The PAN Foundation today launched a first-of-its-kind transportation assistance program, which will be available to all qualifying PAN grantees, regardless of their disease state.
In 2017, 5.8 million Americans delayed medical care because they did not have transportation, according to social scientist and researcher Mary Katherine Wolfe of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
With the launch of PAN’s Transportation Assistance Program, people struggling to afford transportation for visits to doctors and specialists can apply for a grant to help them pay for eligible non-emergency transport costs. Another hallmark of the program is patient autonomy. Recipients can choose the right type of transport for their mobility needs and geographic location, from a taxi or rideshare service to a wheelchair-supported medical transport van, or even airfare and lodging for medical appointments that are farther away.
“The number of Americans who delayed medical care in 2017 due to transportation barriers is equivalent to the entire population of Colorado. That is a serious need,” said PAN Foundation President and CEO Dan Klein. “In the midst of a global pandemic, transportation needs have grown, especially for people living with chronic illnesses or with suppressed immune systems. This is our latest step to ensuring that patients are able to start and stay on needed treatments.”
Despite the need, there aren’t many transportation support programs, and those that do exist are limited to specific patient populations, making this fund, which supports patients across 70 disease states, uniquely situated to help many. As a supplemental resource, we’ve also compiled a directory of other organizations that provide financial resources for transportation services for the broader patient community.
“We regularly heard from patients that the cost and availability of transportation was a challenge, so we did our research,” said Ayesha Azam, Vice President of Medical Affairs at PAN. “In our 2019 survey of 4,000 older adults with serious conditions, 61 percent reported at least one transportation barrier in getting to their medical appointments. Some said they faced accessibility issues, including vision or mobility limitations that prevented them from driving or taking public transportation. Others simply couldn’t afford the costs of transportation.
“I’m proud that PAN is thinking holistically about patient needs and also ensuring that everyone can get access to this kind of benefit, regardless of their disease state.”
To receive financial assistance for transportation, patients must:
- Be currently enrolled in a co-pay or premium disease fund at the PAN Foundation and receiving treatment for that disease.
- Reside and receive treatment in the United States or U.S. territories. (U.S. citizenship is not a requirement).
- Have Medicare health insurance.
- Have an income that falls at or below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Patients who qualify are eligible to receive $500 per year in financial assistance to pay for transportation costs associated with their treatment.
How to apply
Patients, caregivers, or advocates applying on their behalf can apply for assistance using the PAN Foundation’s online patient portal.
About the PAN Foundation
The PAN Foundation is an independent, nationwide 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing help and hope to underinsured patients who are unable to afford the out-of-pocket expenses for their prescribed medications. Since 2004, PAN has provided over $3 billion in financial assistance to nearly 1 million patients who would otherwise be unable to afford their medications.
Liz Eckert, Director of Marketing and Communications
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