When you hear a potentially terminal medical diagnosis about yourself or a loved one, you often react dumbstruck, your brain bubbles, so to speak, you don't know which end is up. The only thing that matters is removing the cancerous lesions or tumor and living longer. With health insurance at a premium, even co-pays, unaffordable, the last of your worries should be finding assistance to pay for wellness and survival.
This article will concentrate on breast cancer treatment financial help and resources, but many organizations listed in this article offer assistance for treatment of numerous medical conditions and diseases, including brain tumor, asthma, arthritis, myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and more, including breast cancer. Numerous options are available for financial assistance for the uninsured and the under-insured, from co-pays, medications, chemotherapy, transportation, rent and mortgages, wigs, and prosthesus, childcare, etc.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers a searchable database of all cancer non-profit organizations nationwide which offer assistance or have information regarding financial help and resources for cancer patients and their families. It's called the National Cancer Institute and can provide information about where to go for help for disability compensation, rent and mortgage payments, medications, insurance co-pays, just about any expenditure you make on a daily basis that may be impossible during illness. Please check the link below for National Cancer Institute.
Pretty and Pink Foundation in North Carolina is one example of the many 501C non-profit organizations, which offer help and hope to cancer patients throughout the 50 states.
For the uninsured: Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act - In the year 2000, the US government enacted the Treatment Act which gave states, the District of Columbia, tribes and territories the option to extend full Medicaid coverage to women who do not have healthcare coverage for the treatment of breast and cervical cancer. Eligibility requires that you be uninsured, under 65 years old, and need treatment. Screening is provided through state-administered programs. Once a Medicaid recipient, you are eligible for coverage for the duration of your cancer treatment. The link for your state's agency is below.
Medicaid is also available to men, women, and children who suffer and need treatment of all diseases and conditions and are unable to pay.
Cancer Care.org has a downloadable pdf with many resources for getting financial assistance for co-pay assistance, medications, and treatments. "Hospitals operated by state and local government ('public hospitals') and some nonprofit hospitals in your community provide a safety net for anyone who needs care, regardless of your ability to pay." Call the social worker in the hospital where you want treatment and ask about charity and indigent treatment programs. The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service can direct you to local programs as well. For more information call 1-800-4CANCER or visit www.cancer.gov.
Download application available in English and Spanish.
Linking A.R.M.S. is a collaboration between CancerCare.org and Susan B. Komen Foundation and breast cancer care and financial assistance contact 1-877-GO KoMEN or 465-6636 for information follow this link.
The HealthWell Foundation provides financial assistance to eligible individuals to cover coinsurance, copayments, healthcare premiums and deductibles for certain treatments. This means that if you've been prescribed a medication and your insurer covers it, but you cannot afford the coinsurance or copayment required, Healthwell may be able to help by paying some or all of your costs associated with the medication. Also, if you are eligible for health insurance, but cannot afford the insurance premium, Healthwell may be able to help by paying some or all of the medical portion of your insurance premium.
Jump right to the application and apply online to Healthwell Foundation.
Diseases covered by the Healthwell Foundation grants cover a vast array of conditions: from asthma, breast cancer, psoriasis, arthritis, brain tumors (glioblastoma multiforme, or GBM, and anaplastic astrocytoma), non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and more. Please visit their website for a complete listing of diseases and medications assistance that is available, including chemo medications. Many medications are listed, but if you don't see yours, you must inquire, as it is impossible to list them all, says the Healthwell Foundation.
The review process takes 3-5 business days once all parts of the application are received. To check on the status of an application, call (800) 675-8416 and follow the telephone prompts.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. P.O. Box 4133 Gaithersburg, MD 20878. Phone: 1-800-675-8416
Now, there's a lot of information here, which you or your medical advocate should look over carefully and decide which is the best resource for your immediate needs. In most cases, you will need your latest tax records, your doctor's diagnosis or pathology report, your driver's license, proof of residency, like a utility bill. Read the requirements carefully or get help from a loved one or medical advocate. There is help just waiting to give you hope and financial peace of mind.
National Association of Medicaid Agencies by state
National Cancer Institute