As a cancer patient, dealing with the symptoms and side effects related to your type of cancer can be difficult enough. Along with the lower quality of life, you have to deal with the financial side of health care as well. While some people may have a type of cancer that can be treated relatively easily, others may need aggressive treatment, an expensive prescription drug plan, surgery, and extensive hospital stays, all of which only add further stress to your current predicament. If you are a cancer patient looking for ways to pay for your cancer care, here are some financial assistance options you may not know about.
Start With Your Insurance
Although this can seem obvious, it’s really important to see whether or not your health insurance covers your cancer treatment, and to know exactly how much of your medical care they are willing to cover. Whether you are dealing with myeloma, leukemia, breast cancer, lung cancer, or lymphoma, get in contact with your insurance provider to learn more about what treatment options and medications your insurer is willing to cover. Then you can make sure that you only receive referrals to specialists within your network from your health care provider (unless you have a PPO).
Keep in mind that these options may only apply to those who already have the financial resources to cover their insurance. If you have Medicare or if you need financial aid and qualify for Medicaid, you may be able to cover a substantial amount of your medical treatment through main and supplemental plans, which would cover things like chemotherapy, surgery, and other medical expenses. Although your insurance may not pay all of your medical costs, it’s important that you speak with them as soon as possible to learn more about what kind of financial help you can receive.
Determine How Much You Can Pay to Cover Out-of-Pocket Costs
The overall goal of paying for cancer care is to make sure that your treatment-related expenses are covered by health insurance. That said, if there are still some leftover costs, you may need to pay them out-of-pocket. Take a moment to figure out how much your insurance coverage is costing you (copayments, insurance premiums, etc.), how much you are currently making or will be earning while you are going through treatment, and how much you can afford to pay toward your bills. If you are in a low-income bracket and expect financial challenges along the way, we will cover some of the opportunities at your disposal in the following section.
Look for Support If You Can’t Cover Your Medical Bills on Your Own
The good news for those who need payment assistance for their individual case is that there are plenty of organizations that help cancer patients afford the cost of treatment. Beyond that, you may also be in need of assistance for living expenses. No matter what your needs may be, here are some ideas for how you can cover your healthcare costs.
- Reach out to non-profit organizations and other charitable organizations known for having patient assistance programs for those who have received a cancer diagnosis. Although your eligibility may vary depending on the severity of your cancer, those who are having trouble paying for their treatments are likely to receive assistance.
- Reach out to a viatical settlement company that is willing to buy your life insurance for a lump sum of cash. This is one way those dealing with a terminal illness can gain access to the funds they need as they deal with building medical costs. Keep in mind, however, that this is an irreversible action.
- Sign up for a clinical trial that will allow you to get certain medications for free. If you are not willing to test new prescriptions, you can also look for prescription assistance programs to help pay for your treatment if it is costing you too much.
If you received a misdiagnosis or were a victim of medical malpractice, you can hire a medical malpractice attorney to help you recoup your costs. These types of lawyers often offer a free consultation and offer you free legal advice until you make it to trial, which will also help you financially.
- Beyond treatment, you will also need to pay for utilities, groceries, rent, and other living expenses. If you are struggling in this area, apply for financial assistance programs in your area to help you cover these costs as you look for ways to deal with the medical expenses.
Having cancer is stressful enough. You shouldn’t have to deal with the crushing stress that comes with financial issues as well. If you need assistance paying for your cancer care, use the ideas above to learn more about what types of assistance and resources are available to you.