In April, the Washington Post ran two outstanding articles exploring ways to manage the financial burden of cancer treatment. According to their piece "Tackling the financial toll of cancer, one patient at a time", almost 30% of cancer survivors confront financial strain related to the cost of their treatment and, on average, are approximately 2.5 times more likely to file for bankruptcy than people who haven’t been diagnosed.
These circumstances often bring up combined feelings of stress, anxiety and/or depression — often referred to as “financial toxicity.” But the good news is that many hospitals have responded by hiring financial navigators to assist patients in addressing insurance related concerns, as well as identifying financial assistance that may be available to them via insurance companies, government foundations and hospital-affiliated financial programs.
Though speaking with a financial counselor is an excellent way to start taking control of your financial circumstances, there are also steps you can take on your own. In the article "7 tips for cancer patients worrying about the cost of their care", the Post encourages survivors educate themselves on medical and insurance lingo, be bold in asking their healthcare team and insurance providers cost-related questions, and check out prescription assistance programs like Partnership for Prescription Assistance and NeedyMeds.
Cancer and Careers also offers a number of free programs and resources to help empower you to take control of your financial circumstance:
Programs and Resources