There was once a time when the word “cancer” was spoken in hushed tones and whispers. Those who were diagnosed with any form of the disease were automatically considered to be facing a death sentence, and friends and family began preparing for funerals and life without the person. What a difference medical advancements have made!
Today cancer is a disease that is spoken about freely and more and more people are living long, happy fulfilling lives long after diagnosis. Unfortunately, the discoveries, technologies and innovations that have made this possible have not come without a price, and for many patients the burden of a death sentence has been replaced by another kind of prison – economic hardship. The medical bills that accompany effective cancer treatment are often astronomical, and many patients’ and their families are left struggling. Medical bills have become one of the top reasons for American families to file for bankruptcy.
The stress caused by medical bills, copays is often exacerbated by the patient’s inability to work, and family members who are recruited to become caregivers also lose their ability to earn money to contribute. The good news is that in the face of these hardships there is help.
National, state, local, and grassroots organizations have committed themselves to meeting the needs of those affected by cancer, providing financial resources to cover the costs of treatment, medication, transportation, lodging, and even housekeeping. The biggest challenge often lies in identifying these resources and asking for the help. If you are a cancer patient in the state of Illinois, you’ll find a wide range of services and assistance available. This is list of local and national organizations is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good place to start.
Financial Help for Cancer Patients in Illinois
Here’s a list of financial resources and programs that may be able to help cancer patients in Illinois. Each program has its own qualifications, so be sure to check to see if you meet their individual requirements.
Leukemia Research Foundation
About Leukemia Research Foundation: Provides financial reimbursement for almost any treatment-related expense not covered by insurance to leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients living within 100 miles of Chicago or in the state of Illinois.
No Wooden Nickels
About No Wooden Nickels: The mission of No Wooden Nickels is to provide valuable indirect expense assistance to low-income cancer patients to continue treatment.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
About The Partnership for Prescription Assistance: The Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps connect cancer patients with pharmaceutical programs providing financial help for cancer patients.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
About CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation: Provides co-payment assistance for pharmaceutical products to insured individuals who are covered by private insurance, employer-sponsored health plan, or have Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage. Household income must be at or within 400% US Federal Poverty guidelines for people residing and receiving treatment in the United States or its territories.
About CancerCare: Offers limited financial grants for transportation, homecare, childcare, and pain medications.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living Program, a financial assistance resource that helps relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with cancer or any other serious illness by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The funds you receive have NO RESTRICTIONS. You choose how you want to spend your money. Pay bills, take a vacation, or give a gift to someone you love. It’s your choice! The Funds For Living Program has provided over $115 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more: fifthseasonfin.wpengine.com.
Patient Access Network Foundation
About Patient Access Network Foundation: Assists patients who cannot access the treatments they need due to out-of-pocket health care costs including deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance.
About HealthWell Foundation: Addresses the needs of individuals who cannot afford their insurance co-payments, premiums, co-insurance, or other out of pocket health care costs.
Heaps of Hope
About Heaps of Hope: Heaps of Hope understands that serious illness puts a great deal of stress on every aspect of a person’s life, including their financial situation. They offer assistance with the cost of transportation to medical appointments, helppay for medications when women have no prescription coverage or have very high co-payments for their medication, help pay hospital bills for uncovered treatments or tests, assist with the cost of integrative therapies which are not covered by health insurance and can be helpful treating pain, nausea, insomnia and anxiety, and offer grocery gift cards to help defray everyday costs.