A cancer diagnosis is life-changing in many ways, especially when it comes to financials. Without proper safeguards in place, a critical illness diagnosis can result in spiraling debt, creating a difficult place to heal. Keep reading to understand financial preparedness options following a cancer diagnosis, beginning with a breakdown of potential costs for cancer treatment and diagnosis.
The Costs of a Cancer Diagnosis
While exact fees can vary from hospital to hospital and depend on your diagnosis, these numbers can be alarming at a glance. Few Americans have the funds lying around to pay these out-of-pocket costs, even with the help of insurance.
Financial Options for Cancer Patients
If you’ve just received a cancer diagnosis, here are some ways to get help financially:
Supplemental Cancer Insurance Policy
The first thing to note is the option to apply for a cancer insurance policy. If you’re researching preventive measures, then a cancer insurance policy may be the best choice to help cover gaps in your major medical insurance. Cancer insurance policies can also help to cover other related costs.
In some cases, when considered a higher-risk client, you may also need to pay a higher premium because of their pre-existing condition. Speak with your providers and potential insurance companies to understand what your options are for additional insurance.
Taking Advantage of Resources
Cancer is one of the most common critical illnesses in America. As such, there are plenty of good-doers out there that offer options for managing finances and lowering the burden during treatment. Below are a few types of assistance, but it’s important to reach out to any private companies, such as your mortgage lender, to see if they offer any grace options.
The American Cancer Society shares a number of ways that patients can find additional help to fund their cancer treatment. One option is The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge program which can provide family members with lodging near your treatment center. Similarly, the Ronald McDonald House also offers lodging for the families of childhood cancer patients.
The American Cancer Society also recommends contacting Medicaid or other social services departments near you to inquire about any Cash and Counseling Programs that help to cover caregiving fees. As for transportation assistance, Mercy Medical Angels or the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery program helps to reduce the cost of transportation for patients as it relies on volunteers or other giving private companies.
Supplemental Food Resources
Food can get pricey for both yourself and supporting your family when one or more of its providers are out of work during cancer treatment. Though you may not have previously qualified for government programs, it’s worthwhile to check with the US Department of Agriculture for helpful programs or to apply for SNAP benefits (supplemental nutrition assistance program). Meals on Wheels can offer home-delivered and reduced-cost prepared food options for your needs, helping to lessen the burden.
There are plenty of good companies and organizations out there who want to help those struggling most. If you cannot afford out-of-pocket expenses related to health treatment, it may be worthwhile for you or a loved one to comb through the resources available for your unique needs. Arranging as much as possible early on, and having the resources amassed, can help you to best prepare financially following a cancer diagnosis. Visit the American Cancer Society resource page for more information and reach out for quotes on supplemental cancer insurance policies today.
The content herein is provided for general informational purposes and is not provided as tax, legal, health or financial advice for any person or for any specific situation. Employers, employees and other individuals should contact their own advisers about their situations. For complete details, including availability and costs of Aflac insurance, please contact your local Aflac agent.
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