GAITHERSBURG — The HealthWell Foundation, an independent nonprofit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans, today announced it has opened a new fund to provide financial assistance to Medicare patients suffering from renal cell carcinoma.
Through the fund, HealthWell will provide grants up to $10,000 to assist RCC patients with copayments and premiums. Patients who are on Medicare and have annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for the fund.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults. About 30 percent of people who are diagnosed with RCC develop advanced (metastatic) disease, in which the cancer spreads to other parts of the body— most often the bones or lungs. Kidney cancer is usually treated with a combination of nephrectomy (surgical removal of all or part of the kidney), radiation therapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. Kidney cancer can often be cured if found and treated before it has spread.
“A diagnosis of kidney cancer is stressful enough without having to worry about the cost of treatment,” said Dr. Jeffrey Berns, president of the National Kidney Foundation. “The financial assistance grants provided by the HealthWell Foundation allow patients to focus on getting better instead of on copays and premiums. With the incidence of RCC increasing worldwide, this assistance is particularly timely and represents substantial relief for many patients and families dealing with this condition.”
Krista Zodet, President of the HealthWell Foundation, said the fund gives new treatment options and new hope to Medicare patients living with renal cell carcinoma.
“Grants under the RCC fund will help bring financial relief to RCC patients so they have one less thing to worry about while managing their disease,” she said.