If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, then it’s no news to you that the costs of fighting the disease are heart-breakingly high. Few people realize that one of the hardest things about a cancer battle is the struggle to keep your head above water economically, but it’s true. In fact, the rising cost of health care has been one of the biggest contributors to bankruptcy filings in the last few years.
Cancer patients should not be put into the terrible position of choosing between their health and their homes, but even those who have robust health insurance coverage are quickly overwhelmed by the additional expenses of copays, deductibles and coinsurance, and this is especially tough for those who are too sick to go to work and make the money they need to pay for their day-to-day expenses.
Fortunately, there is a rising level of awareness of the financial burden that cancer can place on a family, and as a result there are a number of financial resources that have been made available to help. Some of the assistance comes from national organizations whose mission is to assist with copays and out-of-pocket expenses. Some are grass-roots organizations founded by cancer survivors and their families who provide help in whatever way they can. Whether a big company or a mom-and-pop run charity, all are there to provide you with support. If you are a cancer patient in Missouri, take a look at this list of financial resources that are available to you, and reach out to those who are willing to provide you with support. We know it can be hard to ask for help, but it’s even harder to go it alone.
Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks
866-874-1915 or 417-862-3838
About Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks: Provides resources and support for individuals with breast cancer and their families. Serves the local 29-county area of southwest Missouri.
About Cancer Action: Offers programs and services addressing the physical, emotional, social and financial needs of people living with cancer in the Kansas City area. All services are free of charge and provided by professionals and volunteers. This organization also provides education on prevention and early detection.
GYN Cancers Alliance
About GYN Cancers Alliance: GYN Cancers Alliance provides education, resources and support to local women and caregivers affected by gynecologic cancers (serves 22 specific counties in southwest Missouri).
United Cancer Assistance Network
573-776-1892 or (toll free) 1-877-776-1892
About United Cancer Assistance Network: UCAN may be able to provide support in paying utility bills, grocery expenses or buying necessary household items for families in southeast Missouri.
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 by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The FLAG Program has provided over $75 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more: www.fifthseasonfinancial.
(314) 652-3663×111 or (314) 652-3673 (fax)
About Food Outreach: Food Outreach is a non-profit organization that provides nutritional support at no cost to low-income men, women and children living with cancer.
LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMA SOCIETY \Gateway Chapter
(314) 878-0780 or 1-800-264-2873
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a national non-profit organization that has served those with blood-related cancers for over 50 years. The Society’s mission is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, myeloma, and to improve the quality of life of patients and families. Services include financial assistance including transportation reimbursement.
LIGHTS OF THE JEWISH SPECIAL NEEDS
Shirley G. Hochberg Cancer Fund
(314) 567-4441 or (314) 991-1855
About Lights of the Jewish Special Needs: The Lights of the Jewish Special Needs Society provides services without charge to cancer patients and their families, primarily residents of West St. Louis County. Services include limited emergency financial assistance in cases of financial hardship and durable medical equipment, loans, and supplies.
LOUIS PEREGRINE SOCIETY INC.
About The Louis Peregrine Society Inc.: The Peregrine Society serves cancer patients in St. Louis City and County. The following services are provided free of charge when not covered by Medicare/Medicaid or other insurance:
Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation
About Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation: Within 24 hours, the Andre Sobel River of Life Foundation helps with urgent expenses to allow single parents to stay at their child’s bedside during catastrophic illness. [Highly recommended by the parent of a child with leukemia. 2009]
Cancer Fund of America
(800) 578-5284 or (865) 938-5281
About Cancer Fund of America: Helps defray cancer-related expenses not covered by insurance; a national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free professional help to people with all cancers through counseling, education, information and referral and direct financial assistance.
Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund
About Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund: Dedicated to the non-medical uninsured needs of families caring for terminally, critically and chronically ill dependent children through advocacy, financial assistance, education and informational resources.
The Patient Access Network Foundation
About Patient Access Network: Patient Access Network Foundation assists patients with out-of-pocket costs associated with their treatment.
Patient Advocate Foundation
About Patient Advocate Foundation: Patient Advocate Foundation provides education, legal counseling, Co-pay Relief Program, and referrals for people with cancer who need assistance managing insurance, financial, debt crisis, and job discrimination issues.
Relieve financial stress with the FLAG Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance