HealthWell Foundation Offering Help with Sickle Cell Treatment Costs

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by David Melamed, PhD |

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HealthWell Foundation fund

The nonprofit HealthWell Foundation launched a new fund to help people with sickle cell disease afford their treatments.

Awards will provide up to $10,000 over 12 months to eligible patients being treated for sickle cell in the United States.

To qualify, patients must have health insurance that covers their current medication, and can have household incomes that go up to five times (500% of) the federal poverty level.

A list of covered therapies is available on the fund’s website. For instructions and a link to start the application, please go here.

Patients are encouraged to contact the pharmaceutical companies marketing their medications before applying, as many offer Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) that may provide greater financial assistance than HealthWell’s new fund, the foundation said. Other resources for those not eligible for either a PAP or the fund can be found here.

Sickle cell is a genetic blood disorder characterized by decreased blood flow, tissue damage, and other complications such as anemia and gallstones.

“Individuals living with sickle cell disease can face a multitude of challenges managing their condition,” Krista Zodet, HealthWell’s president, said in a press release. “Often, treatments begin at birth and continue for a lifetime, presenting undue financial strain on the patient and their families.”

HealthWell has partnered with the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (SCDAA) to inform the community of this funding opportunity.

“We are excited that the HealthWell Foundation will provide much needed resources to individuals living with sickle cell disease during this difficult time,” said Beverley Francis-Gibson, SCDAA president. “I am pleased that they are partnering with SCDAA to support the sickle cell community and reach as many individuals as possible.”

HealthWell offers various funding opportunities for patients with chronic or life-altering diseases, and reports having awarded over $610 million in 2019 through their Disease Fund initiatives. Over $1.67 billion in copayment assistance have been granted to more than 500,000 patients since 2004.

HealthWell says it has been recognized as one of the most efficient charities, with 100% of every dollar donated going to people in need.

The introduction of the Sickle Cell Disease Fund allows HealthWell to provide assistance to some of the 100,000 Americans diagnosed with the disorder.

“We are honored to be able to assist people living with SCD [sickle cell disease] and to provide a financial lifeline, so they are able to start or continue essential, sometimes lifesaving, medical treatments,” Zodet said. “Thank you to our dedicated donors for recognizing this critical need and for helping us serve this patient community.”