for multiple sclerosis financial aid
There are a small number of patient assistance programs available in the United Stats that offer multiple sclerosis financial aid. Each program will have set eligibility requirements that need to be met in order to receive the benefits of the program. Additionally, it is important to review the guidelines of what is being offered. Some programs may offer specific medications only or have limitations in the kind of services or financial aid you are able to receive. Below are a few examples of the best patient assistance programs available for multiple sclerosis patients.
Avonex Access Program: In order to qualify for its benefits, an individual should be: an MS patient; uninsured or underinsured and meet certain income guidelines; a lawful US resident.
Betaseron Patient Assistance Program: has similar eligibility criteria as compared to the Avonex Access Program. It offers no more than $50 copay every month. A new BETAPLUS® program offers the cost of one month’s prescription by offering copay up to $500. The program needs its beneficiaries to be on Betaseron® for 11 consecutive months and to produce copay receipts in order to receive the payment.
Copaxone® Patient Assistance Program: runs two programs; one of them is for patients who are uninsured or underinsured, while the other is for patients who need copayment assistance.
Novantrone Patient Assistance Program: Eligibility for this program includes that the patient must: not have any private or public insurance; meet certain income guidelines; be a lawful US resident.
Acthar® Gel Patient Assistance Program: offers assistance from 25% to 100% to patients who have no insurance and are unable to pay for the medication. In order to receive the benefit, you need to be a US citizen treated by a US doctor.
Organizations for multiple sclerosis financial aid
Non-profit organizations can be a great start to find suitable financial assistance programs and services to help you cope with your medical expenses for MS. The benefit of working with organizations is that there are a number of non-profits that specifically work with MS patients. This means they would be more willing to assist you with your medical expenses as their mission and core values is to assist individuals with multiple sclerosis. However, like the patient assistance programs above, organizations will also have limited resources and funding which can make it difficult to access the amount of financial aid you require. We’ve searched across the United States to find examples of the best organizations that specifically assist multiple sclerosis patients.
National Multiple Sclerosis Society has various programs to help MS patients. Some of the areas towards which financial assistance is offered include:
– One-time emergency funds to meet the needs such as rent, mortgage, phone bill, and utilities
– Home and vehicle modification
– Respite assistance and caregiver support
To find out your chapter by calling 1-800-344-4867. Once you locate your chapter, you may find out more about their programs by visiting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Web site.
The MRI Diagnostic Fund of Multiple Sclerosis Association of America helps eligible individuals obtain an initial diagnostic MRI of the brain. In case, the insurance is denied or if the patient is uninsured, the program pays for the MRI. The income of applicants should not exceed three times the federal poverty limit for family size.
In addition, the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America has programs for cooling equipment distribution and equipment distribution.
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation through its Home Care Assistance Grant Program, Cooling Program, and the Brighter Tomorrow Grants Program offers eligible patients improve their quality of life by increasing safety, self-sufficiency, comfort, and well-being.
Online fundraising for multiple sclerosis financial aid
A great alternative to these programs and organizations is to fundraise for your medical expenses online. This is a new trend that has emerged and has become a popular way for MS patients to raise not only awareness about multiple sclerosis, but also assist to pay for their medical expenses including medication and overseas treatment.
This is one of the other ways through which you can get multiple sclerosis financial aid. You need to locate a suitable fundraising Web site such as PeoplePledge, sign up with them, and create your page by writing about your story living with multiple sclerosis. Share your struggles and pain. Highlight your financial situation and stress the reasons why you require financial assistance. You may then share the link to your fundraising page through social networking sites or by sending an email to your contacts. Your loved ones and other supporters may want to assist and donate to help pay your medical expenses.
The benefit of using online fundraising as appose to traditional methods of financial assistance is that you will be tapping into your own resources and networks. You could be raising thousands of dollars in less than a week and have your medical bills paid for in months in advance.
1. Adapting: financial planning for a life with multiple sclerosis: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/NationalMSSociety/media/MSNationalFiles/Brochures/brochure-Adapting-Financial-Planning-for-a-Life-with-MS.pdf
2. Financial help for people with multiple sclerosis: http://www.mainstreet.com/article/financial-help-people-multiple-sclerosis
3. Financial assistance for other MS-related needs: http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/19065/75946/related/
4. Financial assistance for your multiple sclerosis medications: http://www.healthcentral.com/multiple-sclerosis/c/19065/75767/medica