Last Modified: May 7, 2012
I'm worried about my out of pocket expenses for my cancer care. Where can I go to for help?
Christina Bach, Oncology Social Worker at Penn Medicine responds:
Financial issues and the cost of cancer care are fast becoming one of the greatest sources of distress for cancer patients and caregivers.
You should start with REALLY knowing your insurance plan. I encourage patients to actually request a copy of their insurance policy from their company. They MUST supply you with this. Important things you want to know about your plan is
After you are armed with this information, you can start to assess what your expenses may be as well as what you can afford and where you may need to access help.
There are a great number of co pay assistance foundations out there that can assist with bridging the financial gaps. For information about co pay assistance see my blog, Christina's Resource Round-up.
Also, the Cancer Support Community has just launched the latest edition of their fantastic resource, Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Coping with the Cost of Care. This is a free resource available via download or to be ordered.
The Association of Clinical Oncology also publishes "Managing the Cost of Cancer Care" as well as has a podcast and video available about this topic on their website:http://www.cancer.net/patient/All+About+Cancer/Managing+the+Cost+of+Cancer+Care
There are also many organizations that provide financial assistance for transportation, household items/repairs, lodging and other financial supports. Talk with your local oncology social worker about what organizations might be available in your area.
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. View the entire transcript from the Focus on GI Cancers webchat.