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Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides support for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
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At our National Cancer Information Center trained Cancer Information Specialists can answer questions 24 hours a day, every day of the year to empower you with accurate, up-to-date information to help you make educated health decisions. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with valuable services and resources.
Or ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
Financial and Insurance Matters
Cancer care and treatment can be costly. It can take a toll on your health, your emotions, your time, your relationships, and your finances. Sometimes, there might be unexpected charges that your health insurance might not cover fully. You might also feel as if you don’t have the energy to deal with cancer and talk about money, too. You might want to ask a trusted friend or family member to keep track of costs for you. Ask this person to go with you to doctor visits and help with these discussions.
Here are some tips on what costs you might be able to expect and some ideas on how to plan for, ask about, and discuss treatment costs with your health care team.
Learn as much as you can about cancer and your cancer treatment before it starts. Remember that each person's experience and treatment is different. So, learning and asking questions will help you know what to expect for your situation. It can also help you plan for and deal with the costs related to your care.
Many people with cancer have medical expenses for things like:
Talk with your health care team. They’ll usually know who can help you find answers to your questions, including questions about the costs of your treatment. Here are some questions you can ask about costs. Choose the ones that relate to you and your treatment.
Out-of-pocket costs are those you have to pay because your health insurance doesn’t or after your insurance company has paid its portion. These costs can add up quickly and may make it hard for you to pay for other things you need. You’ll want to be sure that your health insurance company pays or reimburses the bulk of your medical expenses. This means you’ll need to
If any of your treatments might be done by out-of-network doctors or providers, find out about those costs from your insurance company too. Even when you know the terms of your policy, getting payments can mean re-submitting claims, appealing denials, and much more.
Usually, health care facilities and treatment centers have a financial department that handles health insurance concerns and problems. Ask your health care team if someone can help you with claims and understanding codes on the bills that are sent to the insurance company.
You can find out more about health insurance and other costs at Understanding Health Insurance.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
Web site: www.cancer.net
Has a special section for patients on the costs of cancer care, including a booklet on managing the cost of cancer care in English and Spanish.
Patient Access Network Foundation (PANF)
Toll-free number: 1-866-316-7263
Helps under-insured patients with certain cancer diagnoses cover out-of-pocket costs related to cancer care.
Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF)
Toll-free number: 1- 800-532-5274
Works with the patient and their insurer to resolve insurance problems; also provides direct financial support to insured patients who are financially and medically qualified for drug treatments and/or prescription co-pays, co-insurance, and deductibles related to certain cancer diagnoses.
*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.
Our specialists are also available to answer your questions. You can reach them by calling 1-800-227-2345.
The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Cancer.net. Managing the cost of cancer care: Practical guidance for patients and families. 2015. Accessed at https://www.cancer.net/sites/cancer.net/files/cost_of_care_booklet.pdf on February 27, 2019.
Cancer.net. Questions to ask about cost. 2018. Accessed at https://www.cancer.net/navigating-cancer-care/financial-considerations/questions-ask-about-cost on February 27, 2019.
Cancer Support Community. Managing the cost of cancer treatment. 2019. Accessed at https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/managing-cost-cancer-treatment on February 27, 2019.
HealthCare.gov. Out-of-pocket costs. Accessed at https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/out-of-pocket-costs/ on February 27, 2019.
Last Revised: May 13, 2019
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