June 11, 2019
Financial Assistance for People Living with Lupus
Statistics have found that 1.5 million Americans are living with lupus. This is a significant section of the population and brings to mind the crucial question of how those with the condition are able to afford the medication and treatment necessary to manage it. As it stands, poverty can be a significant contributor to flare-ups and this can be seen around the living space of the underprivileged who are living with the condition. As we continue to argue about equality and the growing economic gap between the poor and the rich, we must confront the reality that those without adequate means will have it harder than those who do, as with most things. However, now that the problem can be identified for what it is, we must move towards a discussion of the financial assistance available to those with lupus.
The Financial Question
Lupus, as with many other medical conditions, takes a significant toll on the finances of those affected. Studies have found that the annual cost of managing lupus can range from $8,900 to $15,000, and this is just for those with mild symptoms. Those with moderate or severe symptoms may find the cost ranging from $22,300 to $83,000 per year for treatment alone. These costs do not even begin to factor in the costs of medication, which can range from $1,572 to $13,138 annually. These figures also do not account for the emergency visits to the hospital following a flare-up. However, there are a number of measures that can be used to counter these costs such as Medicaid which is available for senior citizens and other financial breaks that are offered by different organizations to counter the costs of lupus to individuals. Two of these accessible financing options for lupus will be discussed below.
One of the ways to offset the financial burden of lupus is to apply for disability benefits. You’ll need to work with your doctor to find the evidence necessary to support your claim to benefits but this shouldn’t be too difficult. There’s a lupus listing that provides for the lupus cases that can be covered under this program: basically, you must have two body organ systems affected by lupus and additionally, experience consistent symptoms such as fever and weight loss. Alternatively, if you don’t qualify under the listing, you can show that your daily functioning is significantly affected by the condition. In this instance, you would simply need to show that your symptoms significantly hinder your ability to function socially or to keep up with the activities of daily living.
Financial Assistance Programs
Another option is opting for financial assistance programs that offer financial aid and services. Such programs include the Healthwell Foundation that is a copay type of funding scheme with a maximum award of $15,000, The Assistance Fund, Pan Access Network Foundation, and United Healthcare Children’s Foundation. The funding provided is meant to assist in covering treatment-related expenses, getting prescription medication that is used in the treatment of lupus, and professional care. To be eligible for these programs, you need to already be on treatment for lupus, have insurance to cover your medication, be within the income bracket stipulated, and be receiving treatment in the U.S.
If you in the Los Angeles area, you can also look into some of the grants offered. These grants are specifically meant to assist those undergoing lupus treatment amidst financial challenges. The grants themselves are paid by check or directly to a provider or agency and are dedicated to cover treatment of lupus or lupus-related emergencies. You can try this option if you’ve unsuccessfully exhausted all other options.
Funding the treatment of lupus may seem impossibly difficult for those with small incomes. However, there are still a number of options open to other funding avenues that somewhat ease this burden.
Written by: Jess Walter