Charlotte, NC – Sept. 25, 2013 -The Leon Levine Foundation has awarded NC MedAssist a $75,000 Challenge Grant as part of an effort to raise funds and awareness for NC MedAssist across North Carolina. The Levine Foundation will match any new or increased donations received by December 15, 2013, doubling the impact of the gift.
This comes at a time when the Affordable Care Act will affect health insurance coverage for many North Carolinians. But because NC did not expand Medicaid, those with very low income will still be left uninsured and in need of access to medication. “The poorest of the poor are going to be left without coverage under the ACA come January 1,” says Lori Giang, NC MedAssist Executive Director. “They can continue to come to MedAssist for their prescription medication and this challenge gives MedAssist the opportunity to serve more of those in need.”
The grant will be used as a catalyst to engage new donors and serve more people. Through the generosity of the Levine Foundation, NC MedAssist has the potential to serve more than 1,000 uninsured individuals – providing them with lifesaving medication, support and a voice in the changing healthcare landscape. Without MedAssist, they will struggle to afford their medication and are left to make the dire choice between buying medicine or their groceries.
Shelvy Hayes is one such client who receives four medications for high blood pressure. She was downsized from her job a few years ago and had to withdraw from her Cobra benefits due to the cost. Without insurance, her medications would have cost $500 a month out of pocket. Shelvy’s health suffered because she had to go without, until she found NC MedAssist. “There is no way I would have been able to continue with my medications without MedAssist because I couldn’t afford them on my own.” The average annual cost to MedAssist for dispensing medication to clients like Shelvy is $144.
Thousands more are uninsured and in Shelvy’s situation – 162,000 here in Mecklenburg and more than 1.5 million across the state. Nearly 10,000 people in need received services from NC MedAssist last year, with more than 167,000 prescriptions dispensed at a value of almost $21 million (Average Wholesale Price). The annual savings to the community by providing this service is $25 million in avoided healthcare costs.
“Bottom line – this funding will save lives and make our community a healthier place,” Giang says. “We are so grateful to the Leon Levine Foundation for this opportunity and we ask the community and our donors to join us in meeting the challenge.”