When faced with a cancer diagnosis, the initial focus is always on the immediate medical needs of the patient. Additional testing is usually required, appointments need to be made with specialists, decisions need to be made about how aggressive an approach should be taken and which treatment protocol is best, and arrangements need to be made to adjust to the new regimen. The costs, in the early days, are often measured in pain, fear, and stress. It is only after reality has set in and the diagnosis has become part of the new normal that the bills start rolling in, and people realize how very expensive cancer care can be.
The good news is that there is plenty of financial help for cancer patients available. From the big national charitable organizations to smaller grassroots efforts run out of community centers and churches, cancer patients are often surprised by the amount of help that they are able to find once they start actively looking for it. If you are a cancer patient in Arkansas, there are a number of cancer resources within your immediate area that are eager to provide you with help. The list provided below is by no means comprehensive. Be sure to ask friends and family members whether they are familiar with local philanthropies that may be able to offer you help geared to your personal needs.
Washington Regional Cancer Support Home
The Cancer Support Home is a home-like facility for cancer patients and their families. There are two convenient locations, one in Bentonville and the other in Fayetteville. All services are offered at no cost. The organization also offers a variety of programs for cancer patients, including Free health education early detection cancer screenings, diagnostic testing, support groups, resource libraries, wig and prosthesis boutiques, and financial assistance with prescription medications.
Arkansas Cancer Coalition
The Arkansas Cancer Coalition partners with Hope Cancer Resources to provide access to treatment with the assistance of a gas card as well as a patient transportation program.
Northwest Medical Center Auxiliary
The Northwest Medical Center Auxiliary provides financial assistance for prescriptions, nutritional supplements, as well as everyday living expenses to alleviate some of the financial stress a patient may face.
Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute Auxiliary
The Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute Auxiliary provides information, service, compassion and hope to those whose lives are touched by cancer. The Auxiliary supports patient assistance programs for financial assistance for prescriptions and travel expenses for cancer treatment.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
CFAC is a coalition of financial assistance organizations with a goal of helping cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
CancerCare® Co-Payment Assistance Foundation (CCAF) helps people afford the cost of co-payments for chemotherapy and targeted treatment drugs. They provide this assistance free of charge to ensure patient access to care and compliance with prescribed treatments.
Fifth Season Financial
Fifth Season Financial is a financial assistance resource that 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. Unfortunately for many in this situation, financial stress is a reality and a significant distraction. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with late-stage cancer by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The ultimate goal of the program is to help relieve financial stress so that people living with cancer can focus on what is most important in their lives. In the last five years, Fifth Season has provided financial assistance of more than $40 million to more than 300 people and their families through their lending program. While they have witnessed the financial challenges confronting individuals living with cancer, they have also witnessed the satisfaction of easing this burden. No credit check. No income requirements.
The HealthWell Foundation’s goal is to fill the gap when a patient’s health insurance is not enough. They assist patients living with chronic and life-altering illnesses in paying their share of prescription drug copayments, deductibles, and health insurance premiums. They believe that by reducing this financial stress, the people they serve can focus on what’s most important—their health.
Patient Services, Inc.
PSI is a national non-profit organization that is committed to supporting people with expensive chronic illnesses and conditions by locating solutions with health insurance and assisting with premiums and prescription copayments to facilitate positive health and well-being.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Information on public assistance and food stamps
Check phonebook for your local office
U.S. Administration on Aging
Benefits for older adults (Eldercare Locator finds resources in your community)
Social Security Administration
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Relieve financial stress with the FLAG Program, a viatical alternative that uses your life insurance for a cash advance