New myasthenia gravis disease fund opens
The PAN Foundation today opened a new financial assistance program for people living with myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is a chronic autoimmune, neuromuscular disease that causes weakness in the skeletal muscles, which the body uses for breathing and movement.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 132,400 people are living with myasthenia gravis in the U.S. About 15 to 20 percent of people with myasthenia gravis experience at least one myasthenic crisis, which is when severe muscle weakness causes respiratory failure and requires emergency care.
“Most people living with myasthenia gravis deal with flare-ups and remissions throughout their lives, but there is no cure, so they can require treatment with high out-of-pocket costs for many years,” said PAN President and CEO Kevin L. Hagan. “We’re grateful to our generous donors who have made this financial assistance possible. Treating myasthenia gravis is an expensive, lifelong process, and we hope that this fund will provide some relief.”
Patients who qualify are eligible to receive $13,000 per year in financial assistance to pay for the deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance costs associated with their treatment for myasthenia gravis.
To get financial assistance for myasthenia gravis, patients must:
- Be getting treatment for myasthenia gravis.
- Have Medicare health insurance that covers the qualifying medication or product.
- Have an income that falls at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
How to apply
Patients or caregivers applying on their behalf can apply for assistance using the PAN Foundation’s online patient portal. To apply on behalf of a patient, providers can use the provider portal, while pharmacists can use the pharmacy portal. A series of how-to guides are also available for the patient portal, including common tasks like creating an account and applying for assistance online.
Other patient support services at PAN
PAN grant recipients may also qualify for transportation assistance to allow them to get to doctor’s appointments and pharmacy visits.
Free application support for the federal Extra Help program
The Extra Help program—also known as the Low-Income Subsidy program—is administered by the Social Security Administration and was designed to assist people with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
Thousands of Medicare beneficiaries—many of whom are PAN grant recipients—may qualify for state or federal assistance from the program but don’t know that they are eligible. Patients can log in to their patient portal account to see if they are eligible for free application assistance for the Extra Help program.
About the PAN Foundation
The PAN Foundation is an independent, national 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping federally and commercially insured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases with the out-of-pocket costs for their prescribed medications.
Since 2004, we have provided more than 1 million underinsured patients with $4 billion in financial assistance. Partnering with generous donors, healthcare providers, and pharmacies, we provide the underinsured population access to the healthcare treatments they need to best manage their conditions and focus on improving their quality of life. Learn more at panfoundation.org.
Liz Eckert, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
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