Financial Help for Cancer Patients: Find Free Programs and Resources
Cancer has unfortunately touched the lives of almost everyone in the world, whether directly or indirectly. According to a Milliman report, cancer patients are two and a half times more likely to file for bankruptcy. With that in mind, we’re here to provide you with resources about financial help for cancer patients. Here are a few tips to reduce the cost of cancer care, as well as a guide to finding help for cancer patients’ families with financially challenging situations.
Four tips to bring down the cost of cancer care
A cancer diagnosis undoubtedly puts a huge amount of psychological stress on patients and their families. For many, the financial cost of cancer care can be as equally as challenging as the diagnosis. To help lower expenses as much as possible, follow the below tips:
- Stay in your health insurance network, if possible. Make sure all of your doctors are in-network, even if it means making multiple phone calls to confirm.
- Ask your HR department how much you have to work to keep your health insurance coverage. Discuss your options, including short or long-term disability.
- Talk to your insurance provider and doctor to know exactly what legal steps you should be taking to make sure that you don’t get stuck with a big bill after treatment.
- Consider childcare costs and see if you have a friend, community member, or relative who would be willing to help out for free if you’re not feeling well or recovering from surgery.
It may feel scary to have these difficult conversations, but don’t be afraid to ask—you deserve education regarding all the options available to you.
Government financial assistance for cancer patients
There are a number of national and state benefits for cancer patients that provide free financial help. Some agencies, like the Department of Social Services, even provide food and housing assistance for cancer patients. Note that many government assistance programs have unique eligibility requirements like income limits.
- Social Security
- Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. Administration on Aging
- Veterans Administration
Financial assistance from pharmaceutical companies
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance has a list of pharmaceutical programs providing financial help for cancer patients. Note that your doctor may be able to prescribe medications that qualify for these programs. Services often differ under pharmaceutical assistance plans, but some may include:
- Financial help with insurance reimbursement
- Referrals to copay-relief programs
- Help with the prescription assistance application process
- Discounted or free medication for those who qualify
Financial aid for cancer patients from nonprofits
With cancer expenses climbing, several nonprofit organizations that help cancer patients financially now exist. Some will even provide help for cancer patients to pay bills. Note that some groups may only provide aid to patients battling a specific type of cancer, and each organization has unique eligibility requirements. You can call or email any of the following organizations for more information:
- CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
- Chronic Disease Fund
- Healthwell Foundation
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Co-Pay Assistance Program
Financial help for cancer patients from fundraising
If your friends, family, or community are looking for ways they can support you in your fight to get healthy, consider crowdfunding. An online fundraiser is a great way to collect donations and creates a space for friends and family to leave words of encouragement. You can even post text, photo, video, or even blog updates to let loved ones know how your treatment is going.
With our fundraising model, you can put as much money as possible toward winning your fight against cancer. Not sure where to start in organizing your fundraiser? Take a look at these fundraisers for inspiration:: #RichardsArmy Against Lymphoma, Cancer Sucks: Fitz Fights Melanoma, and Help Dave fight a brain tumor. Or, take a look at these easy fundraising ideas.
Fundraising resources for cancer patients
- What to Do Before and After Receiving a Cancer Treatment Bill
- Medical Crowdfunding Guide
- Fundraising Ideas for Cancer
- Five Cancer Fundraising Tips to Help You Raise More Money
- How to Help a Friend With Cancer: Fifteen Encouraging Ideas
- Clinical Trials for Cancer Patients
Get cancer care financial assistance when you need it most
There are numerous organizations that help cancer patients financially and emotionally. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to healthcare. Every day, people battling cancer and their loved ones raise funds for treatment on GoFundMe. We’ve made it easy to start a cancer fundraiser and we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.