Sometimes a cancer diagnosis comes as a complete shock, but in other cases, there’s been a sneaking suspicion that something wasn’t right, and a sixth sense that it was something serious. Whatever your circumstance, there is little that you can do to prepare for cancer’s reality. Having health insurance and a rainy day fund are certainly a help, but even those two armaments don’t change the fact that cancer can devastate your financial well-being as much as your physical health.
The tremendous innovations that medical science has introduced over the last few decades have come at a high cost, and no matter how robust your insurance coverage you are likely to pay a surprising amount out of pocket, and this will quickly deplete your savings – especially if your illness forces you to cut back on your work schedule or stop working entirely. This is why you so frequently hear about grassroots fundraisers for families dealing with advanced illness – it’s rarely a matter of them not having insurance, but a need for cash to pay all of the things that insurance doesn’t cover.
The economic impact of cancer has caused many people to deplete life savings, take out loans against their life insurance, apply for home equity loans, and more. If you live in New Jersey and you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, there are a number of financial resources available that may help you to defray your costs. Some of these are local to the state and some are national organizations, but all can make a big difference, especially when every little bit helps.
Financial Resources for Cancer Patients in New Jersey
About Rx4NJ: Rx4NJ is a voluntary partnership formed to help people all across New Jersey gain access to free and low-cost prescription medicine programs. The coalition is led by a wide range of patient advocacy and community organizations and New Jersey’s pharmaceutical and medical technology industry.
Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation
About Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation: It is the mission of the Christina S. Walsh Breast Cancer Foundation to provide financial assistance and comfort to breast cancer patients and their families who are in financial need as a result of their disease.
1-800-813-HOPE (4673) / (212) 712-8080
About Cancer Care: CancerCare is a national 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. CancerCare provides free guidance, information, and referrals to cancer patients and offers limited financial assistance for treatment-related costs in New Jersey.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
About The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society has a Co-Pay Assistance Program that helps patients afford private health insurance premiums, private insurance co-pay obligations, Medicare Part B, Medicare Plan D, Medicare Supplementary Health Insurance, and Medicare Advantage premium or co-pay obligations.
The National Association of Community Health Centers
About The National Association of Community Health Centers: The National Association of Community Health Centers provides information on local nonprofit, community-owned health care programs serving low-income and medically underserved urban and rural communities.
Fifth Season Financial
About 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 $115 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.
About NeedyMeds: NeedyMeds’ website provides comprehensive information about pharmaceutical manufacturers’ assistance programs.
About OncoLink: The University of Pennsylvania is a nationally renowned hospital and cancer facility, and their widely respected Web site provides valuable cancer-related information, including a special section titled “Financial Issues for Patients.”
The Patient Advocate Foundation
About The Patient Advocate Foundation: The Patient Advocate Foundation provides education and legal counseling for cancer patients about managed care, insurance, and financial issues.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance
About The Partnership for Prescription Assistance: The Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides information regarding pharmaceutical company programs that provide drugs to patients who could not otherwise be able to afford them.