Cenla residents may be eligible for programs
An initiative of The Rapides Foundation provides eligible residents with free prescription medications and cancer screens, and it has expanded to reach more people.
The Cenla Medication Access Program, created by The Rapides Foundation in 2001 to address access to quality healthcare in Central Louisiana, is now enrolling Medicare patients and recently raised its income-level requirements so more people can take advantage of this free service. The CMAP Cancer Screening Project, another program under the Foundation’s Healthcare Access Initiative, provides free screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers for residents throughout Central Louisiana.
CMAP Executive Director Wendy Roy said CMAP wants to reach as many residents as possible to ensure that people are able to get potentially life-saving medications and cancer screens.
Cenla Medication Access Program
CMAP’s medication service offers free medications through its partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. CMAP Patient Assistance Program specialists work individually with clients in parishes throughout the region.
To be eligible, residents must be over 18, reside in Louisiana and cannot have Medicaid or prescription coverage through private insurance. The resident’s household income must be at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, which allows more families in the program, Roy said. The income requirement allows people to enroll if their monthly income is $2,529 or lower for one person; $3,429 for a family of two; $4,329 for a family of three; and $5,229 for a family of four. The complete list can be found at www.cmaprx.org.
To reach even more people, CMAP opened its medication program to Louisiana residents who are on Medicare. While Medicare covers many prescriptions, CMAP would greatly benefit a Medicare patient who is put on a medication that may not be fully covered under their current plan. “CMAP could fill the gap,” Roy said.
“You may or may not need help right this second, but call us and apply so you can get the process out of the way. Once you are enrolled, you are eligible for the whole year,” Roy said.
Callers will be asked to fill out a one-page application, send in a copy of their driver’s license or photo ID, and proof of income. The application and other information can be found on the CMAPrx.org website.
“We try to make it as easy as possible,” Roy said. Call 318-443-7494 or toll-free at 1-888-443-7494 to apply."
Cancer Screening Project
The Cancer Screening Project offers free screenings for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers for Central Louisiana residents who do not have health insurance. The program follows the American Cancer Society screening guidelines, which recommend how often men and women should get screened, and at what ages.
“Early detection is so important, so the goal of the Cancer Screening Project is for people to get screened,” Roy said. In partnership with the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center’s Partners in Wellness Program at LSU Health Shreveport, CMAP is able to bring screenings to the nine parishes in the Foundation’s service area through a mobile unit. People with appointments can get digital mammograms, clinical breast exams, Pap smears and cervical exams inside the unit, which travels to communities twice a month. In addition, residents can pick up take-home colorectal cancer screening tests called FIT kits. A list of the Cancer Screening mobile unit stops can be found at www.cmaprx.org.
Central Louisiana residents can get screened at any location, so they are encouraged to call for an appointment now and not wait for the mobile unit to come to their parish. “Call now and we’ll get you scheduled,” Roy said. Interested residents should contact the Cancer Screening Project to see if they meet income and insurance qualifications or to request an appointment. Call Cancer Screening Specialist Kayla Edwards at 318-767-3027 or toll-free at 1-855-767-3027.
These two projects are funded under The Rapides Foundation’s Healthcare Access Initiative. The initiative is designed to address medication access and cancer screenings; foster the establishment and expansion of primary care access with integrated behavioral and oral health services; and address medical manpower shortages.