By Elaine Chan, MSW, MPH
At any point, families living with a bleeding disorder can experience financial hardship because of their medical situation. HFA’s Helping Hands Program has become a safety net for thousands of families throughout the years. Helping Hands has provided many families with assistance for expenses like housing, utilities, and transportation. In addition to assistance for these basic living expenses, Helping Hands has helped individuals and families to obtain durable medical items for the care of their bleeding disorders.
Families affected by inhibitors are faced with unique, and often unexpected, medical and financial needs. The inhibitor community is especially challenged with bleed management, joint damage, venous access concerns, pain issues, and social and emotional distress. The financial burden can be great, even catastrophic. In 2016, Helping Hands expanded to provide support for families affected by inhibitors through the addition of Inhibitor Support.
This chart was created to help you navigate all the coverage Helping Hands provides:
|EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE||ITEMS REIMBURSEMENT||INHIBITOR SUPPORT|
|What is covered?||Basic living expenses: housing, utilities, transportation||Durable medical items
(i.e., medical IDs, protective gear, braces, cooling/heating supplies, fitness support)
|Educational travel, medical travel, tutoring/educational supplies|
|How often?||Once per year||Throughout the year, depending on needs/ requests||Throughout the year, depending on needs/ requests|
|Referral or Self-Apply?||Referral from eligible referrer*||Both||Both|
|Who can apply?||Individuals and families with a diagnosed bleeding disorder||Individuals and families with a diagnosed bleeding disorder||Individuals and families with a diagnosed bleeding disorder and an inhibitor with measurable titer and/or shortened half life|
*Please reach out to our Helping Hands team for additional information regarding eligible referrer
“Thank you all for the assistance given to my family. I am thankful we have Helping Hands which truly helps us continue the fight.”
“I have had a very bad year. My husband and I both lost our jobs, and my son with hemophilia had surgery. It took us a while to find new jobs. We are all very grateful for your help. Thank you so much.”
“I greatly appreciate Helping Hands and what they have done for me and my children. We get to keep a roof over our heads during this cold winter. Thank you so much.”
“Helping Hands is truly an amazing program. They helped us when we needed it the most.”
If I apply for the emergency assistance, am I allowed to apply for items reimbursement?
Completion of an Emergency Assistance Application does not render you ineligible for reimbursement for durable medical items. Refer to Items ReimbursementÂ for complete eligibility details.
Can I apply for inhibitor support if I had an inhibitor before and is tolerized?
Unfortunately, inhibitor support is only available to those with an active inhibitor: a measurable titer and/or shortened half-life.
Can I apply for all three Helping Hands assis- tance areas if my family member has an active inhibitor?
Yes! All households affected by inhibitors are eligible to apply for all components of HFA’s Helping Hands Program including emergency assistance, items reimbursement, and inhibitor support.
How long does it take to get assistance or reimbursement?
Emergency assistance requests are generally completed within two weeks. Items reimbursement and inhibitor sup- port requests are generally completed within 30 days.
How do I know if my request for help was received?
Our program coordinators will contact you within five business days complete a phone interview for your request of assistance.
I need help with my hospital bill and the copay for my medication. Can I get help for those?
Unfortunately, we do not offer assistance in medically related expenses such as medical bills, copayments, insurance premiums, deductible, etc. Please visit our Navigating Patient Assistance ProgramsÂ guide for alternative resources and programs.