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Financial Burden: Fighting Breast Cancer Unexpected Side Effects

Breast Cancer
Financial Distress Guide

How To Manage Costs, Find Financial Assistance and Apply For Grants

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Short Summary

How To Get Financial Help After Being Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?

One of the most popular Breast Cancer related searches on Google is “How To Find Financial Assistance While Fighting Breast Cancer” and this post should help you answer this question.

Current law requires most private insurance plans to limit annual patient out-of-pocket spending. The 2017 limit is $7,150 for an individual plan and $14,300 for a family plan.

If you have recently been diagnosed with cancer, you are probably worried about the financial impact it will have in your life. You are wondering how you are going to pay bills, pay for unexpected treatment costs and if you should work or not, in case you are actively working.

 

This guide answers these questions and  provide information about the costs associated with treatment. It also has an the in depth list with links to organizations that provide relief financial assistance. 

However,  for those who don’t have time to read it all right now, we are providing a short answer below. 

– To get financial assistance you need to contact your employer’s human resources department and find all  information you can about their disability program and policy.

Most companies have programs and the human resource department will be able to help you.  You may or may not wish to continue to work while on treatment, and knowing your options is very important.

In general, companies are very compassionate and supportive for people facing these challenges and still willing to work.  Disability is there to help provide for you while undergoing treatment.

Find out the compensation scheme in place and decide if you wish to work or not.

If you aren’t working, contact your insurance company or Medicare provider, to discuss with an agent about details regarding your policy coverage. You can research online initially, but speak to someone and get the information mailed to you.

Next, It is crucial that you find local organizations near you that provide support and assistance to people with breast cancer. These organizations have experience with the type of  struggles  & problems you will deal with and also know where you can get emotional support as well as  some financial assistance.

For those lucky enough to have some savings to pay for extra treatment costs, the extra financial support may come in hand in later stages. Remember: 

You may have to undergo radiation, Chemo and maybe surgeries and these costs add up really fast. Any help you can get is welcome

Relief Organizations and some specific funds help to cover Mortgage fees, Food and utilities costs, transportation. lodging and extra costs while you are undergoing treatment. You are eligible for help only during treatment.

Treatments vary in length, fro patient to patient. Yet, you can count on several months at least.

Finally, it is very important that you reach out to breast cancer support groups.  They will be able to provide support that your family and friends, in spite of their best intentions, won’t be able to provide.

These groups are formed by people who have gone or are going through the same things you are going through now.  This can become pivotal on days you can hardly get out of bed or can’t deal with all the emotions when undergoing treatment. 

Therefore, make sure you start to research and  look for support groups near you.

So, this is in short, some steps you can take to find the necessary financial assistance when newly diagnosed.

This guide has an in depth list of organizations. services and funds that you can apply and request assistance. 

 

 

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Introduction

Diagnosis & Financial Impact

One of the most devastating news one can receive when it comes to health is a cancer diagnosis.

And breast cancer is one of the most common !

Initially, all those concerned worry about the health and well being related issues; once the initial “shock” is over and you – the newly diagnosed patient and your relatives –  learn how to live with these concerns, the next unforeseen side effects of breast cancer start to emerge.

There are several, but Among the worse, is the financial distress and worry that breast cancer creates on the top of all other worries.

Fighting Breast Cancer is a huge challenge; managing it financially adds another dimension to it.

It is fair to say that today, almost every adult understands the negative impact a cancer positive diagnosis has to lives of those diagnosed.

With awareness campaigns and several celebrities that fell victim to the disease talking openly about the challenges, almost everyone has a good grasp and understands how difficult it  is to deal with this disease. 

What many don’t know is the extent of “damages” caused.

Most patients do, but not all.

Breast Cancer is a very hard and traumatic experience. 

When faced with such a potential life-threatening situation the first instinct to kick in is to do everything possible to fight the disease and survive.

We all focus on surviving, and trying to get better. But that is only part of the equation. 

Why?

Well, Fighting Brest Cancer is emotionally draining but above all else, it is Very Expensive.

The journey to fight cancer is filled with many sources of distress. There is a list a list of known and less known side effects.

Yet, one the most devastating side effects that many patients are unaware is the financial burden and stress it causes.

In the midst of the commotion and distress one faces when receiving a Breast Cancer diagnosis, many patients simply forget or feel unsure about discussing finances when a treatment plan is being discussed.  

Patients often lack information or have little understand about their rights and the resources that are available to those fighting breast cancer.

Most are under the impression that Health Insurance Plans will cover the costs and things will be fine.

That’s when most are wrong.

Insurance coverage is not a straight forward issue and there are many caveats.

But these are facts patients often find out later on their cancer journey.

The financial burden caused to patients varies according to their own conditions, but also race and ethnicity.  

Among the most common financial fears patients face include debt from treatments, losing their home, unpaid bills accumulating and having to cut back on food and basic needs.

And the concerns don’t stop at patients; Physicians and specialist also share these concerns. Although most health professionals understand the impact finances can have on patient’s health and well being, not all wish to discuss these matters with patient.

Only a small percentage try to educate patients and provide some insights about the financial concerns.  A recent study revealed that 43% of radiation oncologists try to offer some help and only 16% of surgeons did.

And 73% of Patients participating on the study said their doctor’s office didn’t help.

So, that is the reasons we are writing this post for you.  

We hope to provide some insight on this very important difficult and delicate breast cancer issue. 

We aren’t doctors nor specialists.  Yet,whate we have in common with you is that we had close family members that have dealt with the same worries you may be dealing with now.

So, we did some homework and researched the topic with the intent to help you navigate these uncharted waters the best way possible.

This guide is intended to help all those involved in the process to have a better understand and learn what they can do to alleviate the financial strains caused by treatments related costs and fighting the disease.

What Patients Have To Say

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The Costs Of Breast Cancer

In 2010, the cost of breast cancer in the United States was about 16.5 billion with the cost in 2020 estimated to be 20.5 billion.  The costs of breast cancer treatment and follow-up care can be and usually becomes a serious financial strain for a high number of patients and their families, even with the help of their health insurance.

It all starts with the cost of breast cancer treatment itself.  The difficulty with staging involving multiple expensive medical scans, biopsy, surgery, radiation treatment, chemo treatment and hormonal regulation treatments.  Then you add the extra expenses for travelling to and from a treatment center, child care while you’re undergoing treatments, and the long-term treatment care. A high impact that lost of productivity effects are difficult to measure but has a significant effect due to the drop or lost of income due to inability to work and forced time off.  

On the top of these issues, comes the cost of treating and/or managing long-term side effects, such as lymphedema or peripheral neuropathy.

Compiling Evidence

Cancer

According to a 2016 a study by researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University, one third of Cancer Survivors faced financial hardship.  The treatment and care of out-of-pocket related costs generated extra expenses ranging from $1,700 to $4,500 dollars a year for U.S. Patients.

Other studies carried overseas showed similar patterns, with one added problems: The figures were even higher when converted to U.S. Dollars, ranging from $2,500 to $6,000 dollars in added yearly expenses.

Australia, The U.K. and Canada based organizations have conducted these studies.

Breast Cancer

According to a study led by the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, researchers suggested that one of the main causes for the long term financial damage after the initial diagnosis is Lymphedema, a common side effect from treatment.  This study, titled “It still affects our economic situation: long-term economic burden of breast cancer and lymphedema”, was one of the first exploring the long-term financial impact on patients.

It revealed an important fact related to cumulative financial hardship: Among patients diagnosed with breast cancer (12 years after being diagnosed), women had between $1,000 and $3,300 out-of-pocket care costs per year.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

A national Survey led by the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, found out that nearly one third out of 1000 women surveyed had no insurance and faced severe financial distress from their cancer diagnosis.

A total of 70% of participants shared their worry and express cleared fear about their future. Many refused or delayed treatment due to lack of funds.  Within the group a large share had to give up their jobs and faced added stress due to the unknown future treatment costs.

Another interesting fact was insured patients being caught completely off-guard by the unusual high out of the pocket costs of their cancer care.  They were under the impression that they had full coverage and found out otherwise once treatments started.

What was clear is that metastatic breast cancer patients faced severe financial problems.

Cancer Financial Toxicity  

The term “Financial Toxicity” has been used to highlight the financial burden the disease can cause to victims. It affects not only patients financial health, but also their mental and emotional health.

Some specialists argue that the financial consequences play an active role in outcomes, including the rate of death. Previous studies tried to assess and determine the amount of costs patients accumulate during treatment, but couldn’t provide a clear picture.

The earlier researches have either focused on short term impacts after initial diagnosis or used financial information provided by insurance firms to try to calculate the out of pocket costs patients incurred.

These figures were inconclusive and remained unclear, until the most recent study carried by  the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland and published online on August 22nd 2018 in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Financial Hardship:: Assessing The Damage

To pin down the real impact patients faced on the long run, the researchers used a variety of methods to assess cancer related costs on 129 breast cancer survivors from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

These patients survived 12 years since their diagnosis and had a mean age of 63.  Half of all patients had lymphedema which usually affects a third of all breast cancer patients.

Patients kept records of their direct and indirect health care costs for a period of 6 months. Namely they kept a tab on costs related to overall health care, doctor and emergency visits, medications and physical activities such as gym memberships and physiotherapy.

In addition, all participants we asked to account for losses in productivity both at work and home. These were defined as hours they weren’t able to to perform their normal activities and required assistance to take care of day to day tasks.

  • COSTS FOR PATIENTS

Excluding productivity costs, patients with lymphedema were estimated to have an average of $2,306 in out-of-pocket costs per year, compared to $1,090 for those without lymphedema — a difference of 112%.  When factoring in productivity costs, those with lymphedema spent an average of $3,325 in out-of-pocket costs, compared to $2,792 for those without lymphedema.

On the surface, the extra $2,000 expenditures may not seem much; however, as the years go by, they accumulate and have a direct impact on discretionary income and also, retirement savings.

Another important aspect to consider is the fact that these patients in most cases won’t be able to regain their previous full-employment and suffer a permanent drop in their  income.

So the impact is not only cumulative but far worse in some cases.

  • PATIENTS FINANCIAL SITUATIONS AFTER CANCER

40 out of 129 patients were interviewed about their financial situation post diagnosis.

They shared what these costs meant for their lives with most reporting using savings, loans or having to incur debts to be able to afford treatments and cover medical costs.

They were facing hardship and many had to completely change their lifestyle, move houses with some having a very hard time keeping up with basic needs such as utility bills and food.

The impact affected not only patients, but also their families. Most were unable to help support their children educational efforts and many had to retire early.

 

  • LYMPHEDEMA PATIENTS

Patients with lymphedema had extra financial burdens.  Most immediately lost their jobs and other lost education opportunities and grants due to their medical condition.  They weren’t able to recover financially from these setbacks.

What About Insurance?

When it comes to measures and solutions to help alleviate the financial problems and cutting costs, the conclusion was unanimous: The burden falls on patients!

The healthcare system often offers limited relief. The weight falls on patients laps, when it comes to cost cutting measures, finding alternatives to deal with the situation such as healthy behaviours and alternative measures.

Insurance companies have limited alternatives available for these extra expenditures.  A great example is the lymphedema care and related costs. They are not fully covered and the extra outlay are substantial for patients.

Thus far, The United States congress has weighed the possibility to pass legislation to provide some relief and amend Medicare to cover certain items, but nothing has happened to date.

Until then, the burden falls on patients.

Solutions

Accessing financial resources

In spite of the difficulties, there are resources available to help patients and there is no need to stop treatments and doctor visits.

  • Most doctor have access to lists of organizations that provide financial assistance for breast cancer patients.
  • Some organizations help pay for medicine and help to fund care; other provide financial assistance in covering extra treatment related costs such as transportation, food and child care .
  • Several pharmaceutical companies have created special funds that help pay for the cost of their medicine and provide deep discounts for patients.
  • For patients with Lymphedema, there are organizations specializing on providing support for their specific needs such as paying for therapy and providing lymphedema garments.

How Can You Find Financial Assistance

Hospital resources

As mentioned earlier health care providers, such as your physician, nurse or social worker may have information on financial resources.  Most hospitals and treatment centers have financial counselors that are well equipped to help you deal with your specific insurance paperwork needs and provide you with treatment cost estimates.

Financial counselors can also help you work out a payment plan.  If you are unable to afford payments, some institutions may be willing to reduce or waive some costs upon request.

Hospital discharge planners, patient service offices, nurse navigators and patient navigators may also have information on resources and advice about financial matters.

Insurance

When it comes to insurance, every individual is best served by speaking directly with their own insurance provider to find specifics about their own policy and contracts, as they vary from person to person and from providers.

In general, no single insurance plan covers all breast cancer related costs. So it is important to find out how much coverage your particular plan covers. The only way to find out your current coverage is to review your policy with your employer and insurance agent.

However, there are some basic information about insurance that all patients should understand.

What you need to know about insurance

First: Understand the basic types of insurance – there are three types of insurance most important for people with breast cancer:

  • Health insurance pays for some or most of your medical treatment costs.  It depends upon your type of insurance. Some may have insurance through their employer, a government insurance (such as Medicare) or have a private plan you bought yourself.  They all offer different coverages.
  • Disability insurance help to supplement your income if you can’t keep working during or after breast cancer treatment. It can be short-term or long-term.
  • Long-term care insurance covers any help needed if you become unable to care for yourself. You may get this type of care in a nursing home or in your own home.

Second: Understand Your Insurance Plan

Find out exactly what your plans consists of, the coverage and the type of insurance you have.

If you work, request information from the department in charge and understand the relevant details.  In case you are unemployed or don’t work, you are should speak with a social worker or hospital financial advisor to help you in the process.  Finally, if you have a private insurance, take time to read and review all documents and policies to understand your rights and responsibilities, and those of your insurer.

Third: Seek help from a Hospital financial counselor or Medical Center

Most health centers and hospitals have financial counselors on their payroll to assist patients. They understand the technicalities of insurance contracts and legal paperwork, therefore being able to help you insurance and financial matters

Getting Financial Help While Being Treated

Financial Counselor and their role

This video interview with a financial Counselor provides great insight on their role and what they can do to help you in dealing with financial issues.

The Patient Experience

The video below breaks down quite in details important steps to get financial assistance and what to do to manage financial related costs of treatments

Play Video

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Financial Assistance Programs For Breast Cancer Patients
in The United States

IMPORTANT FACTORS

Regardless of  profession or your income, it is important to remember that you may qualify for financial aid from federal, state or local programs.  The best person to help you find this information is a financial counselor at your hospital because they know about programs and can answer your questions.

Many organizations offer financial assistance and help with travel, lodging and medical items, including prescription drugs. First, a list of organizations help with co-pays, housing and some living expenses:

 

Hope Lodge is a program Organized by the American Cancer Society. It offers private rooms and nurturing home style spaces to patients and caregivers in 31 locations across the United States. There are some requirements when it comes to accommodations and eligibility and these vary by location. Normally, the policy is first come, first served. For information visit the Hope Lodge page or call 0800-227-2345

The Cancer Card Xchange is a gift card program for cancer patients. This program collects and distributes gift cards to cancer patients around the U.S. ranging from $10 to $100 dollars. Donations are accepted from restaurants, stores, movie theaters and gas that people have and aren’t using.  Cash donations are also accepted and are tax deductible. Here is the link to their webpage: Cancer Card xchange

CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation is a national non-profit organization that helps metastatic breast cancer patients cover the insurance co-payment cost of chemo and targeted treatment drugs. To be able to participate and become eligible, Patients must meet certain criteria related to their diagnosis, treatment and financial situation. To apply patients must be insured , by private insurance or Medicare. For patients that doesn’t qualify for this program, CancerCare refers patients to other alternative patient assistance programs that may be able to help. For more information you can visit their program page by Clicking Here or call 866-55-COPAY (6729).

Please Note: It is important to know that CancerCare occasionally suspends taking new referrals. It all Depends upon demand and length of their existing waiting list. The best way to stay informed is to check the availability from time to time. They reopen lists from time to time, but as demand is high, it is important to monitor the situation.

Breast Cancer Assistance Program provides FREE services to women facing financial challenges during treatment, radiation and chemotherapy, including medical related lodging, co-pays, office visits and prosthesis.  This program is sponsored by the Sisters Network, a leading voice for African American breast cancer survivors. They also provide FREE mammograms. To access their information please visit their program page @  www.sisternetworkinc.org

Financial Wellness Tool Kit is the program organized by Sharsheret. Sharsheret is a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women and their families. The organization focus most of their efforts on women from all Jewish backgrounds facing breast cancer. The FREE Tool Kit was designed to address the often complicated issues of health insurance, disability rights, financial planning, and estate planning. Sharsheret’s Financial Wellness Tool Kit includes guidelines from experts in the field, tools to record and organize your personal information, vital resources and helpful tips from other Jewish women who have faced illness. Click Here or call 866-474-2774.

 

Jill’s Wish is a program that offers newly diagnosed patients or those with terminal breast cancer, FREE  daily living expenses grants to provide some financial relief and minimize the financial hardship during treatment. Jill’s Wish was founded by Jill and Bart Conley after Jill was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. she died in february 2016 – too young – from breast cancer for more information visit Jill’s website Here

 

 

Information on insurance
and
other financial issues

A.M. Best Company: Find insurance company ratings.

www.ambest.com/

Affordable Care Act (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services): Find information on choosing a health insurance plan and the Affordable Care Act.

www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/

American Association of Retired Persons (AARP): Find detailed information on Medicare and other health insurance programs for people over 50.

888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277)

www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/

American Cancer Society – Understanding Financial and Legal Matters: Find information on financial topics.

800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)

www.cancer.org

Medicare: Find information on Medicare health insurance programs for people 65 and older, including prescription drug plans.

www.medicare.gov

Medicaid: Find information on Medicaid health insurance programs for people with low income and your state’s Medicaid toll-free hotline.

www.medicaid.gov

National Association of Insurance Commissioner: Find your state’s insurance commissioner.

www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm

National Cancer Legal Services Network: Find a directory of organizations that offer free legal help for people diagnosed with cancer and their families.

www.nclsn.org

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship: Find the booklets “Understanding Your Health Insurance” and “Your Employment Rights.”

877-NCCS-YES (877-622-7937)

www.canceradvocacy.org\

Patient Advocate Foundation: Offers financial assistance information and legal and advocacy help if an insurance claim is denied.

800-532-5274

www.patientadvocate.org

Patient Advocate Foundation – National Underinsured Resource Directory: Find local, state and national resources for people who have insurance but struggle to pay out-of-pocket costs of care.

800-532-5274

www.patientadvocate.org/help4u.php  

 

Health Care Assistance​

 

Medical care and other medical items

Komen Treatment Assistance Program: Offers financial assistance for some medical equipment and lymphedema supplies.

1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

www.komen.org

The Pink Fund: Offers financial assistance for health insurance premiums.

www.pinkfund.org/get-help/

Sisters Network Inc.:Offers financial assistance for breast prosthesis, medical bras and compression arm sleeves.

www.sistersnetworkinc.org/programs.html

Social Security Administration: Find your local social security office.

www.ssa.gov/

Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (U.S. Department of Labor): Find information on federal laws requiring insurance coverage of breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/whcra.html

 

Prescription Drug & Medication Assistance

CancerCare – Co-payment Assistance Foundation: Offers health insurance co-payment assistance for chemotherapy and targeted therapy drugs.

866-55-COPAY (866-552-6729)

www.cancercarecopay.org

Komen Treatment Assistance Program: Offers financial assistance for some medications, medical equipment and lymphedema supplies.

1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

www.komen.org

Medicare: Find information on Medicare prescription drug plans for people 65 and older.

www.medicare.gov/

NeedyMeds.com: Offers information on drug company assistance programs.

www.needymeds.org/pap

Patient Advocate Foundation: Find an online directory of drug company assistance programs.

www.patientadvocate.org/

Patient Advocate Foundation – Co-Pay Relief Program: Offers financial assistance for prescription drug co-payments.

866-512-3861

www.copays.org

Partnership for Prescription Assistance: Offers low-cost and free prescription drug programs for people with limited income.

888-4PPA-NOW (888-477-2669)

www.pparx.org/

Rx Hope: Find an online directory of prescription drug assistance programs.

www.rxhope.com/

Strings for a Cure: Offers financial assistance for prescription drugs co-payments.

www.stringsforacure.org/SFAC-Programs/

Genetic testing

Cancer Resource Foundation: Offers financial assistance for genetic testing.

www.cancer1source.org/genetic-testing-programs

Myriad Financial Assistance Program: Offers financial assistance for genetic testing.

www.myriad.com/myriad-cares-2/financial-assistance-program/

 

Transportation Assistance

Local transportation

The social work and care coordination departments at your hospital may have information on local transportation programs.  Some cancer organizations also have programs that can help.

City, county and state agencies can arrange for low-cost or free local transportation for people with disabilities.  For more information on these services, contact your city, county or state transportation department.

American Cancer Society – Road to Recovery: Offers local transportation to and from cancer treatments. Free rides to and from treatment locations for cancer patients who don’t have a ride or can’t drive. Volunteer drivers donate their time and use their own transport to help those in need.

800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)

www.cancer.org    

CancerCare – Gets You There: Offers Individual financial assistance for metastatic breast cancer patient transportation related costs to and from cancer treatments. They pay for gasoline, Parking, Tolls, Taxi, Bus and Train Fare. There are some eligibility criteria patients must meet, but once approved they are granted assistance.

800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673)

www.cancercare.org/financial/information

The Catherine H. Tuck Foundation: Offers financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments.

www.catherinefund.org

Komen Treatment Assistance Program: Offers financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments.

1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

www.komen.org

Long-distance transportation

Air Charity Network: Offers air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.

877-621-7177

www.aircharitynetwork.org

Corporate Angel Network: The main goal of this organization is to give patients access to the best possible treatment to their specific type of cancer. They bring patients to consultations, treatments and check-ups all over the U.S. They do so by using empty seats on corporate planes to help cancer patients reach treatment centers. There are two important factors to be mentioned in this particular case: eligibility is not based on financial needs and travel for caregivers is not covered.

866-328-1313

www.corpangelnetwork.org  

Lifeline Pilots: Offers air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.

800-822-7972

www.lifelinepilots.org/  

Mercy Medical Airlift: Offers air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.

800-296-1217

www.mercymedical.org/  

National Patient Travel Center: Offers free or discounted air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.

800-296-1217

www.patienttravel.org

 

Lodging Assistance

Lodging assistance

If your hospital or treatment center is far from home, there may be times when you and your family need to find a place to stay overnight. Many hospitals and treatment centers can arrange a discount rate at a nearby hotel or motel. The American Cancer Society can also help.

American Cancer Society – Hope Lodge and hotel lodging: Offers lodging for families during cancer treatment.

800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)

www.cancer.org/treatment/support-programs-and-services/patient-lodging.html

Joe’s House: Find an online directory of free and discounted lodging for cancer patients and their families.

www.joeshouse.org/Lodging.aspx

Extended Stay America Hotels: In a partnership arrangement with the American Cancer Society has committed 100,000 FREE or reduced rate rooms in their 629 locations for patients having to travel away from home for cancer treatment. To find out  whether you qualify you can call their 0800 line of visit the website for more information.

800-ACS-2345 (0800-228-2345)

Visit www.cancer.org  or Info Stay America Hotels Here.

 

Health Care Assistance​

If children or elderly family members rely on you to take care of them, it can be hard to get to treatment. Family and friends may be able to help. (They often want to help, but don’t know how. This is one way they can help you.) The programs below also offer help.

CancerCare – AVONCares Program: Offers financial assistance for child care during treatment.

800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673)

www.cancercare.org/financial/information

Komen Treatment Assistance Program: Offers financial assistance for child care and elder care during treatment.

1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)

www.komen.org  

Financial Issues - Personal expenses​

 

The Catherine H. Tuck Foundation: Offers financial assistance for personal expenses including rent, utilities and food.

www.catherinefund.org

The Pink Fund: Offers financial assistance for personal expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities and car payments.

www.pinkfund.org/get-help/

Strings for a Cure: Offers financial assistance for personal expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities, food and car payments.

www.stringsforacure.org/SFAC-Programs/

 

Clinical Trial Costs & Free Mammograms

 

National Cancer Institute – Insurance Coverage and Clinical Trials: Find information on insurance coverage of clinical trial costs.

www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/clinical-trials/paying/insurance

Low-cost and free mammograms

Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance companies cover the cost of mammograms.

Since September 2010, the Affordable Care Act has required all new health insurance plans to cover yearly mammograms with no co-payment (co-insurance) for women ages 40 and older.

In many parts of the U.S., low-cost or free mammograms are also offered through national programs and community organizations.

Komen Affiliates fund breast cancer education and screening projects in their communities for those who need it most. Find an Affiliate in your area to learn what resources are available.

Call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET and from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT to help find low-cost options in your area.

Each October, during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many imaging centers offer mammograms at reduced rates. To find a certified mammography center in your area, visit the FDA website (www.fda.gov).

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program: Part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. this program provides breast and cervical cancer screenings and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. Visit their webpage and go to the section titled “Find a screening provider.”

www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/

Planned Parenthood: Offers clinical breast exams and referrals for mammography (and any follow-up testing, such as breast ultrasound).

www.plannedparenthood.org/

The American Cancer Society: Click Here and and go to the “About Us” tab. Select your state to find ACS resources in your area. Or call 1-800-ACS-2345.

The National Cancer Institute: Click Here to get live online assistance, or call 800-4-CANCER and a representative will help you find local resources.

Final Words

We hope this guide, list of topics and the links you found inside the article help you to gain a better understanding on some of the most common breast cancer treatment  financial related  issues.

We will look for more information and help in the near future and will keep on updating this article.

If you wish to stay informed please subscribe to our newsletter and listen to our podcast.

We always bring new topics and share information that are important and relevant to patients and survivors.

Thank you for taking time to read this guide.

 

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