A Cancer Diagnosis Can Come With High Medical Costs
I had no idea how expensive having cancer could be, that is until I lived it… co-pays, RXs, supplements, OTC meds, special foods, private nursing assistance, testing that insurance didn’t cover (even though we had excellent insurance coverage), parking fees at doctor’s offices, the list of expenses goes on & on… plus like many people, Alan was unable to work during his treatments.
I read a post in Wall Street Journal’s Health blog how out-of-pocket cost for some cancer patients exceed $700 a month. Another study estimates that 30% of cancer patients (with insurance) go into financial debt because of cancer. Others don’t fill their prescriptions or get treatments because they simply can’t afford it.
Here are some AMAZING organizations that are advising patients on what resources are available to ease the financial burden that cancer can cause. You can also read our Financial Aid 101 page that goes over a lot of the different resources available to cancer patients.
I really LOVE the Cancer Support Community‘s FREE booklet Coping with the Cost of Cancer from their Frankly Speaking About Cancer series. It contains tons of great information on navigating the cost of care like identifying potential costs associated with care; listing questions to ask your health care team that will help estimate costs & figure out where you might need help (before you actually need it… hopefully); finding financial assistance programs; and much more.
Also check out the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a group of national organizations helping educate patients & providers about existing resources through a searchable database of financial resources.
Another AMAZING resource to help navigate the financial side of chemo is Chemo101. Check out their financial & insurance section, where patients & caregivers can find information on sources of financial assistance, insurance-related questions, & other resources. They also maintain a list of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which are programs run by pharmaceutical companies that provide FREE medications to people who can not afford to buy their meds. What a GREAT resource!
Wish I had known about these amazing FREE resources at the beginning of our cancer journey, instead of having to learn everything on our own. Sue would have devoured this sort of information.
Check out the Cancer Support Community, Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition & Chemo101…. And please post any information you may have on these & other resources that help to manage the cost of cancer care… Knowledge is power… Share the power PLEASE!