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What Financial Assistance Is Available For Cancer Patients?

If you are a family caregiver caring for a loved one with cancer, helping them access any available financial assistance can improve your ability to care for them. Even if a person has health insurance, the co-pays and other incidental costs associated with a cancer diagnosis can add up quickly. 

As a result, it can be worthwhile to go beyond the typical sources of potential compensation for a family caregiver and seek out sources of financial or other aid that can help defray costs for caregiving for cancer patients.

Many of these assistance programs offer a variety of aid in addition to financial help. If you are working with a social worker, they can also be a good source of referrals to available programs. 

Some, but not all, of these programs are designed primarily to help low-income oncology patients. In some cases, they offer low-cost options for services and items that can otherwise be quite expensive.

In addition to looking for sources of caregiver compensation, finding family caregiver support groups to share tips with can also be helpful if you are caring for a loved one with cancer. Caring for a cancer patient presents challenges that can be helped by discussing caregiving tips with others in similar situations.  

While many health insurance plans cover cancer, paying deductibles associated with the coverage can result in hefty medical bills. 

While several healthcare providers offer coverage for prescription drugs, the co-pays associated with purchasing them can also add up quickly. This is why many caregivers for cancer patients look for financial assistance programs that can help defray the out-of-pocket costs their patients face when seeking treatment.

Whether these programs offer co-pay assistance or other benefits, every little bit helps in bringing the cost of treatment down. 

For the uninsured, the costs of care can very quickly become ruinous without outside assistance.

12 Financial Resources Available For Cancer Patients

The programs and resources listed below offer financial help and other support services to patients with cancer. Please note that a variety of eligibility requirements apply, such as financial need, and some of the programs are oriented towards people with a certain type of cancer such as breast cancer, blood cancer, etc.  

1. The Financial Assistance Grant Program

The Financial Assistance Grant program was inaugurated in 2020 by Cancer and Careers to offer assistance in the form of a one-time $500 grant for a variety of situations in which financial support might be needed

2. Needy Meds

NeedyMeds, is a nonprofit organization that maintains a website of free information on programs for people who aren’t able to afford medications and/or healthcare costs. 

3. Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC)

The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC) is a coalition of financial assistance organizations joining forces to help cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges, educating patients and providers about existing resources, and advocating on behalf of patients. 

Among CFAC’s member organizations are the American Cancer Society, CancerCare, the National Marrow Donor Program, and more. 

While CFAC cannot respond to individual requests for assistance, the group maintains a database of resources searchable by diagnosis, type of aid (housing, expenses, prosthetics), and zip code

4. Patient Access Network Foundation (PAN) 

The Patient Access Network Foundation (PAN) helps people to afford copayments for cancer or chronic disease medications. Patients aided by PAN have insurance but lack the funds for out-of-pocket expenses. 

To find out if you are eligible for PAN, call 866-316-PANF (7263).

5. Cancer Finances 

Cancer Finances is a partnership between Triage Cancer and the Samfund which provides an online toolkit to assist cancer patients and survivors in making sound financial decisions before, during, and after treatment. 

6. CancerCare

CancerCare is a nonprofit agency that operates nationwide and provides free support, information, and financial assistance to individuals with cancer and their loved ones. 

The organization offers financial resources to help with the following: 

    • Transportation
    • Lodging
    • Home care
    • Childcare

7. Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF)

The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF) operates as a nonprofit organization offering information, peer support, and advocacy via publications and a network that includes support groups at the local level. 

CCCF compiles a list of organizations families are able to apply to for financial assistance. The list contains multiple foundations in various states. 

8. Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS)

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is an organization providing information and financial aid to people who have leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, or multiple myeloma. 

9. Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)

The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) offers a variety of services aimed at people with cancer, including education, legal counseling, and referrals with regard to financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis. 

The PAF Co-Pay Relief Program is a unit of the PAF that offers financial assistance to patients who meet certain eligibility criteria.

10. Family Reach

Family Reach has over 25 years of experience helping families of people with cancer deal with financial barriers. It helps cancer patients and their families with: 

    • Essential bills
    • Housing payments
    • Groceries
    • Many costs of cancer

11. Pink Fund

The Pink Fund helps patients in active treatment for breast cancer by providing cost-of-living expenses.

12. Accessia Health

Accessia Health (formerly Patient Services, Inc.) is an organization established by patients to assist other patients in dealing with the complexities of health care. 

It provides education, financial assistance, specialized legal services, case management, and some counseling services. The programs offered by Accessia Health help with copays, prescriptions, health insurance premiums, infusion and nursing services, travel, etc.

Are there any Federal & State Health Agencies that can help?

In addition to nonprofit programs, there are government-sponsored programs that may offer direct help to people with cancer.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a state-federal health program for people who require financial assistance for medical expenses. 

At a minimum, states must provide home care services to people who receive federal income assistance such as Social Security Income or Aid to Families with Dependent Children. 

Medicaid offers a variety of services, including part-time nursing, home care aide services, and medical supplies/equipment.   

Medicare

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 years or older, as well as disabled people under 65 and individuals who have permanent liver failure. 

Medicare may provide reimbursement for certain home care services or coverage of hospice services for people in programs certified by Medicare. 

 

Social Security Administration

Social Security Administration is a government agency charged with managing Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

Social Security offers a monthly income for eligible elderly and disabled people, while SSI supplement payments are offered for people who meet income eligibility limits.

Veteran Administration (VA)

The Veteran Administration (VA) provides medical benefits, including cancer treatment at VA Medical Cancer centers for eligible veterans and their dependents. 

Treatment for service-connected conditions is provided, while the availability of treatment for all other conditions is subject to a veteran's financial circumstances.

Final Thoughts

With the cost of medical treatments on the rise in recent years, people with cancer need all the help they can get in affording these costs. 

If you are a caregiver for someone with cancer, the programs and organizations listed above can offer help obtaining the resources needed to provide the person you are caring for with the ability to access the treatments they need. 

Joshua Iversen

A Registered Investment Advisor Representative and Senior Planning Specialist with 30+ years of experience. As President and Chief Investment Officer of Santa Ana-based Syzygy Financial LLC, he helps seniors deal with all financial and healthcare aspects of the senior experience, including Social Security claiming strategies, Medicare, Medigap, long-term care, and overall financial planning strategy.

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