Physician and health economist at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Scott Ramsey, suggests that anyone diagnosed with cancer seek financial counseling as soon as possible. Ramsey was involved in a study conducted at Fred Hutchinson that found that, compared to other Americans,
cancer patients are more than twice as likely to be forced to file for bankruptcy.
He observes that the rising cost of cancer drugs in the U.S. is passed on to patients by insurers, which sometimes results in patients being forced to stop treatment because they can’t afford it any longer, a predicament that can have lethal consequences.
There are many avenues of support for people with advanced cancer who are feeling the financial stress of treatment. Most large cancer centers like Fred Hutchinson offer services including financial counseling, and there are myriad non-profits and support organizations that provide assistance with everything from medical travel to financial help for cancer medications. Cancer patients must advocate for themselves and ensure they are aware of all of their treatment options and make a realistic assessment of their financial situation.
Fifth Season Financial offers the option of life insurance loans, which can allow advanced cancer patients to leverage their existing life insurance policy as an asset, turning it into the cash they need now. There are certain requirements that must be met in order to receive the financial help. It is a great way to reduce financial stress for cancer patients during a difficult time when the real focus should be on your health and family.
Read the full article here: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2014/08/06/can-you-afford-your-cancer-care
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