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Program offering copay assistance for mental health visits becomes part of Lancaster foundation

Intelligencer Journal - 9/20/2017

A Lancaster program that helps people access mental health care by lowering visit copays to $10 has a new name and parent organization.

Formerly known as Project Access Lancaster County, or PALCO, it’s now called the Mental Health Copay Assistance Program of Lancaster Osteopathic Health Foundation.

Administrators say the copay assistance has helped 135 people in the past two years, 87 of whom are currently active in the program, and they have $120,000 available to help people through June 2018.

From 2007 to 2015, PALCO connected the uninsured with doctors who donated care valued at $47.8 million.

It switched to the copay program after the Affordable Care Act gave low-income people access to health insurance through healthcare.gov and Medicaid.

Now the program’s going under the umbrella of LOHF, which is supporting administrative expenses. The program’s funds come from United Way of Lancaster County through a collaborative focused on mental health.

LOHF board chair Shawn Barron said it took over the program because it “aligns so naturally” with the foundation’s mission of improving behavioral health services.

“So many people in need rely on this program to help them make ends meet; it would be detrimental not to continue this,” he said.

The foundation was formed in 1999 from the sale of what became UPMC Pinnacle Lititz. A couple of years ago it narrowed its focus from child health to child behavioral health.

People seeking copay assistance may contact Lisa Riffanacht at 717-392-1595 or lisa_palco@comcast.net for an application, or download one in English or Spanish at lohf.org/mental-health-copay-assistance/.

Credit: HEATHER STAUFFER | Staff Writer

 
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