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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Treatment > Insurance & Financial Issues > Financial Resources for People Living with Breast Cancer

  


Financial Resources for People Living with Breast Cancer

 

The cost of breast cancer treatment can quickly become a financial burden. You may not realize it, but 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. This may mean different bills from the lab (pathology), anesthesiology, surgery and other departments. Even if your co-payment for a single bill is low, these costs add up. And, there are many out-of-pocket costs (such as transportation) that may add to this burden. If you need some help with these costs, don’t be afraid to ask. There are many financial resources for people with breast cancer.  

The first place you can turn to for information on financial resources is a trusted health care provider, such as a physician, nurse or social workers. 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 for the costs you will have to cover. If you are unable to pay, some places may be willing to reduce or waive the costs if you ask. And, no matter your income, you may qualify for financial aid from federal, state or local programs. A financial counselor can help you learn about these programs.  

Hospital discharge planners, patient relation offices, patient service offices, nurse navigators and patient navigators at hospitals or managed care organizations may also be able to provide information on resources and advice about financial matters. For questions about your insurance policy, state insurance agencies and insurance companies can be helpful.

Many state and national organizations provide information about financial assistance and insurance. Some of these are listed below along with resources to help with travel, lodging and medical items, including prescription drugs.

Information on financial issues and insurance

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  

American Cancer Society - Taking Charge of Money Matters workshop
Offers a series of booklets on financial topics for people living with cancer.
800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)
www.cancer.org  

Department of Health and Human Services
Learn about the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (health care reform). 
www.healthcare.gov/  

Medicare (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Find information on the Medicare health insurance program, including prescription drug plans.
www.medicare.gov 

Medicaid
Find your state's Medicaid toll-free hotline.
www.medicaid.gov  

National Cancer Legal Services Network (NCLSN)
Find a directory of organizations that provide free legal help for people and families affected by cancer.
www.nclsn.org   

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship
Publishes the booklets "Working It Out: Your Employment Rights as a Cancer Survivor" and "What Cancer Survivors Need to Know About Health Insurance."
877-NCCS-YES (877-622-7937)
www.canceradvocacy.org  

Patient Advocate Foundation
Offers legal and advocacy help when disputing insurance claim denials and provides financial assistance information.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org  

Patient Advocate Foundation - National Underinsured Resource Directory
Offers an online tool and a smartphone app to help find local, state and national resources for people who are underinsured and looking for insurance coverage options or other types of financial assistance.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org  

Social Security Administration
Find your local social security office.
www.ssa.gov/  

US Department of Health and Human Services: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Provides information on choosing a health plan.
www.ahrq.gov/consumer/cc/cc060308.htm 

Transportation assistance

Local transportation

American Cancer Society – Road to Recovery
Provides local transportation to and from cancer treatments.
800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345) 
www.cancer.org  

CancerCare – AVONCares Program
Offers limited financial help to cover treatment-related transportation and childcare costs.
800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673)
www.cancercare.org 

Patient Advocate Foundation – Treatment Assistance Program Financial Aid Fund
Provides financial assistance for transportation to and from treatment.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org/resources 

Long-distance transportation

Air Charity Network
A group of organizations that offer air travel to cancer patients and their caregivers.
877-621-7177
www.aircharitynetwork.org  

Corporate Angel Network
Uses empty seats on corporate aircraft to help cancer patients reach treatment centers.
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 air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.
800-296-1217
www.patienttravel.org  

Raquel’s Wings for Life
Offers air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers.
940-627-1050
www.raquelswingsforlife.com  

Lodging assistance

American Cancer Society – Hope Lodge
Provides lodging for families during cancer treatment.
800-ACS-2345 (800-227-2345)
www.cancer.org/   

Child care and elder care assistance

Patient Advocate Foundation – Treatment Assistance Program Financial Aid Fund
Provides financial assistance for child care and elder care during treatment.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org/resources  

Health care assistance (medical items and prescription drugs)

CancerCare – Co-payment Assistance Foundation
Offers health insurance co-payment assistance to breast cancer patients undergoing some types of chemotherapy and targeted therapy.
866-55-COPAY (866-552-6729)
www.cancercarecopay.org  

CancerCare – Linking A.R.M.S.™
Provides financial assistance for some medications, medical equipment and lymphedema supplies.
800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673)
www.cancercare.org  

Medicare (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Find information on Medicare prescription drug plans.
www.medicare.gov  

NeedyMeds.com
Provides information on how to find pharmaceutical manufacturer assistance programs.
www.needymeds.com  

Patient Advocate Foundation – Co-Pay Relief Program
Provides financial assistance for prescription drug co-payments to patients who qualify.
866-512-3861
www.copays.org  

Patient Advocate Foundation – Treatment Assistance Program Financial Aid Fund
Provides financial assistance for medical expenses such as lymphedema care and supplies, durable medical equipment, breast prosthesis and wigs.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org/resources  

Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA)
Offers low-cost and free prescription drug programs for those with limited income
888-4PPA-NOW (888-477-2669)
www.pparx.org/ 

Updated 01/29/14 

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