Learning that you have cancer is devastating. There are severe health implications from a cancer diagnosis, and your treatment could compromise your ability to work and enjoy favorite activities.
Treating cancer is incredibly expensive. Some medications cost over $100,000 per year, while others cost thousands per month. It can be challenging for cancer patients to cover the cost of treatments, particularly if they lose their health insurance because they’re unable to work. Fortunately, there are some strategies cancer patients can use to reduce the cost of cancer treatment.
1. Obtain a viatical settlement.
Viatical settlements involve selling the death benefits to your life insurance policy. Viators must have a chronic or terminal illness to qualify. Viatical settlement companies handle viaticals for viators by locating a third party buyer and completing the paperwork required. The viator receives a lump sum of cash in exchange for the death benefits. The buyer assumes responsibility for outstanding monthly premiums owed on the policy and appoints a new beneficiary who receives the death benefits when you pass away. The money from viatical settlements is tax-free, and you’ll receive more than the face value of the insurance policy, enabling you easy access to funds you can use to cover the cost of treatment.
2. Consider a life settlement.
Life settlements are similar to viatical settlements. The key distinctions are that you don’t have to have a chronic or terminal illness to qualify for a life settlement, and you’ll receive less money than viators receive. Sometimes, a cancer diagnosis won’t qualify you for a viatical settlement because your life expectancy is greater than two years. Breast cancer has a higher survival rate than pancreatic cancer, which is why it’s possible to have cancer and not qualify for a viatical settlement. A life settlement enables you to sell your life insurance policy and still receive more than you would if you cashed your policy in for its face value.
3. Accept support from friends and family.
Although the medical bills and medications are significant costs associated with treating cancer, there are other costs to consider, such as transportation and personal care. Chemotherapy can cause nausea and fatigue, making it challenging for you to handle routine tasks, such as housework or managing your care. You may need help to bathe, brush your teeth, cook, and clean. Friends and family may offer to help you manage some of your personal needs while you’re receiving treatment, which can save you the cost of paying for help from health and personal care aides.
4. Seek help from non-profit organizations.
Several non-profit organizations offer cancer patients practical and financial assistance while they’re receiving treatment. CancerCare can provide money for practical expenses, such as child care costs and medical equipment. CancerCare also has a copay assistance program, helping cancer patients cover the cost of their copays. Pharmaceutical patient assistance programs help cancer patients without health insurance receive affordable medications. The American Cancer Society provides transportation to medical appointments and low-cost accommodations near medical facilities, which is helpful for people who need to travel to receive treatment.
5. Apply for Medicare or Medicaid.
Medicare and Medicaid are government healthcare programs enabling seniors, children, and people with chronic illnesses or disabilities to afford healthcare. People who are 65 years of age or older or who have a disability may qualify for Medicare, while Medicaid offers health insurance to low-income people. Since many people obtain health insurance through their employer, people with cancer may lose their insurance if they’re unable to work. Government insurance programs ensure access to affordable health insurance to cover some treatment costs.
6. Apply for government benefits.
You may qualify for government aid. Government programs may offer you access to food stamps and other types of financial assistance. Explore your benefit options. You may even qualify for a compensation allowance from the Social Security Administration.
7. Pursue clinical trials.
There are over 100 different types of cancer, such as ovarian cancer, brain cancer, colorectal cancer, and thyroid cancer. The type of cancer you have may have a significant impact on the cost of treatment. You may be able to apply for clinical trials and receive free or low-cost treatment. Consider all treatment options to ensure you have access to the best treatments available and manage the costs of your treatment options.
Cancer is a deadly disease that’s expensive to treat. Cancer patients can explore several options to access funds to cover their medical bills, such as viatical and life settlements. Cancer patients may also reduce the cost of treatment by accepting help from friends and family, turning to non-profit organizations for assistance, and applying for government health insurance and benefit programs. Pursuing clinical trials can also reduce the cost of treatment.