Easing the Financial Burden of a Cancer Diagnosis

Alli Walsh, Social Media Strategist

Easing the Financial Burden of a Cancer Diagnosis

Although the overall rate of cancer deaths is declining in the United States, a cancer diagnosis can have a devastating effect on patients’ finances. Don’t overlook these resources and steps to take to minimize cancer’s financial impact.

Seek manufacturer assistance

Some drug companies will cover a percentage (or total cost) of medications for people who meet qualifications (usually lower income patients.) Start with the manufacturer’s website, or ask your doctor to help.

Tap into government resources

Many government programs are available to help disabled, elderly, or low income people with medical and living expenses. Visit  The National Cancer Institute to find out more information.

Take advantage of cancer-related nonprofits

Many nonprofits offer free assistance or referrals to help cancer patients with a variety of services such as free house cleaning, help with grocery shopping, transportation, childcare, pet care, etc. Reach out to nonprofits, including faith-based charity programs,  to see what types of services they may provide for cancer patients in your community.

Check your existing supplemental insurance

Private companies sell supplemental insurance designed to help reduce both medical and non-medical costs of expenses related to illness. Some insurance is cancer-specific and others provide benefits for diagnosis of specified illnesses. Purchasing a supplemental insurance for cancer may especially make sense for people who have a strong family history of the disease.  However, many insurance companies do not offer cancer –specific supplemental insurance policies to those who have a history of cancer.  Coverage and benefits vary for every plan, so be sure to read the fine print and ask lots of questions.  If you are diagnosed with cancer, be sure to check your existing supplemental insurance to see if it may provide benefits due to your diagnosis. 

Start an online fundraiser

Crowdfunding has become a popular and legitimate way for people to cope with the extra expenses that accompany a cancer diagnosis.  Setting up a site is easy, and people usually appreciate the opportunity to help a friend in need.

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