Save Money When Undergoing Chemo

By Diana Bierman
Reviewed by Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS

There’s no reason to let the financial burden of cancer care add to your stress right now. No doubt, the costs can be high—so high that in some cases they can make it difficult for you to get the treatment you need. But don’t despair—plenty of resources are out there that can help you get lifesaving care without leaving you strapped. So read on, and don’t forget to tap your oncology nurse navigator for cost-cutting solutions.

Save on: Copays and certain drugs
Resource: Cancer Care Copay http://cancercarecopay.org/
This nonprofit organization may be able to help defray your chemotherapy copays and targeted treatment drugs. If you’re eligible, Cancer Care Copay will mail you a form to complete as well as a form for your healthcare provider to fill out. Once you’re approved for financial assistance, you’ll be contacted with instructions on how to access your reward.

Save on: Airfare
Resource:
Corporate Angel Network  http://www.corpangelnetwork.org/
Travel is sometimes required when undergoing cancer treatment, which is why this not-for-profit organization provides free plane transportation for people going to and from certain recognized cancer treatment centers. To arrange your flight, call three weeks before your appointment at 866-328-1313.

Save on:
Toiletries and other everyday products
Resource: Cancer Fund of America, Inc. http://www.cfoa.org/available_products.html  
Find out what free items may be available to you through this no-cost organization. Products include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, blankets, assorted make up, vitamins, over-the-counter medicines and more. All you have to do is fill out a one-page application, have your healthcare professional complete a separate part and send it back!

Save on: Wigs
Resource: The American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org/
With a main side effect of chemo being hair loss, local chapters of the American Cancer Society collect wig donations and sometimes other head coverings, all of which are cleaned, maintained and ready to wear. If you’re without health insurance, the American Cancer Society may be able to offer you these products free of charge. Contact your local chapter to check your eligibility and for more information.

Save on: Non-medical expenses
Resource:
Assistance in Healthcare, Inc. http://aihonline.org/
This nonprofit organization may be able to help you afford all things non-medical during your treatment and recovery from cancer. This resource awards grants based on eligibility that assist with expenses such as mortgage or rent payments, utilities, groceries, childcare, gas and car payments, credit card bills and more. Assistance in Healthcare, Inc. accepts donations and also raises money during its events (anything from balls to golf games), all of which go to cancer patients and their families.

Save on: Copays and other expenses
Resource:
Patient Advocate Foundation http://www.patientadvocate.org/
The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) has case managers on hand to help people with certain cancers (such as colon and prostate) who have insurance, but are still seeking help with diagnosis-related financial burdens. These case managers communicate with your healthcare provider or insurance company to get you the help you need. Contact the organization to find out if you qualify. PAF also offers resources for housing, food, transportation to medical treatment, home health care and more, based on your age, location and diagnosis. 

Published March 2014

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