Getting a cancer diagnosis is devastating for the patient and their loved ones. Besides the psychological impact on patients and their families, cancer treatment can be expensive, leaving many patients with nothing in terms of savings and an accumulation of debts which further affects their psychological condition and, consequently, their healing process.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with cancer, you don’t have to fear that it will overrun your savings and get you into debt. Here are handy tips to help you keep your cancer medical expenses under check.
Check Your Eligibility for Compensation
Most cancers don’t result from negligence. But some types of cancers can result from the negligent actions of another person. A good example is when an employer exposes employees to toxic materials in the workplace or people living near their businesses.
If you lived, worked, or were schooling around the Manhattan region during the 9/11 terrorist attack, you may want to investigate whether your condition falls under the 9/11-related illnesses and cancers covered under the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). If it is, you could access free medication under the program and recover compensation for economic and non-economic injuries under the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund (VCF).
Seek Government Assistance
While the government may not cover all your cancer-related expenses, you can get some relief from federal and state programs aimed at helping people living with cancer. Government financial benefits for cancer patients, referred to as entitlements, are primarily set up to assist low-income families, older adults, and persons living with disabilities.
If you fit into this category, you may want to look into government programs that you may qualify for, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the U.S. Administration on Aging, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
Start a Fundraiser
Almost everyone in America has been affected by cancer in one way or the other. To some, it has cost them a parent, brother, sister, close relative, or friend, which means they may relate to your situation and be willing to help.
Starting an online fundraising campaign is the best way to get help from your community. One of the most popular and trusted online fundraising platforms include GoFundMe and Donorbox. You could also try the traditional fundraising efforts like organizing a fundraising concert.
Reach Out to Cancer Non-profits
There are quite a good number of nonprofits that offer financial assistance to cancer patients struggling with accessing medical care. Some nonprofits are a type of cancer-specific or have specific eligibility requirements. So you may need to research and narrow down to the non-profits whose requirements you meet.
Some organizations you may want to consider to reach for assistance include Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF), AVONCares Assistance for Women Facing Cancer, and CancerCare. Others include Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), Cancer for College, and National Foundation for Transplants.
If your treatment requires taking flights, you may also want to research airlines that offer discounts for cancer patients for flights to and from their treatment hospital.
Go Over Your Health Insurance
Getting insurance coverage after a cancer diagnosis can be a challenge. But if you had existing coverage, it could be time you paid close attention to what it covers to get the most out of it. Some aspects of your health insurance cover you may want to pay attention to are whether it covers your copays, palliative care, or experimental treatment.
You may also want to keep a detailed record of your expenses and cross-check for incorrect billing. While most hospitals are careful to bill correctly, errors that can significantly impact your medical bills can occur, so you will want to keep tabs on all bills and receipts.
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