When faced with a cancer diagnosis, there are a lot of thoughts and emotions that will may run through your mind. Unfortunately, one thing you may be concerned about is paying for treatment. Even if some aspects of your treatment are covered by insurance, there still might be out-of-pocket expenses that can make you nervous. As daunting as it may seem, money concerns do not have to stop you from seeking the treatment you need.
Financial assistance is available for cancer treatment and other services to people at various income levels and in many situations. First and foremost, let your doctor know if you’re worried about being able to afford treatment. He/she might have some suggestions as to what steps you can take immediately, and inform you of assistance available at your hospital or other nearby hospitals.
Here are a few other organizations that may be able to help:
Cancer Care: This organization has professional oncology social workers on staff that can provide free emotional and practical support for people with cancer and their caregivers. They also offer support groups, community programs and financial assistance. Financial assistance is only available to low-income individuals and families (view guidelines), but the other services are available to anyone.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: This organization’s Patient Financial Aid Program provides a limited amount of financial assistance to help patients who have significant financial need and are under a doctor's care for a confirmed blood cancer diagnosis. The LLS's Co-Pay Assistance Program offers financial support toward the cost of insurance co-payments and/or insurance premium costs for prescription drugs. Patients must qualify both medically and financially for this program.
Veterans Administration: If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for Veterans Administration health care benefits.
Assistance in Healthcare: This charitable organization was founded to assist patients and their families who have become financially distressed as a result of fighting cancer and other illnesses. Assistance in Healthcare provides funds to patients and their families to help defray their non-medical bills, including utilities, rent, transportation and living expenses for immediate family members.
Give Forward: GiveForward provides free online fundraising pages allowing friends and family to raise money directly for a loved one who is in need of financial assistance for cancer treatment, or any other serious illness. Users can easily set up their own page and share it with friends and instantly create a community of support.
To find more resources and support services, visit the National Cancer Institute for a list of organizations nationwide that provide emotional, practical and financial support services for people with cancer and their families.