The Assistance Fund, an independent charitable patient assistance foundation that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket costs, launched a new program that offers financial support for individuals with inherited retinal diseases. The fund will assist patients in paying out-of-pocket medical costs incurred as a result of their condition, including health insurance premiums, copayments and incidental medical expenses.
“On behalf of everyone at The Assistance Fund, I am excited to announce the opening of a new program that offers support to individuals who are living with inherited retinal diseases,” Mark P. McGreevy, President, The Assistance Fund, said in a news release. “People with many forms of inherited retinal disease often face high medical expenses related to their treatment, putting their families under financial strain. This fund will relieve some of that pressure, allowing these families to focus on their health and well-being.”
Inherited retinal disease is a category of eye disorders caused by a gene mutation that affects the retina, or the light-sensing cells in the back of the eye. These conditions can affect a patient’s vision in different ways, including total blindness, night-blindness, tunnel vision, seeing dark areas in the center of vision, or seeing distortions of lines and shapes. Some inherited retinal diseases cause symptoms unrelated to vision as well, including hearing loss and neurological problems.1 Inherited retinal diseases affect approximately 200,000 Americans, with the largest percentile (40 percent) being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa. Other common inherited retinal diseases include Usher syndrome and cone-rod dystrophy.2
To learn more or determine eligibility for financial support, individuals should visit tafcares.org or call (855) 235-2050 to speak with a patient advocate.
A list of all the funds available at The Assistance Fund can be found on the website tafcares.org.
“Inheritance of Retinal Degenerations.” Foundation Fighting Blindness. 2012, July. Retrieved from http://www.blindness.org/sites/default/files/inheritance_of_retinal_degeneration_-_july_2012.compressed.pdf.
“Number of People with Macular Degeneration and Other Retinal Diseases.” Preventing Blindness. 2013, July. Retrieved from http://lowvision.preventblindness.org/eye-conditions/numbers-of-people-with-macular-degeneration-and-other-retinal-diseases/.