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SOURCE The PAN Foundation
Health Reform Implementation Expected to Exaggerate Trend, Need for Co-Payment Assistance
WASHINGTON, Sept. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Underinsured patients suffering from critical and chronic diseases exhibited a shift in demand and need for co-payment assistance last year, according to a policy analysis published in the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation's newly released 2012 Annual Report, the PAN Foundation: A Source of Help and Hope.
In an analysis on America's underinsured, the PAN Foundation noticed a decrease in the amount of assistance required by each individual patient, juxtaposed with a higher volume of requests for assistance - trends that Foundation policy analysts and outside experts anticipate will continue with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The increasing number of patients seeking assistance can be largely attributed to the increasing number of consumers with health insurance coverage - which a recent Health Affairs analysis estimates will be 30 to 33 million individuals by 2016. As they reluctantly embrace insurance, experts anticipate these individuals will migrate to plans with lower premiums and significant out-of-pocket liabilities, leaving many of them underinsured and in need of assistance should they be diagnosed with a critical or chronic illness. Meanwhile, the amount of assistance each patient needs has started shrinking, likely because of rising pharmaceutical manufacturer rebates and forthcoming annual out-of-pocket spending limits (originally set to take effect in 2014, but since delayed one year). Thus, this trend is expected to increase steadily in the coming years.
In anticipation of these changes, the PAN Foundation is adjusting its operational model and improving efficiencies to ensure it can handle the increased application volume. Such adjustments include the launch of innovative tools like the Income Predictor, which estimates a patient's income using limited demographic data. By streamlining the application process, and thus, the path to treatment, PAN is ensuring their prompt response to requests for assistance, usually within one business day.
The PAN Foundation helps underinsured critical and chronic illness patients access the high-cost, oftentimes life-saving medications they need today, so they have hope for a healthier tomorrow. Seventy-three percent of patients indicated their co-payment would have been too expensive to initiate treatment were it not for the assistance they received from PAN.
The full text of the PAN Foundation's 2012 Annual Report is available to view or download HERE.
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