Let’s be honest, cancer is not only scary, it’s costly. Even for those with Medicare or private insurance, co-pays and deductibles for doctor visits, tests and medication can add up fast. If you or someone you care about is fighting cancer, these tips can help prevent surprise bills or financial hardship:
Learn what insurance covers. Call your company to discuss benefits, deductibles and copays. Be sure to ask whether you are required to use a specific network of hospitals, physicians and outpatient centers to maximize your benefits.
If you’re uninsured or have a high-deductible health plan, you may be eligible for financial aid. Ask if your hospital has nurse navigators or financial counselors who can help you locate resources in the community and even help with paperwork.
Ask your care team about ways to lower the costs of treatment. For example, using in-network providers can reduce co-pays. Qualifying for financial aid programs from pharmaceutical companies can cut out-of-pocket costs for certain cancer drugs.
If you have a job, consider whether to keep working to pay for medical costs. Doctors are generally supportive of patients working during treatment, but there may be times when working isn’t practical or safe. Those unable to work due to their disease or treatments may be eligible for social security disability.