Rising insurance premiums and patient out-of-pocket expenses are justifying the need for non-profit patient assistance programs, said Dana A. Kuhn in a recent report. Kuhn is founder and president of Patient Services
, a non-profit patient assistance organization.
She explained that while the uninsured rate has fallen in the past years, many patients still struggle to keep up with the premium payments for maintaining their health insurance.
Citing those suffering from chronic and life-threatening diseases, Kuhn explained that falling through the financial cracks has a domino effect on the lives of these patients.
“People who cannot afford the treatments they need to manage their conditions are often too ill to regularly attend work, which can result in the loss of employment, insurance and their homes,” she observed.
Some in this vulnerable sector seek help from the government, driving up uncompensated care costs paid for by tax dollars, shifting the burden to tax payers.
However, she encourages patients to seek assistance from non-profits as a stop gap measure to address the issue of mounting health care costs, especially for those who need sustained care or vital treatments.
“In the face of rising costs, local non-profit patient assistance programs have stepped in to serve as a temporary bridge to life-saving and life-sustaining treatments for those in dire need. Importantly, these local assistance programs help alleviate the onerous financial pressures that patients face through charitable contributions,” Kuhn concluded.