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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.

To learn more about the programs below and other helpful resources, call Susan G. Komen’s breast care helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636). When you call, you will speak with a trained and caring staff member who can help you navigate your way through all of the complex breast cancer information as well as help you find local resources.

General information on financial issues and insurance

A.M. Best Company
Find insurance company ratings.
www.ambest.com/  

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Provides information on choosing a health plan.
www.ahcpr.gov/consumer/  

America's Health Insurance Plans
National directory of health insurance plans and information on types of coverage.
www.ahip.org/  

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 (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 Association of Insurance Commissioners
Find your state's insurance commissioner.
www.naic.org/  

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/help4u.php 

Health care assistance (medical care, prescription drugs and other medical items)

Cancer Resource Foundation
Provides financial assistance for BRCA1/2 genetic testing for people who qualify.
www.cancer1source.org/genetic-testing-programs 

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 limited 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  

Myriad Financial Assistance Program
Provides financial assistance for BRCA1/2 genetic testing for people who qualify.
https://ms360.myriad.com/genetic-testing/insurance-2/  

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

Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation
Provides financial assistance for prescription drug co-payments to people with metastatic breast cancer who qualify.
www.panfoundation.org/ 

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 –Financial Aid Fund
Provides limited financial help for medical equipment, lymphedema care, transportation to and from treatment, child care and elder care during treatment, breast prosthesis and wigs. The Financial Aid Fund is a partnership between Susan G. Komen® and the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF).
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.org  

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/  

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   

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
Provides limited financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments.
800-813-HOPE (800-813-4673)
www.cancercare.org  

CancerCare – Linking A.R.M.S.™
Provides limited financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments.
www.cancercare.org  

Patient Advocate Foundation – Financial Aid Fund
Provides financial assistance for transportation to and from treatment.
800-532-5274
www.patientadvocate.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
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

CancerCare – AVONCares Program
Provides limited financial assistance for child care during treatment.
www.cancercare.org  

CancerCare – Linking A.R.M.S.™
Provides limited financial assistance for child care during treatment.
www.cancercare.org  

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

Clinical trial costs

American Cancer Society - Clinical Trials: State Laws Regarding Insurance Coverage
Find a list of state laws on insurance coverage of clinical trial costs.
www.cancer.org/  

National Cancer Institute - States that Require Health Plans to Cover Patient Care Costs in Clinical Trials
Find a list of state laws on insurance coverage of clinical trial costs.
www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/   

Updated 04/18/14

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