Of all the questions that a person who is diagnosed with cancer needs answered, “How much is this going to cost?” shouldn’t have to be at the top of the list. Cancer patients in Delaware should be able to focus on their course of treatment, their prognosis, the way that it is going to impact their family and friends long before worrying about paying for cancer bills and other medical expenses. Unfortunately, the reality of our current medical system demands that cancer patients in Delaware need financial help and this requires paying attention to the financial aspects of their illness. The cost of cancer drugs is skyrocketing, with prices for many cancer treatments climbing to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single year of treatments. Though cancer patients in Delaware should not be forced to choose between their health and their financial wellbeing, that is the way things have evolved.
The American Institute of Cancer Research has determined that cancer is the world’s most expensive illness, with almost a trillion dollars being spent on it each year. Though much of their calculation is based on loss of life and productivity, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality did their own analysis that looked simply at dollars being spent directly on the disease, and found that roughly half of the money was spent on doctors visits and other outpatient costs, roughly one third on hospitalization, and over ten percent on medication, with prices continuing to rise. Perhaps the most frightening study of all was done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which determined that the cost of buying one additional year of survival in the face of a cancer diagnosis averages over $207,000.
In the face of these climbing costs, it is easy to see why so many cancer patients in Delaware and around the country feel that they are forced to choose between their health and their financial security, but there are financial resources available to counter the skyrocketing medical expenses. National organizations such as the American Cancer Society and various agencies dedicated to providing financial help for cancer patients in Delaware have a number of financial aid offerings that are available, and many cancer patients are supported by the grassroots efforts of their local community. There are also a number of local resources available within the state of Delaware. Cancer patients in Delaware are strongly urged to avail themselves of all the financial help that is available to them: though it can often be difficult to ask for and accept assistance, a cancer diagnosis puts you in an exceptional situation. Below is a list of financial help for cancer patients in Delaware.
Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund
Provides financial assistance (though payments to creditors or donation of goods) to families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware who have a chronically ill child. Requests for assistance must be made through a social worker or health care provider and are usually processed within 72 hours.
Delaware Prescription Assistance Program
A government prescription assistance program that will wrap around Medicare Part D. This program is available to individuals without prescription coverage who are 65 years or older or people who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Delaware Cancer Treatment Program
Provides free cancer treatments for up to two years for Delawareans who are uninsured. Eligibility requirements include being a Delaware resident, having been diagnosed with cancer on or after July 1, 2004, having no comprehensive health insurance, and having a household income less than 650% of the Federal Poverty Level.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG) 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 FLAG Program has provided over $75 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more:www.fifthseasonfinancial.
Cancer Care Financial Assistance
Funding varies based upon availability, but the organization generally is able to provide funding for expenses including transportation, home care and child care as well as for pain and anti-nausea medication, oral hormonal medication, lymphedema supplies and durable medical equipment.
Bringing Hope Home
Bringing Hope Home is a non-profit organization that provides “unexpected amazingness” to local families with cancer through financial and emotional support. They offer a one-time grant to pay essential household bills for families with cancer in the Greater Philadelphia Area, including those living in Delaware.
Relieve financial stress with the FLAG Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance