What is the HealthWell Foundation?
Each year, more and more Americans are being forced to choose between paying for life-saving treatments and paying for basic necessities like food, housing and utilities – decisions no one should have to make. When people in these circumstances need help, many of them turn to the HealthWell Foundation®. Founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to insured patients living with chronic and life-altering illnesses to help them afford their medical treatments.
For many Americans, having health insurance does not mean being able to afford the critical medical treatments they desperately need. When health insurance is not enough, HealthWell assists in closing the gap. We put life-saving medications within reach for hundreds of patients in need every day by helping them to pay their share of prescription drug copayments, deductibles, and health insurance premiums for important medical treatments. As patients are required to pay a larger share of health care costs each year, out-of-pocket expenses for essential medications can add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars a month—much more than many people earn. By reducing this financial stress, the people we serve can focus on what's most important—their health.
Living with a chronic illness like asthma or cancer is exhausting, frightening and painful. Add in the stress of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on medications each month—even with insurance—it can be overwhelming. People may cut pills in half, skip meals or housing payments, or declare bankruptcy. This situation is all too common—an estimated 29 million Americans are underinsured and over 60% of all bankruptcies in the US are related to medical expenses.
Our vision is to ensure that no patient, adult or child, goes without essential medications because they cannot afford them. Since 2004, we have helped more than 164,000 patients afford their medical treatments and lead healthier, more fulfilling and productive lives.
What does underinsured mean?
Underinsured patients are those patients with some health care coverage, whether through a private insurance plan, Medicare or Medicaid, but who still have trouble paying the out-of-pocket costs associated with their medical treatment. Their insurance may be a plan with high premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles, or they may be faced with a catastrophic, chronic or life-threatening diagnosis. An estimated 29 million Americans – more than 10 percent of our nation’s population – cannot afford the health insurance copayments to cover necessary treatments for chronic and life-altering medical conditions and that number is growing by the day.
How is HealthWell funded?
HealthWell receives donations from a number of sources in and outside of the health care industry, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and other health care organizations and individuals who are touched by the work we do.
The HealthWell Foundation is entirely independent and is not controlled or influenced by any of its donors. The assistance that HealthWell provides to patients is based on objective criteria that we apply consistently and in accordance with applicable laws. As a copayment assistance foundation, HealthWell operates within a complex regulatory framework. The regulations governing the health care industry, as well as a favorable Advisory Opinion that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued to HealthWell, set standards that HealthWell must meet to stay in compliance with applicable laws. According to the OIG opinion, HealthWell may not disclose the identity of its donors. This ensures that we are able to operate independently and in the best interest of our patients.
Thanks to our dedicated donors, we offer patients an improved chance at positive health outcomes and proper disease management – a goal that we are powerless to achieve alone. Through the generosity of all of our donors, HealthWell has already provided financial assistance to over 164,000 patients who, without such assistance, would likely have been unable to afford the critical treatments they needed. It is our sincere desire to help as many patients as possible afford the medical treatments they need and deserve.