Gathering Information

Here you'll find an outline for potential cancer-related costs, as well as questions to ask when gathering information. Understanding what costs to expect is an important first step in gaining a sense of control. It is difficult to form a plan until you understand what to expect. Many people coping with a new cancer diagnosis have little experience with the health care system, and even less with the financial aspects of cancer.

In this section of the site, we list potential expenses that you may want to ask about as you begin to gather information on the costs of cancer care. You will also find suggestions for specific questions you might ask your health care, insurance, and financial team during your fact-finding mission. Remember, at this stage you are simply gathering information about the costs you might expect during the cancer journey. While the list is long, it is unlikely you will incur all of these expenses. 

After you have completed the majority of fact-finding about potential expenses and resources, you are likely to have a pretty good idea of what to expect related to the cost of care. There will always be financial surprises during the cancer journey. The more you know, however, the better you will be able to cope with the unexpected. 

If possible, it is helpful to gather cost of care information before cancer treatment begins. If this is not possible, try to gather the information as soon as possible. Sometimes treatment needs to begin immediately, before you have time to gather all of the information related to cost. 

Naturally, you want the best care no matter what the cost! Gathering information about the expenses associated with treatment is not about accepting less than your best treatment options. It is about being able to make an informed decision and a plan to obtain the best care while maintaining the highest quality of life possible. Financial planning on the front-end can allow for fewer surprises and less worry on the back-end. 

Even with the best health insurance, treatment for cancer in the United States is expensive. There are out-of-pocket costs, including co-insurance, deductibles, co-pays and non-covered services. There are ways to manage these costs, but first you must understand what they are.

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