When you think about cancer, you immediately think of sickness, intravenous lines, needles, hair loss. These are the images that the news media, Hollywood, and perhaps even our own limited exposure to friends who have been diagnosed with the disease have created in our minds. But for those who are encountering cancer in a much more personal way, and who are facing their own diagnosis, the reality goes far deeper than the medical treatment, the grief and the fear. What most people are not aware of is the tremendous level of stress and anxiety that comes when you open the mail every day, and are faced with yet another bill from the laboratory, from the imaging center, from the physician and the hospital and – perhaps worst of all – from the pharmacy. Though people imagine that sickness is the worst thing about cancer, when you ask an actual patient and their immediate family about what keeps them up at night, the chances are good that they are going to say that it’s their bills and the fear of medical bankruptcy.
The reality of the costs of treating cancer are shocking, and having health insurance coverage is no guarantee that an individual will be able to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars in order to preserve their quality of life and restore themselves to health. Many treatments and medications are not covered, and even those that are covered are likely to require that patients shoulder a percentage of their cost, as well as meet deductibles and copays. The astronomical costs can quickly outpace the ability to pay, especially when cancer patients are unable to continue working and still have to pay for their everyday expenses such as mortgage or rent, food and childcare, and transportation expenses to and from their appointments.
For cancer patients living in Kentucky, there are several organizations that are responding to the financial burdens that cancer imposes by providing assistance. Some are national organizations with names that you will recognize, while others may be small grass routes organization that you’ve never heard of but that are based right in your own community. Though asking for help can be hard at first, it is one of the most important steps that a cancer patient and their family can take to keeping themselves financially afloat and economically stable. You are also likely to find that once you avail yourself of these remarkable resources, you will discover a support community that is eager to help in any way that they can.
About Robin’s Nest: Robin’s Nest has branches in Northern Kentucky and in Evansville that provide financial assistance to cancer patients. To qualify for assistance you must have been diagnosed with cancer within the previous six months, currently undergoing medical treatments for the cancer, or recovering from medical treatments completed within the last six months.
I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation
About I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation: The I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation provides emotional and emergency financial assistance for families who are faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer.
Jackson County Cancer Foundation
About Jackson County Cancer Foundation: The mission of the JCCF is to serve Jackson County cancer patients and their families emotionally and financially, by offering supplies from the local loan closet and by raising funds for cancer research in our area.
About Cancer Care: Nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to those with cancer, as well as connections with other financial assistance resources. Funding is available for transportation, home care, and child care.
About Fertile Hope:Provides financial assistance, education, information, support, and hope regarding cancer and fertility.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
About Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is an organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research, education and patient services.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG) Program. This financial assistance assistance resource works to relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. A late-stage cancer diagnosis is devastating to an individual living with cancer as well as their family. In addition to physical and emotional trauma, in many cases, late-stage cancers place a severe financial burden on individuals and their families. Overwhelmed with medical and emotional issues, individuals living with cancer should be focusing on their care and their families, not financial stress. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with late-stage cancer by using their life insurance policy as collateral.
About HealthWell Foundation: HealthWell’s goal is to provide patients living with chronic and life-altering illnesses financial assistance in paying prescription drug copayments, deductibles, and health insurance premiums.
The Marrow Foundation Patient Assistance Program
About The Marrow Foundation Patient Assistance Program: Provides financial assistance for bone marrow transplants.
(888) 587-9438 (toll-free)
About Patient Assistance Program for Roche: Provides financial assistance for Roche medications. Patients will need financial documentation, completed application, and prescription, as well as to have staff/MD office make the call.
About Co-Pay Relief: Sponsored by Patient Advocate Foundation. Provides assistance with prescriptions for insured patients who have been diagnosed with Autoimmune Disorders, Diabetes, Lymphoma, Sarcoma, Macular Degeneration, Breast, Colon, Lung, Kidney, and Prostate Cancers.
About PhRMA: Lists pharmaceutical company programs that provide drugs to doctors whose patients would not otherwise be able to afford them.
National Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
About National Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF): The National Patient Advocate Foundation is the leading direct patient services organization in the country with a mission to eliminate obstacles for patients trying to access quality healthcare. PAF seeks to safeguard patients through effective mediation assuring access to care, maintenance of employment and preservation of their financial stability relative to their diagnosis of life threatening or debilitating diseases. PAF has an app for smartphones that helps to locate local community resources based on cancer type, stage and need. Search for this app in the online app store.
Relieve financial stress with the FLAG Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance