Within constantly shifting global health, one thing remains sure: Many of this nation’s most vulnerable patients will need committed, expert, and expeditious help to recover from the health and financial impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). People who were already living with chronic and critical conditions are more at risk for contracting COVID-19, and the preventative measures they must take to avoid contracting the virus are more extreme. The financial and practical burden of the social distancing measures that are required to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus are significant, contributing to increased distress and, in many cases, practical barriers that are nearly insurmountable for the chronically and critically ill patients historically served by PAF. Job loss, coupled with logistical and financial challenges of completing the necessary tasks of daily living, and paying for routine cost of living expenses, all while continuing to maintain preexisting treatment regimens, are proving to be too much for many who are already vulnerable, both medically and financially.
PAF stands ready to address those needs with stabilizing interventions intended to connect patients with the care and social needs resources necessary to ensure individual, family, and community safety. PAF has developed a multidimensional approach to supporting patients, and their families, who are impacted by, or have been diagnosed with, COVID-19. Our COVID Care Resource center offers information and resources 24/7 and for those who need direct intervention, COVID Care and COVID Care Recovery Fund are both available to provide one on one support.
Through COVID Care, PAF’s Case Managers provide patients diagnosed with a chronic, life-threatening and debilitating disease who are impacted by the novel coronavirus COVID-19, and those hospitalized for COVID-19, with timely and relevant information and education to questions and concerns patients, and caregivers, have about accessing and paying for care, managing basic cost of living needs like food, rent and mortgage, utilities, insurance, and necessary transportation costs that have become difficult to manage due to the pandemic. PAF is a connector, ensuring that patients and caregivers in need of practical support are linked to resources that can address these needs. Most importantly, PAF provides emotional support by actively listening to patient’s questions and fears, providing an empathetic, compassionate and knowledgeable support to each person calling COVID Care. The program is available to any patient, or caregiver, who has a chronic, life-threatening or debilitating health condition and have been directly, or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 as well as patients, and their caregivers, who do not have any underlying health condition but have been hospitalize with COVID-19.
COVID Care provides patients, and caregivers, with services that are responsive to their needs and concerns, including but not limited to:
Reducing Financial Burden
- Identifying local, regional and national resources for financial support for living expense support needs such as housing, utility, transportation, food
- Educating and connecting to COVID-19 specific programs that address loan deferral or forgiveness programs for mortgages, care loans, personal loans, credit cards and student loans
- Educational and emotional support resources including online support groups, nutritional and wellness resources
- Education on ADA and FMLA rules and regulations
- Education about benefits available under the federal stimulus packages, how to access them and what to expect
Enrollment into Appropriate Insurance and Social Programs (as available)
- Eligibility and enrollment into Medicare, Medicaid, disability, ACA products, insurance, charity care, negotiation of payment plans or discounts for medical care
- Review of employment status (if applicable) and provision of education and support to access unemployment benefits and/or expanded sick and FMA paid time off under COVID-19 specific federal stimulus plans
Providing Insurance Navigation
- Evaluation of insurance coverage and carrier response fore COVID-19 testing, telehealth and treatment coast sharing obligations
- Insurance utilization assistance such as benefit review, preauthorization, clinical appeals, billing and coding issues, out-of-network, second opinions and treatment decisions, insurance plan interpretation
Patients can access COVID Care by calling 1-800-532-5274 during business hours to speak to a case manager.
Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief Program: COVID-19 Fund
Apply online at https://copays.org/portal/#/login
PAF’s Co-Pay Relief (CPR) program now has assistance available to patients with COVID-19 through the launch of a new disease fund that can provide $500 annually in direct payment for co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles required by the patient’s insurer for medications prescribed to treat and manage their disease. For more details about this important support visit https://copays.org/funds/covid-19/# .
COVID Care Recovery Fund–Fully allocated May 20, 2020
Apply online at https://financialaid.patientadvocate.org/
Through the COVID Care Recovery Fund, PAF Financial Aid Counselors are providing financial assistance through this small grant program, assisting eligible patients who are in need of non-medical day to day cost of living expenses as a result of their diagnosis of COVID-19.
Eligibility Criteria include:
- Currently diagnosed with COVID-19; or
- Diagnosed with COVID-19 within the past six (6) months
The grant funds can be used for routine cost of living, out of pocket expenses for the patient and/or their caregiver(s) associated with the following:
- Food/Nutrition expenses, including food delivery/take-out/pick-up (restaurants and/or groceries)
- Utility Bills (including phone/cable/internet services, water/sewer, electricity, gas, trash, propane refills)
- Rent or Mortgage payments
- Car Payments and other transportation expenses
- Temporary Lodging (including for caregiver)
Patients can access the COVID Care Recovery Fund and complete an application for assistance via a secure portal 24/7 or call 855-824-7941 and will be screened to determine eligibility. Once the application/attestation form is completed, eligible patients will be approved and will receive a $500 grant check.
COVID Care and COVID Care Recovery Fund provide personalized help for those who need direct assistance.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you or your family? There are many resources available to ease the financial strain you may be experiencing.
Let us answer your most commonly asked questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our webinars are updated so you can stay abreast on current COVID-19 pandemic developments.
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is focused on the health and safety of our staff and maintaining the availability of our program services so that we can continue to be a resource for patients, their families and care teams.