Financial Assistance For Cancer Patients: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Getting diagnosed with cancer can be scary no matter what stage of life you’re in. That fact holds true even as groundbreaking clinical trials for a wide range of cancers continue to be performed in the interest of truly curing the disease once and for all. This sort of focus is one of the reasons that incidences of death from lung cancer are down overall this year, a welcome change for many doctors, scientists, and patients. That being said, to truly fight cancer can often be an expensive proposition. Here are some things to keep in mind about getting financial assistance if you’re a cancer patient.

Health insurance is one of the first ways that many people look to when financing any kind of medical treatment, and cancer is no different. Even so, many policies with high premiums or deductibles may require you to pay a considerable amount of out-of-pocket expenses. In some situations, like with a chronic illness, these expenses will become yearly fixed costs that you need to find a way to pay for. Opening up an HSA or FSA account is one way to help defer these costs without having to worry as much about income tax, but that still may not be enough for your medical care. You may also want to see about different health insurance options you may qualify for during your employer’s open enrollment period, in case one plan is a better fit for you in your new circumstances.

When the typical trappings of health insurance and FSAs aren’t going to cut it, another option is looking into service organizations. Non-profits such as the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition, CancerCare, HealthWell Foundation, and the National Foundation for Transplants can provide you with some financial assistance if you are facing economic hardship. Many of these organizations’ missions are to provide financial assistance when health insurance isn’t enough to cover your expenses, making them an ideal fit for expensive diseases like cancer. You may also be able to lean on local chapters of organizations like United Way or the American Cancer Society, which could help connect you with other potential fits for your diagnosis and treatment.

Of course, there may be situations where you need to access more money, and if you meet the age requirements it may be worth looking into viatical settlement companies like American Life Fund. American Life Fund can help you get a lump sum cash payout for your insurance policy, which can help you cover anything from surgeries or treatment to other medical bills. Generally, in order to qualify for a viatical settlement, you must have a terminal diagnosis and a life insurance policy valued at or over $100,000. Once you meet those requirements, all you have to do is fill out a simple form online with a few questions to help determine your eligibility. From there, a representative will reach out to you to help process your claim, and you may get anywhere from 30% to 50% of your policy’s face value. If you don’t want to take out any more debt to cover medical costs and would rather cashflow things without accruing interest or ruining your credit score, a viatical settlement may be the best option.

Understanding the options you have can make financing any medical treatment simpler, and this goes double for a life-threatening disease like cancer. The last thing you want is to be rushing into decisions that ultimately add more debt or stress to your friends, family, and loved ones. By using national service organizations or qualifying for a viatical settlement, you can better fund your treatment. Beyond reducing stress, these kinds of tactics may ultimately result in you living a happier, longer life.