I’m one of the lucky ones (so far)
Hearing that you have cancer is something no one wants to hear. And I’ve heard it several times.
Depending on your financial situation and your access to health insurance, this can definitely hurt your wallet. My health insurance is currently through my husband’s company. And it has been very good coverage. I credit the Affordable Care Act clause as well – to not penalize someone like me with an existing condition (previous cancer history).
I haven’t talked about the money aspect much and my writing has focused on the healing part. The breast cancer diagnosis I dealt with again in 2014 was considered aggressive and added up to almost $175,000 in medical costs. Damn. Without the insurance, I’m not sure what I would have done. I did seek out different treatment options, the best specialists, and fortunate everything was paid for.
This is the reason why I encourage others to focus on prevention and being proactive. And do your homework/research if diagnosed with cancer and definitely get a 2nd opinion. Everyone is different and you are your best advocate.
Your support system matters as well. My “why” to get through all this was my family. My sons. My husband. Their support was critical too. We’re still celebrating 5 years later!!
Thank you to Coupon Chief for providing the guest post below.
Saving Money on Cancer Care: Some Financial Resources for Cancer Patients
The financial burden of cancer is extreme—that’s despite the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which made it easier for cancer patients and those with pre-existing cancer diagnosis to access health insurance in some cases. The initial costs of having cancer can be astronomical, and the ongoing costs of both treatment and pharmaceuticals can be financially devastating.
Here’s a valid example of the growing costs cancer patients face: According to the National Cancer Institute, a brain cancer diagnosis will cost more than $100,000 during the first year on average for individuals ages 65+. Each year of treatment thereafter costs an average of $8,803. And while health insurance may cover most of the costs outside of the patient’s health insurance deductible and co-pay, many cancer patients miss work or have to stop working altogether. They also face an array of new costs relating to their treatment, although those added costs can vary dramatically.
All hope is not lost, though. They key for cancer patients is educating themselves about the various costs related to their disease then learning how to minimize those costs as much as they can. They can start by seeking out organizations that offer help in the form of discounts or cash assistance.
Here are a sample of just a few organizations that you can contact:
• Allyson Whitney Foundation: They provide resources to young adults fighting rare forms of cancer. They offer “life interrupted grants” that can cover a wide range of needs and living expenses for young adults enduring treatment.
• Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation: They provide resources to single parent families. Their tag line explains the type of help they offer best. “When compassion can’t wait and single parent families are in despair, we help with urgent expenses to allow these caregivers to stay at their child’s bedside during catastrophic illness.”
• Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund: The organization was created for individuals ages 18 to 40 who are undergoing cancer treatment. Typical grants are worth $500 and may be used to cover expenses such as medical co-pays, rent, mortgage, transportation, and general living expenses.
• Michael H. Flanagan Foundation: Their aim is to comfort leukemia and bone marrow transplant patients and their families to enhance their quality of life. They offer comfort bags with important tools for cancer patients, grants, capital projects, and various financial assistance to cancer patients.
• National Foundation for Transplants: They offer financial assistance for cancer patients and others who receive transplanted organs.
• The Bone Marrow Foundation: The organization offers “financial assistance and free support services to bone marrow/stem cell transplant patients and their families.” They offer a “lifeline fund” that can help cancer patients deal with the costly and burdensome expenses related to transplants.
• We Believe Foundation: Cancer patients ages 15 to 29 may qualify for a financial assistance from the organization. They provide financial hardship awards of up to $3,500, help with medical bills, help with lost income, and assistance with travel and lodging expenses related to cancer treatment.
Indeed, cancer-related expenses can be financially devastating.
Cancer patients can minimize these costs by knowing the many resources available to them. To learn more, read CouponChief’s Cancer Care Savings Guide.