February 13, 2010

Financial Assistance For Cancer Patients

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call for help

The C-word.  Often said in a whisper.   Said in disbelief.  How could it happen.? What is going to happen?  Thousands of thoughts flow through your mind.  If you are the parent, you’re in shock not only because it’s your child but also you may wonder how you’re going to afford the tests and treatment.  If you’re helping a friend or parent, they will look to you not only for emotional support but also for help in navigating the myriad of paperwork.

In many cases, the insurance limits are quickly met.  Sometimes the out of pocket costs and co-pays are too much for the patient’s limited income.  There is help, though.

The following organizations offer various types of assistance:

1.  The American Cancer Society (ACS) office can provide the telephone number of the local ACS office serving your area. The local ACS office may offer reimbursement for expenses related to cancer treatment including transportation, medicine, and medical supplies. The ACS also offers programs that help cancer patients, family members, and friends cope with the emotional challenges they face. Some publications are available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking staff are available.

Telephone: 1–800–ACS–2345 (1–800–227–2345)
Web site: http://www.cancer.org

2.  The AVONCares Program for Medically Underserved Women provides financial assistance and relevant education and support to low income, under- and uninsured, underserved women throughout the country in need of diagnostic and/or related services (transportation, child care, and social support) for the treatment of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers.

Telephone: 1–800–813–HOPE (1–800–813–4673)
Web site: http://www.cancercare.org

3.  The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF) is a nonprofit organization that provides information, peer support, and advocacy through publications, an information clearinghouse, and a network of local support groups. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families may apply for financial assistance.

Telephone: 1–800–366–CCCF (1–800–366–2223)
Web site:

3.  The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) offers information and financial aid to patients who have leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, or multiple myeloma.  Callers may request a booklet describing LLS’s Patient Aid Program or the telephone number for their local LLS office.  Some publications are available in Spanish.

Telephone: 1–800–955–4572
Web site: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org

4.  The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national nonprofit organization that provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis matters.

Telephone: 1–800–532–5274
Web site: http://www.patientadvocate.org

5.  The State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a Federal-State partnership that offers low-cost or free health insurance coverage to uninsured children of low-wage, working parents.  Callers will be referred to the SCHIP program in their state for further information about what the program covers, who is eligible, and the minimum qualifications.

Telephone: 1–877–KIDS–NOW (1–877–543–7669)
Web site: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov

If you or someone you love needs financial assistance for the treatment of cancer, know that there is help available.  This list is not exhaustive, it is but a start.  There are many organizations that offer assistance to patients and family members.  If you need help, please ask.

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