The below post is from the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation. Amy Niles, Director of Patient Advocacy and Professional Relations, shares with MyBCTeam the resources and services that PAN can offer to those who are underinsured. If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, go to MyBCTeam and connect with other women who “get it”. Thousands of women from all over the country are here to share not only their stories, but their daily lives: the good days and bad days of living with breast cancer.
For thousands of breast cancer patients, including many members of the MyBCTeam community, one of the first questions regarding treatment and quality of life is, “How will I pay for this?” Patients who have been just getting by or even those who consider themselves fully financially stable often find themselves unable to afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with their prescribed medications. For many, the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation may be able to help.
Founded in 2004, the PAN Foundation is a nationwide, independent nonprofit dedicated to providing financial assistance to underinsured patients, or patients who have insurance but still face financial hardship in affording complex specialty medications such as chemotherapy. PAN has provided nearly $400 million in assistance to more than 200,000 patients across our nearly 60 disease-specific programs including programs designed for patients being treated for metastatic breast cancer, bone metastases, chemotherapy and induced neutropenia.
What is PAN assistance?
PAN provides grants to qualifying patients to help pay for the out-of-pocket portions of their qualifying medication costs. There is no cost to the patient or their healthcare provider to receive assistance from PAN. Once a patient is approved, PAN allocates a certain amount of money, $1,500-$10,000 varying by disease, that patients have access to for 12 months. When a patient receives a treatment or medication, their healthcare provider or specialty pharmacy submits a claim to PAN for the co-pay or coinsurance amount not covered by the patient’s insurance – allowing patients the peace of mind to continue their therapy without worrying about submitting reimbursement claims to PAN. PAN also features what we call a 90-day look-back, which means if a patient has incurred qualifying expenses at any time during the 90-days prior to their grant approval, PAN will reimburse them directly through their grant.
Who can qualify for PAN assistance?
The PAN philosophy is based on an understanding that the cost of specialty medications can be a burden even for those well above the poverty level. While criteria vary per disease-specific program, generally patients with household incomes at or below 400-500% of the federal poverty level ($62,920-78,650 for a family of two) are eligible to receive assistance. Patients must be insured and some programs require that patients have Medicare insurance. Patients must be diagnosed with one of the nearly 60 diseases for which PAN operates a program and must reside and receive treatment in the United States. Assistance is only available for mediations that treat the disease directly.
How to apply for PAN assistance:
PAN has developed multiple application routes, all delivering patients’ eligibility determinations in under one minute, so patients know instantly whether they have been approved for assistance.
- To apply online, visit www.PANfoundation.org and select “Online Application”
- To apply over the phone, call 866-316-PANF (7263). Representatives are available 9:00 am to 5:00 pm eastern time
- Physicians and Specialty Pharmacists have access online portals where they may apply on behalf of patients and manage their grant and claims electronically
To learn more about Patient Access Network and PAN’s assistance programs, visit www.PANfoundation.org.