American Resources to Help with Medical Bills, including Medical Fundraising Ideas

Paying till it hurts: Financial burden leads to breast cancer financial assistance fund

Paying till it hurts: Financial burden leads to breast cancer financial assistance fund

Breast cancer is the second leading type of cancer in the US after skin cancers. The odds of getting invasive breast cancer is 12% among women in the US. Based on the report by the American Cancer Society, there were 230,480 women with newly diagnosed invasive breast cancer in 2011, and there were 40,000 deaths. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer.


Why Start A Breast Cancer Financial Assistance Fund

In the year 2010, direct costs for breast cancer were $16.5 million, accounting for 13% of all direct costs due to cancer. Stage of breast cancer determines the cost incurred by patients; lifetime costs range from $20,000 to $100,000. About $22,000 is associated with early breast cancer, whilst stages 3 and 4 cost about $120,000. Average direct cost of breast cancer is found to be $2896 per patient per month.

Indirect cost due to productivity loss and mortality are much higher with 89% of all breast cancer costs being indirect costs.

For some, financial burden of breast cancer can be overwhelming, more so if you are uninsured or are unemployed. Thankfully, there are ways to receive financial assistance.

If cancer care looks unaffordable to you, your doctor may offer you help. Your doctor might help you with finding financial assistance from the US Department of Health and Human Services. He might be able to tell if you can participate in any clinical trials; in this case, you need not pay for your care or medicine. Also, find out if you can take generic medicines; please be informed that not all of the drugs have generic substitutes.

Health insurance may not cover all of the cost and you will have some out-of-pocket costs. Therefore, it is essential that you make sure what your health plan covers. Ellen Baker said that her insurance company did not pay for the anesthesia when she underwent mastectomy. She had to fight for 9 months before they paid her. Similarly, Heather St. Aubin-Stout was denied by her insurance company to pay for her MRI scan last year, which revealed that her cancer had recurred. She says it is a financial struggle to pay on that bill.

Besides paying for medicines and procedures, you may need help paying your daily expenses such as food, transportation, child care, mortgage, rent, and utility bills. You may talk to the social worker at your hospital. They can lead you to local government and non-profit agencies that may offer you help. Also, contact your local United Way or American Cancer Society office. Many of the churches, mosques, and other religious organizations help with transportation and grocery shopping. In addition, they have other financial assistance programs.

If you are uninsured, Medicaid or Medicare may be able to help you get coverage or help you pay treatment costs. Medicaid provides coverage for all women diagnosed with breast cancer though the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. You need to meet certain age, income, and other criteria to be eligible for benefits of Medicare.

Medicaid offers health insurance to women who: are over 65 years; are disabled at any age; or have been collecting Social Security benefits for 2 years.

State-subsidized health insurance is offered in some states for low-income residents. Health insurance risk pools offer insurance to people who are turned down insurance due to a specific medical condition.


3 Steps To Creating Your Breast Cancer Financial Assistance Fund

A breast cancer financial assistance fund is a fund that helps an individual cover the cost of treatment and recovery without exhorting to extreme measures such as medical bankruptcy. Creating a breast cancer financial assistance fund is simple and easy. It is basically setting aside funds dedicated for your treatment and medical care while you are undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Ideally, individuals and their families can start their fund once they are diagnosed with breast cancer as a way to prevent extreme financial burden in the future.

Individuals can save their own money from household income and savings they previously have. In addition, you can also seek for breast cancer financial assistance from the government programs and non-profit organizations, particularly organizations that work specifically with breast cancer patients. Ensure that all funds are placed in a interest growing savings account to maximize the growth of your fund.

In addition, individuals can also fundraise for further financial assistance in anticipation of any treatment and medication costs throughout their breast cancer journey. Here individuals can create a free fundraiser and run it for a number of days to months. Reaching out to extended networks, family and friends, individuals can also raise money for their breast cancer financial assistance fund in order for it to be used when needed.


References:

1) Breast cancer’s financial toll: the high cost of fighting for your life: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/10/05/breast-cancers-financial-toll-the-high-cost-of-fighting-for-yo/

2) Paying for your care: http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/paying

3) Breast cancer: will treatment costs outpace effectiveness?: http://www.ajmc.com/publications/evidence-based-oncology/2012/2012-2-vol18-n5/breast-cancer-will-treatment-costs-outpace-effectiveness#sthash.Eu1NSbuw.dpuf