Editor’s Note: Real World Health Care is pleased to share with our readers an announcement from our founding sponsor, the HealthWell Foundation, which has responded to the needs of its patient community with a new fund that promotes social distancing and provides assistance for needed services and products. We invite everyone to spread the word to your friends, colleagues, neighbors and family members.
On March 17, the HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, has opened a new fund to assist individuals who are at risk or have been quarantined due to COVID-19.
Through this unique fund, HealthWell will provide up to $250.00 in financial assistance for a 12-month grant period to eligible patients who have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level. Grants awarded through the fund will provide reimbursement assistance for delivered food and medication and transportation costs to manage COVID-19, while maintaining social distancing protocols, including drive-thru testing, delivery of test kits and future treatments. In addition, eligible copayment and incidental costs associated with tele-health treatments and diagnostics related to COVID-19 will also be covered under the fund.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported cases of COVID-19 have ranged from very mild, including some with no reported symptoms, to severe, including illness resulting in death. Elderly and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions, such as heart or lung disease, and diabetes, appear to be at higher risk of developing serious illness. If symptoms develop such as fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, and you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, the CDC advises individuals to stay home and contact their health care provider. Recognizing persons who are at risk for COVID-19 is a critical component of identifying cases and preventing further transmission.
“As the COVID-19 public health crisis continues to grow, HealthWell remains committed to protecting the safety and well-being of those we serve, their families and caregivers. During this time, we will do all that we can to ensure that those at risk and those who have been quarantined have access to diagnostics and treatments as well as to critical necessities, such as medications and food,” said Nancy Carteron, MD, FACR, Consultant Rheumatologist, Sjogren’s Expert and Faculty of University of California, San Francisco and HealthWell Foundation Board Member.
Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President, commented on the fund, “As the U.S. continues to implement precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, we are honored to be able to offer this resource to ensure those who need assistance have immediate access to it and to maintaining social distancing protocols as advocated by experts. The launch of this new, HealthWell-sponsored, fund is a testimony to our unwavering commitment to place those we serve first. We are honored to be able to address this critical, unmet need, and to do our part to assist during this public health emergency.”