The official blog of the Lung Institute.
No Money for COPD Cellular Treatments? Fundraise!
There is no doubt that one of the major obstacles facing a patient suffering with a lung disease like COPD is money.
Insurance doesn’t cover the treatment because it is still considered elective and it’s a treatment, not a drug.
We have had great success with our treatments, as more than 84 percent of our patients report an improved quality of life within three months of treatment as we address the progression of the disease.
But, not everyone has the money readily available to pay for the treatments, and many times our patient coordinators are asked what options are available.
Some have turned to relatives for a loan or a gift, but, again, not everyone has that option.
Common Fundraisers Work
One of the most common sources of dollars is fundraising.
You’ve most likely heard or seen stories of people raising money for medical procedures.
You can do it too!
Our patients have had bake sales, garage/yard sales, walkathons, potlucks and raffles, and they all work.
But, many of these take time and effort.
Crowdfunding, Simple and Effective
One of the most popular and easiest to do is with a crowdfunding website.
Crowdfunding is raising small amounts of money from a large number of people.
It was estimated that in 2015 more than $34 billion was raised.
The idea is there may not be one person who will contribute $1,000, but you might have 100 people contribute $10.
You can manage the communications to friends and relatives spreading the word through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media resources.
Do a little research on these sites.
There are a few of them. Some are exclusively for medical purposes, while others are for any purpose.
The nice thing is all donations go right into the financial account you choose.
Some charge a small fee to handle the money.
One of the most popular is GoFundMe.com.
Other notable ones are Indiegogo and YouCaring.
Tap into Your FSA or HSA
Many people have Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) or Health Savings Accounts (HSA) through their work or on their own.
It’s a way to set aside pretax dollars into an account that can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses not covered by insurance, and sometimes employers also contribute.
There are usually annual limits and HSAs rollover unused dollars into the next year, while FSAs are “use it or lose it” each year.
You will need to contact your insurance company to see if cellular therapys and harvesting are considered qualified expenses.
They are usually listed as “potentially.” Insurance companies usually have language like:
- requires letter of medical necessity from healthcare provider, or
- must be an existing or imminent medical condition to be considered for reimbursement.
Regardless whether you try any of these fundraising options, there is also the option to set up a payment plan.
Typically, a company sends you a fixed-term loan with monthly payments.
Contact one of our patient coordinators to discuss that possibility.
The bottom line is we don’t want finances or lack of finances be the obstacle preventing you from getting this possibly life-altering treatment as soon as possible.
Recent research from the National Institutes of Health notes that lung function declines much more rapidly and earlier than previously thought.
Our patient coordinators will walk you through our available treatment options, discuss your current health and medical history and determine a qualifying treatment plan that works best for you.
The Lung Institute supports National COPD Awareness Month in November sponsored by the US COPD Coalition.
November 15 is designated as World COPD Awareness Day.