Consistently, month after month, the greatest number of assistance requests to Binc are due to large medical bills. It begins with a need for surgery, a prolonged illness or an ongoing medical condition and often ends with insurmountable bills. Five years after the passage of Affordable Care Act (ACA), the law is benefiting millions of individuals across the country and brings tangible benefits to families and communities. However, having medical insurance does not prevent crippling medical bills. Even when insured, the patient’s deductible or portion of a multiple thousand dollar bill can create a serious hardship for their household.
The Binc Foundation is ready to assist should the medical bills threaten the bookseller’s ability to stay in their home, keep their utilities connected or be able to pay essential household expenses. Many times the high dollar amount needed exceeds the ability of Binc to pay all the bills. In these cases the Foundation can assist booksellers in researching other alternatives. Patients can approach their health care provider to work out a payment plan or work with a medical mediation company to negotiate a reduction of the bill.
The Binc Foundation has collected a group of resources specifically to assist with medical events. One of the most useful of these resources is NeedyMeds. This national non-profit organization maintains a website of free information on programs that help people who can’t afford medications and healthcare costs. They regularly update data on over 5,000 assistance programs, 13,000 free/low-cost/sliding scale clinics and 1,500 drug discount coupons and information about resources for specific diseases. All NeedyMeds information is accessible online, at no charge and without registration.
Another great resource is, Good Days from CDF (formerly known as Chronic Disease Fund). Good Days exists to improve the health and quality of life of patients with chronic disease, cancer, or other life-altering conditions. Good Days mission is to ensure no one has to choose between getting the medication they need and affording the necessities of everyday living. Good Days helps patients with limited financial means get access to the medications they need. Their program can help qualified patients pay their insurance co-pays allowing immediate access to needed prescription medications.
One lesson we have learned over the years of assisting booksellers with serious medical expenses is this, be prepared and be proactive. If you know you will be needing treatment or surgery, contact your health care provider beforehand to set up payment plans or apply for a hardship discount. If you suffer from a specific condition or disease, check out related Patient Assistance Programs and the services they can offer.
As always, if you need help with additional resources, check out Binc’s Resource Directory or contact the Foundation at 866-733-9064 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy do whatever we can to help you find the assistance you need.