The costs related to breast cancer treatment can quickly become a financial burden.
You may get many bills for just one procedure. For example, you may get a bill from each department in the hospital involved with your surgery such as the lab (pathology), surgery and others.
Even if your co-payment for a single bill is low, these costs add up. Out-of-pocket costs (such as transportation) may also add to this burden.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with these costs. There are many financial resources available for people with breast cancer.
A health care provider, such as your physician, nurse or social worker may have information on financial resources. Most hospitals and treatment centers have financial counselors. They can help you with the details of your insurance paperwork and give you an estimate of the cost of your treatment.
Financial counselors can also help you work out a payment plan. If you are unable to pay, some places may be willing to reduce or waive some costs if you ask.
Hospital discharge planners, patient service offices, nurse navigators and patient navigators may also have information on resources and advice about financial matters.
For questions about your insurance policy, state insurance agencies and insurance companies can be helpful.
Learn more about insurance.
To learn more about financial assistance programs and other helpful resources, call Susan G. Komen®’s breast care helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636).
Susan G. Komen®’s Breast Care Helpline: 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)
Calls to our breast care helpline are answered by a trained and caring staff member 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. Our helpline provides free, professional support services to anyone with breast cancer questions or concerns, including people diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
You can also email the breast care helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter your income, you may qualify for financial aid from federal, state or local programs. A financial counselor at your hospital can help you learn about these programs.
Many organizations offer financial assistance and help with travel, lodging and medical items, including prescription drugs. Some are listed below.
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 CommissionersFind 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
CancerCare – Komen Treatment Assistance Fund Offers financial assistance for some medical equipment and lymphedema supplies. 800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673) www.cancercare.org/financial/information
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
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
CancerCare – Komen Treatment Assistance Fund Offers financial assistance for some medications, medical equipment and lymphedema supplies. 800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673) www.cancercare.org/financial/information
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/
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/
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. 800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345) www.cancer.org
CancerCare – AVONCaresOffers financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments. 800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673) www.cancercare.org/financial/information
CancerCare – Komen Treatment Assistance Fund Offers financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments. www.cancercare.org/financial/information
Air Charity Network Offers air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers. 877-621-7177 www.aircharitynetwork.org
Corporate Angel Network Uses empty seats on corporate planes to help cancer patients reach treatment centers. (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
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
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. www.cancercare.org/financial/information
CancerCare – Komen Treatment Assistance Fund Offers financial assistance for child care and elder care during treatment. www.cancercare.org/financial/information
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
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). American Breast Cancer Foundation (ABCF) Offers financial assistance for breast cancer screening and follow-up tests to uninsured women. www.abcf.org/programs/breast-cancer-assistance-program
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program Provides access to breast cancer screening to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. 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/
YWCASome local chapters of the YWCA provide breast cancer education and screening to women with limited access to health services. www.ywca.org
1-877 GO KOMEN(1-877-465-6636)