- Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Financial and Insurance Issues
- Insurance is complicated
- Private health plan coverage for children
- How to manage your child’s health insurance
- Getting answers to insurance-related questions
- Keeping records of your child’s insurance and medical costs
- Handling a health insurance claim denial
- Keeping employer-sponsored health insurance coverage when you leave your job
- What if my child’s medical care is covered by more than one insurance company?
- Government-funded health plans
- Who regulates insurance plans?
- Options for uninsured children
- State coverage and health insurance options for the hard to insure
- What sources are available to help with treatment costs if my child doesn’t have insurance and there’s no public assistance available?
- Financial issues for families: Getting help with living expenses
- To learn more
To learn more
More information from your American Cancer Society
Here’s more information you might find helpful. You can order free copies of our documents from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345, or read them on our website, www.cancer.org.
Coping with childhood cancer
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis (also in Spanish)
Children Diagnosed With Cancer: Understanding the Health Care System (also in Spanish)
Prescription Drug Assistance (also in Spanish)
Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know (also in Spanish)
Federal laws that can help with family employment and health insurance
What Is COBRA? (also in Spanish)
What Is HIPAA? (also in Spanish)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) (also in Spanish)
National organizations and websites*
Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support are listed below. Because there are so many sources, some have their full contact information listed in the text rather than here.
Possible sources of health coverage
Medicaid – US Department of Health and Human Services
Toll-free number: 1-877-696-6775
For details on Medicaid coverage and CHIP eligibility. Your state social service or human service agency can give you the best answers to questions about your benefits, eligibility, and fraud. To get contact information for your state go to www.cms.gov/apps/contacts/ or call the number above
Department of Veterans Affairs
Toll-free number: 1-800-827-1000
For information on Veteran’s medical benefits and whether your child qualifies for them:
Toll-free number: 1-800-733-8387
Getting help with insurance issues
US Department of Health & Human Services
For the most current information on health care and insurance laws and how they might affect you and your child
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Toll-free number: 1-866-470-6242
To find your state’s Insurance Commissioner or Department of Insurance
Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC)
Toll-free number: 1-866-843-2572 (may need to leave a number for a call back)
Provides free, confidential legal information about laws and resources for many cancer-related issues including health insurance issues, denial of benefits, and government benefits
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
Toll-free number: 1-888-879-4210
Case managers, doctors, and attorneys work with the patient’s parents and their insurers, employers, and/or creditors to resolve insurance, job retention, and/or debt problems related to their child’s diagnosis. Also has co-pay relief programs for some types of cancer, a scholarship fund for young survivors, and educational materials on many cancer-related topics.
Childhood Cancer Ombudsman Program
Toll-free number: 1-877-217-4166 (may need to leave message for return call)
Provides resources to help families better exercise their rights to make decisions about medical treatment, school, rehabilitation, employment, and insurance reimbursement/coverage. This program is offered by the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation, but services are provided for children and adult survivors of any type cancer. Your rights at work
US Department of Labor, Employee Benefits, Security Administration (EBSA)
Toll-free number: 1-866-444-3272
Has information on employee benefit laws, including COBRA, FMLA, and HIPAA requirements of employer-based health coverage and self-insured health plans. Also has information on recent changes in health care laws. Information for military reservists who must leave their private employer for active duty can be found at: www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/userra/mainmenu.asp
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Toll-free number: 1-800-669-4000
For information on all federal equal employment opportunity regulations, practices, and policies; publications; how to file charges of workplace discrimination; and how to find EEOC offices in your area
Potential income sources and money management
Social Security Administration
Toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213
For general information, qualification criteria, and details on how to apply for program benefits (such as Supplemental Security Income). Makes referrals to local SSA and Medicare/Medicaid offices
TANF and State Health Departments – US Department of Health and Human Services
Toll-free number: 1-877-696-6775
Provides contact information for each state’s health department, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food aid, and Medicaid in your state
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Toll-free number: 1-800-366-2732
Offers objective financial advice on a “fee-only” basis (neither the advisor nor any related party gets paid based on the purchase or sale of a financial product). Also has a listing of fee-only planners in the person’s area.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
Toll-free number: 1-800-388-2227
Toll-free Spanish number: 1-800-682-9832
For referrals to local Consumer Credit Counseling Services and answers to questions about bankruptcy, credit, and debt collection practices
HelpHOPELive (formerly National Transplant Assistance Fund or NTAF)
Toll-free number: 1-800-642-8399
Offers patients’ families and contributors free guidance and support in setting up community fundraisers to help pay for cancer treatment
Internal Revenue Service
Toll-free number: 1-800-829-1040
Has answers to tax questions, tax forms, and referrals to free tax help for those who qualify
Childhood cancer information and resources
American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO)
Phone number: 855-858-2226
Offers information for children and teens with cancer, their siblings, and adults dealing with children with cancer; also offers books and a special kit for children newly diagnosed with cancer, as well as some local support groups
CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF)
Toll-free number: 1-800-458-6223
Provides up-to-date information about childhood cancer from the world’s top pediatric cancer experts. Has online information for patients and families, and a section for friends and the community to help them ease the burden of cancer and show support
National Children’s Cancer Society, Inc. (NCCS)
Toll-free number: 1-800-532-6459
Services include an online support network for parents of children with cancer, educational materials, and financial assistance for treatment-related expenses.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Toll-free number: 1-866-278-5833 (doctor referral number)
Covers all costs of care beyond those that are reimbursed by insurance. Total costs are covered when the child or teen doesn’t have insurance. After an initial evaluation, assistance with transportation and local living expenses may also be provided. Website has information for patients seeking treatment, such as the admission policy, a guide for parents, and directions to the hospital. Patients are accepted by doctor referral only.
Other sources of help
2-1-1 Program Information and Referral Search
Toll-free number: 211
May be able to find help and resources in your local area
Cancer Survival Toolbox™ By the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. Available at http://canceradvocacy.org/toolbox or by calling 1-877-NCCS-YES (1-800-622-7937).
Mapping the Maze: A Personal Insurance and Financial Guide to Marrow and Cord Blood Transplant. Available at National Marrow Donor Program (Be The Match) at: http://marrow.org/Patient/Support_and_Resources/Resource_Library/Plan_resources/Mapping_the_Maze_-_Complete_Manual_(PDF).aspx.
Surviving Childhood Cancer: A Guide for Families by Margot Joan Fromer. Published by New Harbinger Publications, 1998.
United States Department of Health and Human Services: Families & Children website. Covers many topics, including sources of financial assistance and information on Medicaid and other health insurance. Available at www.hhs.gov/children/.
No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
Last Medical Review: 10/07/2013
Last Revised: 10/07/2013