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JUN 17th 2014

8 Resources For Managing The High Cost Of Cancer Care

JUN 17th 2014
8 Resources For Managing The High Cost Of Cancer Care

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released an analysis on the significant medical and non-medical costs faced by cancer survivors and patients in the U.S.

The CDC report, which analyzed data from 2008 – 2011, revealed the following figures on the cost of cancer treatment per person when compared to people without a history of cancer:

  • Male Cancer Survivors: Annual medical costs of $8,000 + annual productivity losses of $3,700 = $11,700
  • Female Cancer Survivors: Annual medical costs of $8,400 + annual productivity losses of $4,000 = $12,400

The CDC study follows several other troubling reports on the high cost of cancer treatment, including how cancer drug prices have doubled in the past decade (IMS Health), and cancer patients being nearly 3X more likely to declare bankruptcy than people without cancer (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center).

And, while many of the media reports on these studies have covered the financial burdens cancer patients with and without insurance are facing, few have offered solutions for managing the cost of cancer care.

To help, here are 8 financial resources and organizations that can lessen both the medical and non-medical costs of treatment for cancer patients in the U.S.:

  1. Resource Directory: The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is a group of organizations that helps people manage their financial challenges when fighting cancer. The coalition’s website offers tips, articles, and, a comprehensive resource directory to search for assistance by ZIP code, diagnosis and type of help needed.  
  2. Cancer Drug Costs: The Patient Network Access Foundation helps under-insured people facing a critical or life-threatening illness with co-payment assistance for medications.
  3. Pre-planning: If you have a family history of cancer, a low-cost, lump-sum cancer insurance policy is something to checkout to help fill the growing gaps in health coverage. CancerInsurance.com lets you quote, compare, shop and apply for competitive cancer and critical illness insurance policies online. Plans payout the entire policy amount (up to $100,000) in a lump-sum upon diagnosis – allowing a person to use the money however they choose.
  4. Cancer Care Costs: The HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to cover coinsurance, copayments, health care premiums and deductibles for certain prescriptions and therapies.
  5. Flying Out-of-Network and TownAngel Airline Samaritans facilitates no-cost or reduced rate commercial airline tickets for needy cancer patients and their families.
  6. Free Lodging: The American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when traveling and receiving treatment in another city.
  7. Free Housecleaning: The nonprofit Cleaning For A Reason partners with more than 1,000 professional maid services across the country to provide free housecleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatment.
  8. Prevention and Free Screenings: Under Obamacare, all Marketplace health plans must cover many in-network preventive services for all adults and women without charging you a copayment or coinsurance. These services include cervical cancer screenings, mammograms every 1 to 2 years for women over 40, and colon cancer screenings for adults over 50.  

If you know of more financial resources and organizations that can help cancer patients in managing the high cost of cancer care, please, share with our readers in the comments.

(Image via MoneyManagement.org.)