For our 35th anniversary year, as part of our Fall Cancer Awareness campaign, the Cancer Support Community would like to highlight managing the costs of cancer care so that you or your loved ones are empowered by knowledge—one of the three pillars of our mission.
When it comes to a cancer diagnosis, one big stressor is figuring out how you will afford the doctor’s visits, the diagnostic testing, and the treatments. Even with health insurance, treatment for cancer can be expensive. It is important to gather information about the expenses associated with your treatment and to be able to know your options.
- Submit bills to your insurance company in a timely manner
- Submit all medical expenses even if you aren’t sure whether they are covered
- Review bills and keep accurate records of claims submitted, both pending and paid
- Keep copies of anything related to your claims. Some examples of items you should have on file includes, but are not limited to:
- Medical bills from all healthcare providers
- Claims filed
- Reimbursements or payments from insurance companies received and EOB’s (Explanations of Benefits)
- Date of admission to hospitals or other healthcare facilities, clinic visits, laboratory work, diagnostic tests, procedures, and treatments
- Medications received and prescriptions filled
- Get an accordion file/folder to help you file all of your paperwork so that finding them will be easier
An important aspect of managing your cancer care costs is speaking to your health care provider—the financial navigator, financial counselor, nurse navigator, physician, etc.—and stay equipped with resources and tools to effectively guide you financially during this experience.
The other side to managing the costs of cancer care is finding ways to advocate for health coverage (e.g. doctor’s visits, routine exams, treatment, etc.) for you and thousands with a similar experience. On March 23rd , 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a revolutionary insurance plan that provided more health insurance options, consumer protections, and access to health insurance even if you have a pre-existing condition (including cancer). The ACA opened doors for thousands of Americans nationwide to be able to access healthcare and afford it.
With a new administration in 2017, the ACA and overall health coverage for Americans has been threatened, especially cancer patients who are considered to have a preexisting conditions. By joining CSC’s Grassroots Network, a movement that inspires and cultivates advocacy at its core, you can engage with policy-makers on the Hill and make a difference in speaking out for the kind of care and health coverage you seek. Our policy teams advocates for high-quality, low-cost, comprehensive cancer care, and you could provide your voice to this movement!
We thank you for joining us for our 2017 Fall Cancer Awareness Campaign for the months of September, October, and November. Stay tuned to our blog for more!