Be the Boss Over Cancer

HMO…PPO…COPAY…COBRA...oh my! If you’re like me, the world of insurance lingo and policy conditions can feel like you’re standing in the middle of Macy’s on Christmas Eve—confusing, sweat inducing and wishing you could find a lifeboat out of there. But no worries, take a deep breath, we can get through this together.

First, let’s identify the starting point.

  • Do you need coverage?
  • Do you need less expensive coverage and premiums?
  • Are your uncovered expenses adding up too quickly?
  • Are you worried about keeping coverage?

Identifying the main issue behind your confusion and stress will clear the clutter, leading you to a solution. Insurance laws and programs differ from state to state and person to person…which can be a good thing. Wait! Before you roll your eyes, variety equals choices. You have power to decide what option is right for you. In order to keep your cool and remain in control, it is often helpful to make a specific list of what you need, what you want, what you can afford, and what you cannot. If you have questions, ask them. And if it still is not clear, ask again. The more information you have the more in control you can be. Ask your HR department for guidance and company policies. Speak with your physician and medical team for advice. Keep your mind open, but refer to your list of needs to remind yourself what’s really important.

Next, let your mouse do the clicking.

  • Visit http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/at-work/Legal-and-Financial for a more detailed map of available resources and options and links to specific national policies and state specific programs.
  • Check out the Cancer and Careers Google Group to connect with other cancer survivors who may have helpful advice and knowledge: http://cancerandcareers.org/googlegroup.
  • Keep an eye out for Cancer and Careers events, including our free upcoming “Ask the Experts: Legal and Career Advice” teleconference series, where people can get answers from a top career coach and a legal expert: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/asktheexperts.
  • Talk to the Cancer Legal Resource Center. Each year, thousands of cancer patients nationwide receive free consultations from this organization. You’ll be linked with an attorney, insurance agent or accountant in your area who can provide you with legal resources and help you figure out your next step. Visit http://www.cancerlegalresourcecenter.org or call 1-866-THE-CLRC for more information.

Finally, just like when you exit Macy’s, with the all-time greatest find of your life, take a deep breathe, treat yourself to a vanilla latte, and be proud of yourself.

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