The cost of medical treatment is among the many concerns you may have if you, a friend, or a family member is diagnosed with cancer. Because bills and debt can add up quickly, people may want to seek financial help soon after being diagnosed with cancer. Some of the people who can help, or provide referrals to services that can help, include oncology social workers, case managers, and your health care provider or oncology nurse.
The following resources will help you begin to find the necessary financial support.
The Access Project is a resource center for local communities working to improve health and health care access. They have excellent tips for managing medical debt.
American Cancer Society (ACS)
(800) ACS-2345 www.cancer.org
The ACS provides a wealth of information and tools for managing the financial and legal issues related to your cancer. This Web site includes information on insurance issues, advice on what to do if your work situation changes, as well as how to find a professional financial advisor sensitive to cancer issues to help guide you. ACS also operates the Health Insurance Assistance Service, which helps people determine if they qualify for public programs like Medicaid or other low-cost private plans.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) / Cancer.Net
(571) 483-1780 or (888) 651-3038
ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization representing 27,000 physicians worldwide who treat people with cancer. Cancer.Net, formerly People Living With Cancer (PLWC), brings the expertise and resources of ASCO to people living with cancer and those who care for and about them.
Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation (Children Only)
The Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation provides emergency assistance within 24 hours to single caregivers of children with catastrophic or life-threatening illnesses who are in financial crisis. Without ASRL’s support, many children with life-threatening illnesses would be facing pain, treatments, fear, and at times, even their death, without a parent by their side.
Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW)
AOSW is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the enhancement of psychosocial services to people with cancer and their families. Their Web site provides a list of resources for financial information.
BenefitsCheckup finds programs that may pay for some of the costs of prescription drugs, health care, utilities, and other services for people ages 55 and over.
(800) 813-HOPE (4673)
www.cancercare.org (English) www.cancercare.org/espanol (Spanish)
CancerCare provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs include counseling and support groups, education, financial assistance, and practical help. CancerCare publishes a comprehensive resource guide, Helping Hand, as well as information on financial resources.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition ( CFAC)
CFAC is a coalition of financial assistance organizations joining forces to help cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges, through: facilitating communication and collaboration among member organizations; educating patients and providers about existing resources and linking to other organizations that can disseminate information about the collective resources of the member organizations; and advocating on behalf of cancer patients who continue to bear financial burdens associated with the costs of cancer treatment and care.
Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC)
(213) 736-1455 or (866) THE-CLRC (843-2572)
The CLRC is a joint program of the Disability Rights Legal Center and Loyola Law School. The CLRC provides free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, their families, friends, employers, health care professionals, and others coping with cancer.
Caring Voice Coalition
(804) 427-6468 or (888) 267-1440 www.caringvoice.org
Caring Voice Coalition seeks to empower patients with life-threatening, chronic illnesses. Current programs include a financial assistance program, insurance education and counseling, and a patient support program.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ( CMS)
CMS is the government entity responsible for Medicare and Medicaid. For comprehensive information about Medicare and especially Medicare Part D call (800) 633-4227 or visit www.medicare.gov.
Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
(866) 4-USA- DOL (487-2365) www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm
The Department of Labor provides comprehensive information about COBRA on their Web site. For information about COBRA and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), call 866-444-EBSA (3272) or visit www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA.html
(877) 563-2100 www.dignityresources.com
Dignity Resources is a non-profit organization created to help people understand the assets and financial options available to them during a serious or life-threatening illness and assist them in making the most informed choices possible, given their particular situation, assets, and needs.
(800) FED-INFO (333–4636) www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits_en.portal
GovBenefits.gov is a partnership of federal agencies with a shared vision to provide improved, personalized access to government assistance programs. This Web site’s online screening tool is free, easy-to-use, and completely confidential. The user answers a series of questions, then the Web site generates a list of government benefit programs that the user may be eligible to receive, along with information about how the user can apply.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
(800) 638-0742 www.hrsa.gov/hillburton/default.htm
In 1946, Congress passed a law that gave hospitals and other health facilities money for construction and modernization. In return, they agreed to provide services to persons unable to pay and to make their services available to all persons residing in the facility’s area. The program stopped providing funds in 1997, but about 200 health care facilities nationwide are still obligated to provide free or reduced-cost care.
The Jake Owen Raborn Foundation (children only)
(888) 356-JAKE (5253)
Founded in 2006, the Jake Owen Raborn Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to financially supporting families enduring pediatric cancer, as well as providing financial support to organizations and facilities that care for families enduring pediatric cancer.
Lance Armstrong Foundation ( LAF)
(512) 236-8820 or (866) 673-7205 www.livestrong.org/cancersupport
LAF provides practical information and tools to help people with cancer live life on their own terms. Online topics help you find support, assistance and ways to deal with financial challenges during the cancer experience. You can get one-on-one support through the LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare program, including counseling and referrals to local resources to help address financial and insurance concerns.
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)
LLS offers services and resources to people diagnosed with a blood cancer. They have information about managing household finances and health care insurance and understanding rights in the workplace as a survivor or a caregiver. LLS also offers a Patient Financial Aid Program and Co-Pay Assistance Program.
Michigan League for Human Services — Survival Toolkit www.milhs.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/brochure85.pdf(available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file)*
Due to high unemployment rates and a suffering economy, many Michigan
residents are struggling to make ends meet. This Survival Toolkit brochure can be downloaded, printed, folded and offered as a resource to help people determine if they are eligible for state and federal assistance programs. It also has a list of other resources.
Mission 4 Maureen www.mission4maureen.org
Mission 4 Maureen is a charitable organization that raises funds to help others with the ever-growing cost of medical treatments in fighting brain cancer. Its mission is to provide financial assistance to families who are burdened with the staggering cost of brain cancer treatment.
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS)
(301) 650-9127 or (888) 650-9127
NCCS offers free publications on insurance and employment issues for people living with, through, and beyond cancer. Through its Web site, visitors can listen to the Cancer Survival Toolbox, an audio-program that includes a section on Finding Ways to Pay for Care. All of the resources can be useful to the person diagnosed with cancer, as well as their family members, friends and caregivers.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) (800) 388-2227 (National Crisis Hotline) www.nfcc.org
NFCC is a national nonprofit network designed to provide assistance to people dealing with stressful financial situations. The NFCC can provide information on local certified consumer credit counselors to assist people with financial problems.
National Foundation for Transplants (NFT)
NFT provides fundraising assistance for patients needing transplants, including bone marrow and stem cell transplants.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
(203) 744-0100 or (800) 999-6673 (voicemail only)
NORD is a federation of voluntary health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare “orphan” diseases and assisting the organizations that serve them. NORD administers programs to assist uninsured or under-insured individuals in securing life-saving or life-sustaining medications. NORD works closely with certain pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to ensure that certain vital medications are available to those individuals whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to pay for their prescribed medications.
Office of Minority Health Resource Center (OMHRC) (800) 444-6472
The Center is one of the nation's largest sources of minority health information. It offers fact sheets, publications, and a newsletter on issues related to minority health. The Center can also refer you to other sources of information.
Patient Access Network Foundation (PAN)
(866) 316-PANF (7263) www.patientaccessnetwork.org
PAN is a non-profit organization, unaffiliated with any of its donors, dedicated to assisting insured patients who cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment needs.
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
(800) 532-5274 www.patientadvocate.org/
PAF is a national non-profit organization that seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation, ensuring access to care, maintenance of employment, and preservation of their financial stability relative to their diagnosis of life-threatening or debilitating diseases. Among resources offered is the National Financial Resources Guidebook for Patients, a state-by-state directory of information for patients seeking financial relief for a broad range of needs, including housing, utilities, food, transportation to medical treatment, and children’s resources.
Social Security Administration
SSA is the government agency with oversight for Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP)
(800) 633-4227 www.medicare.gov/contacts
Available in every state, these programs assist people with health insurance questions, particularly related to Medicare and Medicaid.
Survivorship A-Z www.survivorshipatoz.org/cancer Survivorship A-Z is a Web-based resource providing practical, legal and financial information. The site includes the ability to make a computer-generated profile, personalized to your legal, financial and social situation. The general information applies to all life-changing conditions and is modified when appropriate for cancer.
(703) 836-7112 www.liveunited.org
The United Way is an excellent source of information about local charities and programs that may be able to provide financial and resource support.
The Wellness Community
888-793- WELL (9355) www.thewellnesscommunity.org
The Wellness Community is an international, non-profit organization that provides support, education and hope to people with cancer and those who care for them. The Wellness Community empowers individuals affected by cancer through the learning of vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation, and enhance quality of life. Programs at The Wellness Community are offered at no charge.
(877) 563-7468 www.joeshouse.org
Joe’s House is a non-profit organization providing a nationwide online service that helps cancer patients and their families find lodging near treatment centers.
National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses(NAHHH)
NAHHH is an association of more than 150 nonprofit organizations that provide lodging and support services to families and their loved ones who are receiving medical treatment away from home.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
The Ronald McDonald House Charities offer free or reduced-cost lodging for families of seriously ill children who are receiving treatment at nearby hospitals.
Air Care Alliance
Air Care Alliance offers a central listing of free transportation services provided by volunteer pilots and charitable aviation groups.
Air Charity Network
(877) 621-7177 www.aircharitynetwork.org
Air Charity Network coordinates free air transportation for people in need.
Angel Flight Samaritans
Angel Flight Samaritans provides long-distance travel for people with cancer and their families in need of travel.
Corporate Angel Network
(866) 328-1313 www.corpangelnetwork.org
Corporate Angel Network arranges free air transportation for people with cancer traveling to treatment using empty seats on corporate jets.
National Patient Travel Center (NPTC)
(800) 296-1217 www.patienttravel.org
The NPTC works with patients and significant others to try to ensure that no one is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment if they cannot afford long-distance medical air transportation. Using donated frequent flier miles and other options, NPTC works to arrange low-cost air tickets for people traveling a distance for treatment or a second opinion.
Chronic Disease Fund (CDF)
www.cdfund.org CDF is a non-profit charitable organization that helps underinsured patients with chronic disease, cancers, or life-altering conditions obtain the expensive medications they need. They assist patients throughout the United States who meet income qualification guidelines and have private insurance or a Medicare Part D plan, but cannot afford the co-payments for their specialty therapeutics.
The HealthWell Foundation helps individuals afford prescription medications they are taking for specific illnesses. The Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible patients to cover certain out-of-pocket health care costs, including prescription drug co-insurance, co-payments, and deductibles, health insurance premiums, and other selected out-of-pocket health care costs.
NeedyMeds is a free, online clearinghouse to help people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. This Web site includes a wide range of information about services, such as Discount Drug Cards, Medicaid Web sites, Federal Poverty Guidelines, and other useful information.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
(888) 4PPA-NOW (477-2669)
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a coalition of pharmaceutical companies, doctors, other health care providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups. It helps qualifying patients who lack prescription coverage get the medicines they need through the public or a private program that’s right for them. Its mission is to increase awareness of patient assistance programs and boost enrollment of those who are eligible. Through this site, the Partnership for Prescription Assistance offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
RX Assist www.rxassist.org
Most companies have one or more patient assistance programs. Although eligibility requirements vary by company, most require that patients be U.S. citizens or legal residents, have a household income under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and have no prescription coverage.
(877) 267-0517 https://www.rxhope.com
RxHope is a helping hand to people in need in obtaining critical medications that they would normally have trouble affording. RxHope acts as an advocate in making the patient assistance program journey easier and faster by supplying vital information and help.
Together Rx Access
Together Rx Access provides a free prescription savings card for
individuals who are not eligible for Medicare, do not have prescription
drug coverage, and meet certain household income levels. The Together
Rx Access Card is a philanthropic initiative made possible by a
coalition of leading pharmaceutical companies, providing access to more
than 300 brand-name prescription and generic products.
Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides financial help to patients in treatment for: breast cancer; colorectal cancer; head and neck cancer; glioblastoma; non-small cell lung cancer; pancreatic cancer; and renal cell cancer.
Co-Pay Relief Program (CPR)
The Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program (CPR) provides direct financial support to insured patients, including Medicare Part D beneficiaries, who must qualify financially and medically to access pharmaceutical co-pay assistance. The program offers personal service to all patients through the use of call counselors guiding patients through the enrollment process.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) www.LLS.org/copay
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Co-Pay Assistance Program offers assistance to patients toward:
cancer treatment-related co-pays;
private health insurance premiums;
private insurance co-pay obligations; and
Medicare Part B, Medicare Plan D, Medicare Supplementary Health Insurance, and Medicare Advantage premium or co-pay obligations.
Patient Services, Inc. ( PSI)
PSI is a non-profit organization that helps people with certain chronic illnesses or conditions locate suitable health insurance coverage and access help with expensive co-payments. PSI provides assistance with the cost of health insurance premiums associated with COBRAs, state high-risk pools, open enrollment, HIPAA conversion policies, and prescriptions co-payments associated with private insurance, as well as with Medicare Parts B and D. PSI evaluates an individual’s financial, medical, and insurance situation to determine who is eligible for premium or co-payment assistance.
Cancer Fund of America, Inc. (CFA)
(800) 578-5284 www.cfoa.org
CFA is a national agency helping cancer patients through patient assistance programs. They provide items such as liquid nutritional supplements and vitamins, lotions and ointments, food items, various medical supplies, and non-prescription medicine, toys, clothing, and hygiene items.
Cleaning for a Reason www.cleaningforareason.org
Cleaning for a Reason offers free professional housecleaning, and maid services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer.
(800) 771-2303 www.feedingamerica.org
Feeding America network provides food assistance to more than 25 million low-income people facing hunger in the United States. The organization has a network of more than 200 food banks serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR)
NEAR is a free service for people who want information on where to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which may pay a portion of the energy bills of eligible low-income persons.
The Pink Fund
(877) 234-PINK (7465)
The Pink Fund has been formed to help women and men suffering from breast cancer focus on healing, raising their families, and returning to the workplace. The Pink Fund will provide short-term financial aid during the brief period of active treatment and recovery.
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