Costs related to breast cancer care 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.
It's OK to ask for help. There are many financial resources available for people with breast cancer.
Komen Treatment Assistance Program
Susan G. Komen® created the Komen Treatment Assistance Program to help those struggling with the costs of breast cancer treatment by providing financial assistance to eligible individuals.
Funding is available for eligible individuals of any age undergoing breast cancer treatment, at any stage of the disease. To learn more about this program and other helpful resources, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636).
Your doctor, 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're not able 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.
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, medical items and prescription drugs. Some are listed below.
A.M. Best CompanyFind 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. www.aarp.org/health/
American Cancer Society - Understanding Financial and Legal MattersFind financial and legal information for people diagnosed with cancer.www.cancer.org/
MedicareFind information on Medicare health insurance programs for people 65 and older.www.medicare.gov
MedicaidFind information on Medicaid health insurance programs for people with low income, and your state's Medicaid program.www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/index.html
National Association of Insurance CommissionersFind your state's insurance commissioner.www.naic.org/
National Cancer Legal Services NetworkFind 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 - Employment Rights for Cancer SurvivorsFind information on employment rights in the booklet "Working It Out: Your Employment Rights as a Cancer Survivor."www.canceradvocacy.org/resources/employment-rights/
Patient Advocate Foundation Provides financial assistance information and legal and advocacy help if an insurance claim is denied. www.patientadvocate.org
Patient Advocate Foundation – National Financial Resource Directory Find local, state and national financial assistance and insurance resources for people who don't have health insurance or are under-insured. www.patientadvocate.org
CancerCare – Co-payment Assistance Foundation Provides health insurance co-payment assistance to breast cancer patients undergoing some types of chemotherapy and HER2-targeted therapy. www.cancercarecopay.org
Komen Treatment Assistance Program Provides limited financial assistance for some medical equipment and lymphedema supplies.www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program/
Lazarex Cancer FoundationProvides financial assistance for some medical expenses not covered by insurance for people enrolled in clinical trials at some medical centers.https://lazarex.org/helping-you/looking-for-help/
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection ProgramProvides access to clinical breast exams and mammograms (plus diagnostic testing if results are abnormal, and referrals to treatment if breast cancer is diagnosed) to women ages 40-64 who don't have health insurance or are under-insured.www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/
National Lymphedema Network Find a lymphedema support group, physical therapist, financial assistance for garments and other information on lymphedema. www.lymphnet.org
The Pink FundProvides financial assistance for health insurance premiums.www.pinkfund.org/get-help/
Sisters Network Inc.Provides financial assistance for copays and 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 Find information on federal laws requiring insurance coverage of breast reconstruction after mastectomy. www.cms.gov/
The Assistance Fund - Breast Cancer Copay Assistance ProgramProvides financial assistance for prescription drug co-payments. https://tafcares.org/program-listing/
Komen Treatment Assistance Program Provides financial assistance for some medications. 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636)www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program/
MedicalAssistanceTool.orgProvides low-cost and free prescription drug programs for those with limited income.www.medicineassistancetool.org/
Medicare Find information on Medicare prescription drug plans. www.medicare.gov
NeedyMeds.com Find information on drug company financial 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 FoundationFind an online directory of drug company financial assistance programs. www.patientadvocate.org/
Patient Advocate Foundation – Co-Pay Relief Program Provides financial assistance for prescription drug co-payments. www.copays.org
Rx HopeFind an online directory of prescription drug assistance programs. www.rxhope.com/
LIVESTRONG Fertility Provides financial assistance for fertility treatment for women diagnosed with breast cancer. www.livestrong.org/we-can-help/livestrong-fertility
The SamfundProvides financial assistance for fertility treatment for women diagnosed with breast cancer.www.thesamfund.org/
Myriad Financial Assistance Program Provides financial assistance for BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic testing for people who qualify. www.myriad.com/myriad-cares-2/financial-assistance-program/
Quest Diagnostic's Patient Assistance ProgramProvides financial assistance for genetic testing for people who qualify.http://questdiagnostics.com/home/about/corporate-citizenship/community-giving/assistance.html
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 Provides local transportation to and from cancer treatments. www.cancer.org
CancerCare – Financial Assistance Program Provides limited financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments. www.cancercare.org/financial
Komen Treatment Assistance ProgramProvides limited financial assistance for transportation to and from medical appointments. www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program/
Lazarex Cancer FoundationProvides financial assistance for transportation to and from cancer treatments for people enrolled in clinical trials at some medical centers.https://lazarex.org/helping-you/looking-for-help/
Air Charity Network Provides air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers. www.aircharitynetwork.org/
Corporate Angel Network Uses empty seats on corporate airplanes to help cancer patients reach treatment centers. www.corpangelnetwork.org/
Lifeline Pilots Provides air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers. www.lifelinepilots.org/
Mercy Medical Angels Provides air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers. www.mercymedical.org/
Raquel’s Wings for Life Provides air travel to treatment centers for cancer patients and their caregivers. www.raquelswingsforlife.com/
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 LodgeProvides lodging for families during cancer treatments.www.cancer.org/
Joe's House Find an online directory of free and discounted lodging for cancer patients and their families. www.joeshouse.org/Lodging.aspx
Lazarex Cancer FoundationProvides financial assistance for lodging during treatment for people enrolled in clinical trials at some medical centers.https://lazarex.org/helping-you/looking-for-help/
Sisters Network Inc. Provides lodging for patients during breast cancer treatments. www.sistersnetworkinc.org/programs.html
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 available to help. (They often want to help, but don’t know how. This is one way they can get involved.) The programs below also offer help.
CancerCare – Financial Assistance Program Provides limited financial assistance for child care during treatment. www.cancercare.org/financial
Komen Treatment Assistance Program Provides limited financial assistance for child care during treatment. www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program/
Komen Treatment Assistance ProgramProvides financial assistance for rent, utilities and food. www.komen.org/treatment-assistance-program/
Patient Advocate Foundation – Metastatic Breast Cancer Financial Aid FundProvides financial assistance for personal expenses including rent, utilities, food, transportation and some end-of-life costs for people with metastatic breast cancer. www.patientadvocate.org
The Pink FundProvides financial assistance for personal expenses including mortgage or rent, utilities and car payments.www.pinkfund.org/get-help/
The SamfundProvides financial assistance for tuition and many personal expenses such as rent, utilities and car payments for young people diagnosed with breast cancer.www.thesamfund.org/
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 screening mammograms every 1-2 years for women ages 40 and older, with no out-of pocket costs (co-payments or co-insurance).
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 to help find low-cost options in your area.
Some Komen Affiliates fund breast cancer education and screening projects in their communities. Find a local Affiliate and learn about programs 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).
In many parts of the U.S., low-cost or free mammograms are also offered through national programs and community organizations.
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection ProgramProvides access to breast cancer screening (and access to diagnostic testing if results are abnormal, and referrals to treatment if breast cancer is diagnosed) to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women ages 40-64.www.cdc.gov/cancer/nbccedp/
Planned Parenthood Provides clinical breast exams and referrals for mammography (and any follow-up testing, such as breast ultrasound). www.plannedparenthood.org
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. Our helpline provides free, professional support services to anyone with questions or concerns about breast cancer, including people diagnosed with breast cancer and their families.
You can also email the helpline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1-877 GO KOMEN(1-877-465-6636)