New Fund to Assist Patients Living with Mantle Cell Lymphoma Opens at the HealthWell Foundation

Fund Offers Copayment and Premium Assistance to Patients on Medicare

GERMANTOWN, Md. — August 21, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to Medicare patients living with Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). HealthWell will provide up to $8,500 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.

MCL represents approximately 5 percent of all lymphomas. According to the American Cancer Society, MCL can be difficult to treat and tends to grow faster than indolent lymphomas and doesn’t usually respond to treatment as well as aggressive lymphomas. When a patient is diagnosed, it has usually become widespread in the lymph nodes, bone marrow, and often the spleen. MCL is more common in men than in women and most often appears in people over the age of 60.

“Through this fund, HealthWell will be able to help improve access to care for many patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma,” commented oncologist Jeffrey Peppercorn, MD, MPH, Scientific and Ethics Advisor for the HealthWell Foundation. Dr. Peppercorn continued, “Patients with Mantle Cell Lymphoma often face a difficult prognosis. Worrying about access to therapy and financial burdens can make the distress of diagnosis and treatment worse for patients and their families. Providing financial assistance can relieve distress and give patients the best chance for a good outcome.”

“Many patients living with Mantle Cell Lymphoma face multiple challenges in treating their condition. For patients on Medicare, these challenges may be even more daunting causing patients to have to choose between accessing critical medical treatment or paying for daily necessities, such as food,” said Don Liss, MD, HealthWell Foundation Board Member. “We appreciate that our donors understand the needs of these individuals and the financial hardship treating MCL may present. We are honored to be able to provide a financial resource for these patients so they can concentrate on treating their condition, not on the cost.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Mantle Cell Lymphoma fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 65 disease areas for more than 405,000 underinsured patients by providing approximately $1.25 billion in grant support to access life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. HealthWell ranked #41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100% fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

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HealthWell Foundation Celebrates the Opening of HWF Direct, LLC with Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Federal, State and Local Officials and Other Dignitaries Participate in Event

GERMANTOWN, Md. — June 12, 2019 — Yesterday, the HealthWell Foundation, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, celebrated the opening of their dedicated contact center, HWF Direct, LLC, with an open house and ribbon cutting ceremony. HWF Direct, located in Frederick, Maryland, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the HealthWell Foundation.

“Despite the progress that has been made in expanding access to health coverage, many families still struggle to afford the care that they need. Non-profits like the HealthWell Foundation are crucial to closing the gap to care for thousands of Americans, including many in Maryland. Working together, we will keep fighting to ensure affordable, accessible health care for all,” said U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen.

The HWF Direct contact center houses more than 75 team members who assist patients in accessing life-changing, sometimes lifesaving, medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford.

“The Maryland Department of Commerce is pleased that the HealthWell Foundation has chosen Maryland as the location for HWF Direct, LLC,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Kelly M. Schulz in a written statement. “In addition to bringing 75 new jobs to Frederick County, HWF Direct provides a financial safety net for those facing critical health care decisions when their insurance is not enough. Together, HWF Direct and the HealthWell Foundation help thousands of people access financial resources to help them start or continue critical medical treatments.”

In 2018, the Foundation distributed financial support through more than 50 disease-specific funds, including over 20 funds in oncology. Last year, more than $512 million was awarded to over 117,500 underinsured Americans who have high out-of-pocket costs for important medical treatments.

“I am proud HealthWell has chosen Frederick to be home,” stated Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner. “HealthWell is a financial lifeline for many Marylanders and Americans facing tremendous health challenges and I’m thankful for the work HealthWell is doing to support patients and connect them with needed funds to support recovery. The new contact center brings great jobs to Frederick County and fits well into our caring community. I look forward to all the good work that will continue to happen at HWF Direct.”

At its busiest, the contact center representatives receive over 26,000 phone calls a month, many from people who are being forced to weigh the cost of their medical treatments and care against paying their bills and taking care of their families.

“Since 2003, HealthWell has provided support to underinsured Marylanders and Americans as they face costly health challenges,” said Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp. “We welcome HWF Direct to Frederick in furtherance of this goal and wish for many more years of success for HealthWell.”

The HealthWell Foundation, ranked number 41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and number 50 on the 2018 Chronicle of Philanthropy list of America’s favorite charities, will leverage the new call center to expand the Foundation’s reach and assist more patients across the country.

HWF Direct officially opened its doors in late December 2018 in Frederick, just a few miles from its parent company in Germantown, and the call center had previously been operated by a third party in Chantilly, Virginia.

“The HealthWell Foundation is honored to celebrate the launch of HWF Direct, LLC with our distinguished guests,” commented Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “The opening of our dedicated contact center represents a significant milestone for the Foundation and further strengthens our ability to assist the thousands of underinsured Americans who reach out to us each month for assistance in accessing critical, sometimes lifesaving, medical treatments. We will continue to be true to our mission to ensure that no one goes without critical medical treatment simply because they cannot afford it.”

About the HealthWell FoundationA nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 65 disease areas for more than 405,000 underinsured patients by providing approximately $1.25 billion in grant support to access life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. HealthWell ranked #41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100% fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

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HealthWell Foundation Opens New Amyloidosis Fund to Assist Patients with Treatment Costs

Premium and Copayment Assistance Now Available

GERMANTOWN, Md. — April 23, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to patients living with amyloidosis. Through the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $8,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.

Amyloidosis represents several different disease types where an abnormal protein called amyloid is produced. Amyloid protein fibers can attach and deposit into organs, tissues, nerves and other places in the body, affecting normal function of the area. As the protein increases, health problems and organ damage may occur, according to the Amyloidosis Foundation. Amyloidosis sometimes develops when a person has certain forms of cancer, such as multiple myeloma, Hodgkin’s disease or familial Mediterranean fever (an intestinal disorder). Systemic amyloidosis is slowly progressive and fatal if untreated.

“Financial assistance for amyloidosis patients has been long in coming,” commented Mary O’Donnell, President, Amyloidosis Foundation. “It is comforting to know that those living with amyloidosis now have a resource to turn to. Patients will welcome this newly available assistance to help ease the financial constrictions of their medication and allow them to focus on their recovery, not the cost.”

“People living with amyloidosis can suffer from a variety of painful, sometimes debilitating symptoms. While multiple options may be available to manage these, many living with amyloidosis may not have the financial resources to start or continue their treatment,” said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “Thanks to the continued generosity of our donors, we are now able to relieve some of the financial burden associated with treating their condition through copayment and premium assistance.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Amyloidosis Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 65 disease areas for more than 405,000 underinsured patients by providing approximately $1.25 billion in grant support to access life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. HealthWell ranked #41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100% fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the Amyloidosis Foundation
The Amyloidosis Foundation is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support research for all types of systemic amyloidosis, support patients and their families with accurate information, help them find knowledgeable physicians, in addition to raising awareness of the disease amongst the medical community.

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New HealthWell Foundation Fund Assists Medicare Patients Living with Nontuberculous Mycobacterium

Copayment and Premium Assistance Now Available

GERMANTOWN, Md. — January 29, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to Medicare patients living with nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM). Through the new fund, HealthWell will provide up to $2,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Don Liss MD, HealthWell Foundation Board member, commented on the fund opening, “Older patients who develop NTM are often already debilitated from other health issues. Individuals of modest means may simply be unable to afford the out-of-pocket costs of the medicines necessary to treat their infection.” Dr. Liss continued, “It is gratifying to be able to help Medicare patients with NTM access the medical treatments required to treat this serious infection.”

NTM are naturally-occurring organisms (germs) found in water and soil. While most species of NTM do not cause human disease, except in people with weak lungs or immune systems, people who are susceptible develop lung infections after inhalation of the organisms from misty water or from the soil, according to the Chest Foundation. These lung infections become slowly progressive, destroying lung tissue and leading to other, more serious lung conditions. Between 12,000 – 18,000 new cases of NTM lung infections are diagnosed each year in the United States.

Scott Manaker, MD, PhD, a professor of pulmonary medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who is not affiliated with HealthWell, said, “Treatment of NTM requires a long course of therapy, including multiple antibiotics to try and control these infections. Nonprofit organizations can play a vital role in helping to ensure patients have access to the critical medications they need, when they need it.”

“Treatment of NTM, especially in elderly patients and patients with severe infections, can require months of therapy. Often, treatment of the infection can cause financial hardship to these patients, especially to those on Medicare,” said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “We applaud our donors for recognizing the difficulties NTM patients on Medicare face in accessing the required medications to treat their condition and are honored to offer financial resources to ease some of their burden.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Nontuberculous Mycobacterium Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 65 disease areas for more than 405,000 underinsured patients by providing approximately $1.25 billion in grant support to access life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. HealthWell ranked #41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100% fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

 

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HealthWell’s New Fund Offers Medicare Patients Living with Hepatocellular Carcinoma a Financial Lifeline

Fund Provides Assistance with Copays or Premiums

GERMANTOWN, Md. — January 22, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to provide assistance to Medicare patients who are living with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Under the new fund, HealthWell will provide up to $8,000 in copayment or premium assistance to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 400% of the federal poverty level.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common form of liver cancer in adults. HCC can have different growth patterns, some beginning as a single tumor before spreading to other parts of the liver, while some start as many small cancer nodules throughout the liver – not just in a single tumor. The ACS estimates that each year more than 700,000 people worldwide are diagnosed with liver cancer, accounting for more than 600,000 deaths.

Suzanna Masartis, Executive Director for Community Liver Alliance, commented on the fund, “With new treatment options becoming available, heightened awareness, and breaking the stigma associated with liver disease, it’s an exciting time for the liver community.” Ms. Masartis continued, “Medicare patients living with HCC are particularly hard hit by the financial burden of disease treatment and, often times, forgo treatment all together. The CLA applauds the HealthWell Foundation for the launch of the new HCC fund, which clearly addresses an unmet need for these patients.”

“As we continue to strengthen our oncology programs, the addition of the hepatocellular carcinoma fund addresses an acute and critical need for Medicare patients and the liver cancer community as a whole,” stated Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “Providing financial assistance to these patients so they can start or continue life-changing medical treatments will have a significant impact in managing their care. We are honored that our dedicated donors recognize and support our efforts to ensure that HCC patients are able to access their treatments.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Hepatocellular Carcinoma page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 405,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the Community Liver Alliance
The Community Liver Alliance (CLA), headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to promoting liver health and liver disease awareness, prevention, education and research. Supported by a network of patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals and community leaders, the organization conducts screenings, develops and runs educational workshops, coordinates support groups, facilitates linkage to necessary medical care, provides education for policy makers on issues related to liver health and works with community leaders and groups to raise awareness about liver disease. To learn more, visit: http://www.communityliveralliance.org/about-us

 

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HealthWell Foundation Opens Dedicated Contact Center to Serve the National Patient Community

Nationally Recognized Non-Profit Brings Over 75 New Jobs
to Frederick County Maryland

GERMANTOWN, Md. — January  17, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation®, a nationally recognized, independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, announced today that it has opened a dedicated contact center to assist underinsured patients in accessing critical, sometimes life-saving, medical treatments. HWF Direct, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the HealthWell Foundation, will house more than 75 team members who will serve as the first line of communication for patients, providers, and family members seeking financial assistance for out-of-pocket costs for medical treatments.

HWF Direct, LLC officially opened its doors in late December 2018 in Frederick, MD, just a few miles from its parent company, the HealthWell Foundation, located in Germantown, MD. HealthWell Foundation’s call center had previously been operated by a third party in Chantilly, Virginia. In 2018, the HealthWell Foundation served more than 117,500 underinsured Americans by providing a financial lifeline to assist with high out-of-pocket costs for medical treatments through more than 50 disease-specific funds, including over 20 funds in oncology. Recognized for its 100% fundraising efficiency, HealthWell ranked #41 on the 2018 Forbes list of the 100 Largest U.S. Charities.

“We’re thrilled to have the HealthWell Foundation join the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce,” said Rick Weldon, CEO and President of the Frederick Chamber. “The creation of the contact center and the over 75 jobs it brings to Frederick County would be reason enough to celebrate. Add to that the critical financial support provided by the HealthWell Foundation to patients suffering from chronic illness facing mounting medical bills, and we have the perfect alignment of interests and needs. Relieving the burden of treatment costs from a patient and their family allows them to focus on getting well, and that’s a truly noble mission!”

“Since awarding our first grant in 2004, the HealthWell Foundation has assisted more than 405,000 patients and continues to expand its programs and resources for those who have nowhere else to turn,” commented Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “As a result of this growth, our ongoing commitment to compliance, transparency and efficiency, and in continuing to pursue our mission to reduce financial barriers to care for underinsured patients with chronic or life-altering diseases, the launch of HWF Direct, LLC was a logical and appropriate next step.”

Ms. Zodet continued, “We are proud to have a team of over 75 highly trained professionals to serve the more than 26,000 callers who reach out to us every month to inquire about assistance in accessing critical medical treatments. As a proud local resident, I can’t think of a better way to give back to Frederick County than to bring employment opportunities while addressing a critical, unmet need for thousands of patients to our community.”

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 405,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce
The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce serves as the voice of business and provides strategic leadership and engagement in building the future of business and the community through information, collaboration, advocacy and services on behalf of the employers in our community. To learn more, visit https://www.frederickchamber.org.

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HealthWell Foundation Launches New Fund to Assist Migraine Patients

Financial Assistance for Copayments and Premiums Now Available

GERMANTOWN, Md. — January 16, 2019 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund offering financial assistance to patients who are living with migraines. The new fund provides up to $4,000 in copayment or premium assistance to eligible patients who are living with migraines and have annual household incomes up to 500% of the federal poverty level to assist with medical treatments.

Migraine is a neurological disease with extremely incapacitating neurological symptoms that affects approximately 39 million people in the United States and is the third most prevalent illness in the world. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, usually on one side of the head. But in about 1/3 of attacks, both sides are affected. Attacks are often accompanied by disabling symptoms such as visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face. In some cases, other disabling symptoms are present without head pain. American employers lose more than $13 billion each year as a result of 113 million lost work days due to migraine.

“Given the millions of Americans who struggle with the debilitating effects of migraine, resources such as those provided by the HealthWell Foundation will be instrumental in easing the financial difficulties many face in treating this disease,” stated Vincent Martin, MD, President of the National Headache Foundation. “We applaud HealthWell for providing this valuable service to the migraine community and for giving these patients access to treatments that may have otherwise been out of reach.”

“Migraine sufferers are sometimes burdened with multiple symptoms during an attack,” commented Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “While some of these symptoms may be diminished through treatment, many who suffer will forgo treatment due to cost. We are honored that our dedicated donors recognize the impact that this disease has on patients and their families. We are excited to be able to provide migraine patients the financial resources that will enable them to access critical medical treatment to manage their condition.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Migraine Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation
A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 405,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the National Headache Foundation
Founded in 1970, the National Headache Foundation is the oldest and largest foundation for patients with headaches. Its mission is “To cure headache, and end its pain and suffering.” Its vision is “A World Without Headache.” The Foundation is the premier educational and informational resource for those with headache, health care providers, and the public. The work of the Foundation is through education, raising awareness, advocacy, and research. In order to help patients access quality healthcare for their headaches, the Foundation has established the Certificate of Added Qualification in Headache Medicine for physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dentists, and clinical psychologists who treat headache patients. It publishes the quarterly magazine, HeadWise® and the monthly e-newsletter, NHF News to Know.

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New HealthWell Foundation Fund Offers Financial Assistance to Patients Living with Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency (CSID)

Support Now Available to Assist with Copayments and Premiums

GERMANTOWN, Md. — November 27, 2018 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide assistance to patients who are living with congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID). Through the fund, HealthWell will provide up to $10,000 in copayment or premium assistance to eligible patients living with CSID who have annual household incomes up to 500% of the federal poverty level.

According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), CSID is a genetic disorder that affects a person’s ability to digest certain sugars. People with this condition cannot break down the sugars sucrose and maltose, and other compounds made from simple sugar molecules (carbohydrates), which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. Sucrose (a sugar found in fruits, and also known as table sugar) and maltose (the sugar found in grains) are called disaccharides because they are made of two simple sugars. Disaccharides are broken down into simple sugars during digestion.

“For children and adults living with congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency (CSID), accurate diagnosis is just the first step,” said Ceciel T. Rooker, President of the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). “Costs associated with this life-long digestive disorder pose a significant burden and can prevent individuals and families from obtaining the medical care they need. This fund from HealthWell Foundation will help lift some of that burden and give families greater access to needed treatments.”

“People living with CSID can endure a multitude of uncomfortable, and more often, painful symptoms,” commented Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “Unfortunately, those living with CSID may suffer with symptoms for many years without a proper diagnosis. We are pleased that our dedicated donors recognize the burden out-of-pocket expenses may impose on CSID patients and are honored to provide a financial lifeline so they can focus on treatment and management of their condition.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Congenital Sucrase-Isomaltase Deficiency page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation

A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 320,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About IFFGD

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a non-profit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by a chronic gastrointestinal disorder. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic digestive conditions. Learn more at www.iffgd.org.

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HealthWell Foundation Opens Fund to Assist Patients Living with Gastric Cancer

New Fund Offers Copayment and Premium Assistance to Medicare Patients

GERMANTOWN, Md. — August 14, 2018 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to provide copayment and premium assistance to Medicare patients living with gastric cancer. Through the new fund, HealthWell will provide up to $10,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level.

Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the lining of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms and therefore can go undetected, according to the Gastric Cancer Foundation. Though there has been a significant decrease in the number of people diagnosed with stomach cancer in the past 60 years, worldwide it is the fourth most common cause of cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths. Stomach cancer often may be cured if it is found and treated at an early stage. Unfortunately, the outlook is poor if the cancer is already at an advanced stage when discovered.

“Many families that are touched by gastric cancer are struggling to manage the financial burden imposed by specialized medical treatments and hospitalization,” said Paul Gottsegen, co-chair of the Gastric Cancer Foundation. “The new fund from HealthWell provides a crucial bridge to help manage the additional expenses placed on families. This generous initiative will be deeply appreciated and give further cause for hope in their journey as they fight stomach cancer.”

“Often times, patients living with gastric cancer do not present symptoms until the cancer is advanced. At this stage, treatment options can be limited and can represent a financial burden, especially for those on Medicare,” said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “We applaud our generous donors for recognizing the unmet need these patients face in accessing and affording critical treatments to manage their disease. We are honored we can now offer a financial lifeline so Medicare patients living with gastric cancer can concentrate on their care, not the cost.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Gastric Cancer Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation

A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 320,000 underinsured patients in more than 65 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the Gastric Cancer Foundation

The impetus for the Foundation came from JP Gallagher, a Silicon Valley marketing executive, when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer at age 37 and could not find reliable information about the disease. He battled the disease for six years before passing in 2013, leaving behind a wife and three young children. Gallagher along with Feinstein formed the Foundation to give patients and families better knowledge of the disease and to encourage more research funding. For more information, visit www.gastriccancer.org or follow the Foundation for the latest gastric cancer research news at facebook.com/GastricCancerFoundation or on twitter.com/GastricCancerFD.

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HealthWell Foundation Opens New Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund

Groundbreaking Fund Provides Financial Assistance to Cover Services Prescribed by Behavioral Health Providers    

GERMANTOWN, Md. — May 10, 2018 — The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has launched a new fund to provide copayment assistance for behavioral health treatments related to a cancer diagnosis. Through the Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund, HealthWell will provide up to $2,000 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level.

A cancer diagnosis brings a wealth of psychological challenges. Depression and anxiety are common diagnoses associated with these challenges, yet social or emotional support is offered in less than half of cancer patients’ care. Behavioral health issues can also contribute to harmful health behaviors.

“Distress in the cancer setting is a relatively common but disruptive phenomenon, which adversely affects physical and emotional well-being, interferes with treatment, and increases suffering. The American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) advocates for holistic patient care to address patient and caregiver concerns of all types yet also acknowledges that not all aspects of this care may be available at the cancer treatment setting or available without additional cost,” said Teresa Deshields, Ph.D., ABPP, President of APOS. “The resources offered by the HealthWell Foundation will be enormously helpful to facilitate patients getting the care they need without additional financial burden.”

The HealthWell Foundation recognizes the unmet needs of oncology patients and the importance mental health has on treatment, recovery and overall well-being. Through this unique fund, HealthWell will assist patients in covering their out-of-pocket treatment-related costs for prescription drugs, counseling services, psychotherapy, and transportation.

“We know that the risk of mental health concerns, like clinical depression, is often higher in individuals with serious medical illnesses, such as cancer. In fact, it is estimated that one in four people with cancer also suffer from clinical depression,” said Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO, Mental Health America. “It is important to know the signs – some of which can be mistakenly attributed to the cancer itself. We applaud the HealthWell Foundation for recognizing this need and dedicating assistance for behavioral health treatments related to a cancer diagnosis.”

“If cancer patients have certain behavioral health conditions and they are not treated for them, it can negatively impact health outcomes by decreasing the chances they will seek and adhere to treatment and by affecting their immune systems and ability to fight off cancer,” said Suzanne Miller, Ph.D., Professor of Cancer Prevention and Control and Director of Patient Empowerment and Health Decision Making at

Fox Chase Cancer Center. “This new fund will help remove the financial barrier patients may face when seeking evidence-based psychological treatment.” Dr. Miller is Chairman of the Board for the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute and also serves on the boards of the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the HealthWell Foundation.

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

The HealthWell Foundation would like to recognize the following organizations for their guidance and support in helping us develop and promote our Cancer-Related Behavioral Health Fund: American Psychosocial Oncology Society, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Association of Community Cancer Centers, Cancer Support Community, Mental Health America, and the National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability Directors.

About the HealthWell Foundation

A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net for more than 320,000 underinsured patients in more than 60 disease areas by providing access to life-changing medical treatments they otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly. HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

HealthWell recently launched a behavioral health series through its sponsored blog, Real World Health Care. Please visit www.realworldhealthcare.org to view the series and subscribe.

About American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS)

APOS is the only multidisciplinary organization in the United States dedicated to the psychosocial aspects of cancer treatment. APOS membership consists of 475+ multidisciplinary practitioners and scientists from psychiatry, psychology, social work, nursing, oncology, clergy, patient advocacy, and social and behavioral health scientists who collaborate to apply clinical, translational, behavioral and psycho-oncological research into psychosocial oncology practice. For more information, visit:

www.apos-society.org or @APOSHQ.

About Mental Health America (MHA)

Mental Health America (MHA) – founded in 1909 – is the nation’s leading community-based non-profit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. Our work is driven by our commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all, early identification and intervention for those at risk, integrated care, services, and supports for those who need it, with recovery as the goal. Much of our current work is guided by the Before Stage 4 (B4Stage4) philosophy – that mental health conditions should be treated long before they reach the most critical points in the disease process. To learn more, visit: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net.

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