Individuals facing mounting medical bills from a cancer diagnosis can benefit from these resources
A cancer diagnosis takes a significant toll on patients and their loved ones: physically, emotionally — and financially.
“The financial costs of cancer are high for both the person with cancer and for society as a whole,” writes the American Cancer Society. According to AARP, “Average costs for treatment run in the $150,000 range,” and “cancer patients are two-and-a-half-times as likely to declare bankruptcy as healthy people.”
Many individuals struggling with the financial burden of cancer have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, notes the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Fortunately, colorectal cancer can be effectively treated in a number of ways, from surgery and radiation therapy to chemotherapy and immunotherapy, shares the Mayo Clinic. “The five-year survival rate of people with localized stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent,” explains Cancer.net. Of course, these treatments can carry imposing price tags.
In the AARP article mentioned above, the author sums up the financial burden of cancer with a question: “If you are diagnosed with cancer, which expert should you see first? A medical specialist or a money manager?”
To help meet and manage the cost of care, below are four financial assistance resources for patients facing colorectal cancer:
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization devoted to fighting colorectal cancer and aiding colorectal cancer patients. Among the nonprofit’s offerings is the Blue Hope Financial Assistance program, which provides patients with money for screening and treatment. “We are able to offer individuals low- or no-cost screenings as either a colonoscopy or a FIT test, a cash stipend of $300 to assist with either colorectal cancer screenings or $200 towards colorectal cancer treatment costs. The stipend can be used to offset the cost of a screening or treatment, such as to pay for copays, deductibles, transportation costs, lost wages, and costs associated with treatment,” explains the nonprofit. The program is open to all U.S. residents in need based on income level. Patients can learn more here.
Patient Assistance Programs, or PAPs, provide financial aid to patients who struggle to afford prescription cancer drugs. “State governments, charitable organizations and drug companies offer PAP programs that provide discounted or free medications to people who financially and medically qualify,” notes Fight Colorectal Cancer. PAPs can also help patients who are facing insurance woes to find relief: “Some [PAPs] also help file appeals to insurance companies who deny coverage for certain medications,” the organization adds. For more information on available PAPs, visit WebMD.
The American Cancer Society — the nationwide organization devoted to combating cancer — is also a valuable education resource: “Whether you want to learn about treatment options, get advice on coping with side effects, or have questions about health insurance, we’re here to help,” the nonprofit explains. The American Cancer Society can offer help by way of financial assistance, too: “We can even find you a free ride to treatment or a free place to stay when treatment is far from home.” Visit the American Cancer Society for details.
Fifth Season Financial offers a viable solution to combat financial strain for those living with cancer and other advanced-stage illnesses. Our Funds for Living and Giving Program allows individuals to access a portion of the face value of their life insurance policy (as opposed to the cash surrender value) at a time when financial assistance is most critical. With no restrictions regarding how the advance can be used, clients are empowered to spend their money in whichever manner best meets their needs – from paying for prescription drugs, hospital bills, or living expenses to financing a dream vacation or bringing family together. The ultimate goal of the Funds For Living Program is to help relieve financial stress so that clients can focus on their health and quality of life. Unlike a viatical settlement, clients are able to secure an advancement and leave funds for their beneficiaries. To learn more about the program, contact us today.
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