If you are dealing with cancer and researching treatment options, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the costs and worried about how to afford it. For those without health insurance, this may be a tremendously scary situation. Even those with health insurance available, however, are not promised treatment options they can afford. Thankfully, there are many government institutions, social work organizations, and programs dedicated to assisting with financial support for cancer patients.
Government Aid Organizations and Contact Information:
Many state and federal organizations offer financial assistance for individuals and families dealing with cancer. The benefits available through these organizations, typically referred to as entitlements, are most frequently awarded to low-income households or the elderly and disabled. As with many assistance programs, these entitlements have specific requirements for eligibility. It is important to reach out to the following organizations to ask questions and get answers specific to your individual case.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – This organization offers information regarding public assistance as well as food stamps, making meals more affordable so that the money saved can be spent on treatment. To find your local office, simply do an online search or visit www.hhs.gov.
- U.S. Administration on Aging – This organization specifically provides assistance to the elderly or older adults. They work with local partners to find resources within your nearest neighborhood. Call 1-800-677-1116 or visit www.eldercare.gov to learn more.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services – These organizations help to provide financial support for medical procedures. If you do not currently have health insurance, it is especially important to reach out to them to obtain assistance. Call the office at 1-800-633-4227 or visit www.cms.gov online to get more information.
- Social Security Administration – You may be entitled to social security disability benefits at this time, and this is important to take advantage of if applicable. Contact the Social Security Administration to do so at 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.ssa.gov, their website.
American Cancer Society Programs:
The American Cancer Society offers a variety of programs and support groups for those dealing with cancer, specifically designed to let anyone dealing with cancer know that they are not alone. You can visit their website, or call them at 1-800-227-2345 to learn more. A few of their most popular assistance programs include:
- American Cancer Society Cancer Survivors Network – This is a support group who meets online. Group membership is free, and it allows people with cancer to connect with others who truly understand what they are going through. Visit http://csn.cancer.org to sign up.
- The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Program – This program provides complimentary overnight accommodations to cancer patients and their families who have to travel to obtain treatment. Contact the American Cancer Society via the information listed above to learn more.
- I Can Cope Classes – These are free online classes designed to educate and empower people dealing with cancer. The classes are available anytime and can be taken at your convenience. To start, visit www.cancer.org/icancope.
- Road to Recovery Program – This program is focused on securing transportation to treatment for individuals who need it. Volunteer drivers donate their time and personal vehicles to providing patients with reliable rides to their treatment. Again, to learn more about this program and volunteers in your area, contact the American Cancer Society at the number listed above.
Pharmaceutical Patient Assistance Programs:
If your treatment plan includes taking many medications, these are helpful programs to look into. They help to make the medicines you need more affordable. These programs can obtain insurance reimbursement, refer you to relief programs for co-pay costs, provide simplified instructions for the application process, and secure free or discounted medication. Again, the assistance they are able to provide is very dependent upon your specific situation, so reach out to ask questions at any time. For a full list of pharmaceutical assistance programs and specific drug companies that also provide financial assistance for patients, contact that Partnership for Prescription Assistance (or PPA) at 1-888-477-2669 or visit them online at www.pparx.org.
Organizations Offering Financial and Social Support for Cancer Victims:
The following organizations are dedicated to providing information, answers and support to individuals dealing with cancer and their families.
- The War On Cancer Foundation – is a 501(c)3 that assists those suffering from cancer with daily living expenses, counseling, advocacy and medical billing issues.
- CancerCare – www.cancercare.org – 800-813-4673 – CancerCare provides many services for cancer patients and their families, from counseling and support groups, to educational workshops and publications, and also financial assistance, co-payment assistance and connections to other community programs which provide additional aid.
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – www.lls.org – 800-955-4572 – LLS’ mission is to fight and cure blood cancers while improving the lives of those suffering because of them. They help provide access to treatments for everyone suffering from blood cancer.
- Lymphoma Research Foundation – www.lymphoma.org – 800-500-9976 – LRF is the nation’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to helping fund cutting-edge research on lymphoma and providing individuals diagnosed with lymphoma and healthcare professionals alike with current, informative breakthroughs in the field. Their mission is to fully eradicate lymphoma.
- National Marrow Donor Program – www.marrow.org – 888-999-6743 – If your cancer requires a bone marrow transplant, this organization is a great resource, dedicated to locating and connecting marrow donors with those in need.
- Patient Advocate Foundation’s Colorectal Careline – www.colorectalcareline.org – 866-657-8634 – The Colorectal Careline was created to provide help for patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and who are seeking additional information on the disease as well as help with getting medical care.
- Sarcoma Alliance – www.sarcomaalliance.org – 415-381-7236 – This organization specifically deals with patients who have been diagnosed with sarcoma cancer.
- United Way – www.unitedway.org – the United Way is dedicated to helping improve the lives of others by connecting and enforcing the power of caring communities across the globe, bringing groups of dedicated individuals together to help those in need.
- Bringing Hope Home – This non-profit organization can be found at www.bringinghopehome.org and they work to provide both financial and emotional support to cancer patients, and offer a special one-time grant designed to pay essential household bills for cancer patients and their families dealing with this disease in the Greater Philadelphia area.
- Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Service – www.MedicareWire.com