A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer can have a significant financial impact even if you have health insurance. Because bills, co-pays, invoices and receipts quickly pile up, it is important to explore ways to proactively manage your medical expenses.
Aside from the medical bills that metastatic cancer creates, the loss of income that often accompanies a diagnosis can strain any budget. Seeking help can often involve making many phone calls to agencies and organizations that seem only to lead to more phone calls. However, financial assistance options are available. Try to remain hopeful that you will find assistance, and keep good notes of who you call and what you learn when talking with them.
Keep in mind that the sooner you reach out for help the better. Don’t wait until the last of your resources are gone before asking for help.
When seeking financial assistance, think outside the box, and don’t limit your requests to funds for medical expenses. For example, if co-pays are breaking your budget, don’t just look for money to assist with co-pays. Seek help with paying for transportation and other expenses as well.
Looking for more info and resources on metastatic breast cancer?
The following organizations offer financial assistance:
The American Cancer Society (ACS) can provide information on local sources of financial assistance. The ACS website lists many resources that provide financial assistance, including their resource, “Health Insurance and Financial Assistance for the Cancer Patient”. To reach your local ACS, contact the national office at 800.ACS.2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
The Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief (CPR) provides direct financial assistance to qualified patients, assisting them with prescription drug co-payments their insurance requires. Contact the CPR program at www.copays.org or 866.512.3861.
The CancerCare AVONCares program provides limited financial assistance for homecare, childcare and transportation. CancerCare’s Linking A.R.M.S. program provides limited financial assistance for hormonal and oral chemotherapy, pain and anti-nausea medication, lymphedema supplies and durable medical equipment. Contact CancerCare at www.cancercare.org or 800.813.HOPE (4673).
The United Way has programs to help those in need. See www.unitedway.org or call 703.836.7112 to contact your local United Way office.
Reach out to religious organizations that you belong to or that are near you. These organizations provide help to their members and people in their community in a variety of ways.
And search Young Survival Coalition’s Resource Library for more financial and insurance resources.
This article was adapted from Young Survival Coalition’s Metastatic Navigator. The Navigator is available for download here.