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PAN Foundation Found Shift in Demand and Need for Co-Payment Assistance in 2012

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Underinsured patients suffering from critical and chronic diseases exhibited a shift in demand and need for co-payment assistance last year, according to a policy analysis published in the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation’s newly released 2012 Annual Report, the PAN Foundation: A Source of Help and Hope.

In an analysis on America’s underinsured patients, the PAN Foundation noticed a decrease in the amount of assistance required by each individual patient, juxtaposed with a higher volume of requests for assistance – trends that Foundation policy analysts and outside experts anticipate will continue with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The increasing number of patients seeking assistance can be largely attributed to the increasing number of consumers with health insurance coverage – which a recent Health Affairs analysis estimates will be 30 to 33 million individuals by 2016. As they reluctantly embrace insurance, experts anticipate these individuals will migrate to plans with lower premiums and significant out-of-pocket liabilities, leaving many of them underinsured and in need of assistance should they be diagnosed with a critical or chronic illness. Meanwhile, the amount of assistance each patient needs from a co-pay organization has started shrinking, likely because of rising pharmaceutical manufacturer rebates and forthcoming annual out-of-pocket spending limits (originally set to take effect in 2014, but since delayed one year). Thus, this trend is expected to increase steadily in the coming years.

In anticipation of these changes, the PAN Foundation is adjusting its operational model and improving efficiencies to ensure it can handle the increased application volume. Such adjustments include the launch of innovative tools like the Income Predictor, which estimates a patient’s income using limited demographic data. By streamlining the application process, and thus, the path to treatment, PAN is ensuring their prompt response to requests for assistance, usually within one business day.

The PAN Foundation helps underinsured critical and chronic disease patients access the high-cost, oftentimes life-saving medications they need today, so they have hope for a healthier tomorrow. About 60% of patients receiving PAN assistance indicated their co-payment would have been too expensive to initiate treatment were it not for the assistance they received from PAN.

The full text of the PAN Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report is available to view or download HERE.

About the PAN Foundation

The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation was established in 2004 as a solution to help underinsured patients access the healthcare they so desperately need to continue living a relatively normal and productive lifestyle. Since then, the PAN Foundation has provided more than 180,000 underinsured patients with over $350 million dollars in much needed financial assistance to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Many of these patients would have few alternatives without the help of PAN. That’s why charitable donations from both the public and private sector are so crucial to continuing the financial assistance provided by the Foundation. The PAN Foundation is an independent, national 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing underinsured patients with co-payment assistance through more than 50 disease-specific assistance programs that give them access to the treatments they need. For more information about the Patient Access Network Foundation, visit www.PANfoundation.org.