Germantown-Based HealthWell Foundation Broadens Homocystinuria Fund to Include Organic Acidemias

The HealthWell Foundation®, an independent non-profit that provides a financial lifeline for inadequately insured Americans that’s based in Germantown, has enhanced its homocystinuria fund to also provide financial assistance to patients living with organic acidemia. Through the Homocystinuria and Organic Acidemias Fund, HealthWell will provide up to $5,000 in copayment or premium assistance to eligible patients with annual household incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level to obtain prescription medications for the treatment and management of their condition.

Per the press release: Kathy Stagni, Executive Director, Organic Acidemia Association, said, “OAA is honored to provide a financial contribution to support broadening this fund to include organic acidemias. Those living with the condition can be faced with a multitude of symptoms including breathing difficulties, vomiting, slow growth, and lethargy. Organic acidemia may also lead to neurological and physiological harm resulting in toxicity to organs. If undiagnosed and left untreated, the condition can be fatal. Accessing proper care and the ability to afford continued treatment are obstacles that many patients face. We applaud the HealthWell Foundation for recognizing this unmet need and for providing the financial resources these patients need to access lifesaving treatments.”

According to the Organic Acidemia Association, organic acidemias are a group of inheritable genetic metabolic disorders in which there is a defect in protein metabolism where an essential enzyme is absent or malfunctioning. This defect results in a buildup of chemicals, in this case usually acids, on one side of the metabolic blockage and a deficiency of vital chemicals on the other. This causes an overdosage of one chemical (often toxic) and the shortage of another which is essential to normal body functioning.

The effect of the disorder will depend upon the age at which symptoms occur. Children with less severe forms of the conditions develop symptoms later. Characteristics of the conditions include general malaise, reluctance to feed, breathing problems, vomiting, hypotonia (floppiness) and/or spasticity (stiffness). Early detection and treatment can greatly mitigate the effects of the disorder.

“We are honored to welcome the Organic Acidemia Association as a valued contributor and alliance partner with their generous donation providing the support to expand the fund to include organic acidemias,” said Krista Zodet, HealthWell Foundation President. “We are thrilled to be able to offer copayment and premium assistance through the fund to assist this patient population in accessing life-changing, potentially lifesaving, treatments they otherwise would forgo due to cost.”

To determine eligibility and apply for financial assistance, visit HealthWell’s Homocystinuria and Organic Acidemias Fund page. To learn how you can support this or other HealthWell programs, visit HealthWellFoundation.org.

About the HealthWell Foundation

A nationally recognized, independent non-profit organization founded in 2003, the HealthWell Foundation has served as a safety net across over 85 disease areas for more than 727,000 underinsured patients. Since its inception, HealthWell has provided over $2.7 billion in financial support through more than 1.1 million grants to access life-changing medical treatments patients otherwise would not be able to afford. HealthWell provides financial assistance to adults and children facing medical hardship resulting from gaps in their insurance that cause out-of-pocket medical expenses to escalate rapidly; HealthWell assists with the treatment-related cost-sharing obligations of these patients. HealthWell ranked 27th on the 2021 Forbes list of The 100 Largest U.S. Charities and was recognized for its 100 percent fundraising efficiency. For more information, visit www.HealthWellFoundation.org.

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