FINANCIAL AID FOR CANCER TREATMENT:
* Hill-Burton is a program through which hospitals receive construction and modernization funds from the Federal Government. Hospitals that receive Hill-Burton funds are required by law to provide a reasonable volume of services to people who cannot afford to pay for their hospitalization and make their services available to all residents in the facility’s area. Information about Hill-Burton facilities is available by calling the toll-free number or visiting the Web site shown below. A brochure about the program is available in Spanish.
1–800–638–0742 (Maryland residents call 1–800–492–0359)
Web site: http://www.hrsa.gov/hillburton/default.htm
* Medicaid (Medical Assistance), a jointly funded, Federal-State health insurance program for people who need financial assistance for medical expenses, is coordinated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). At a minimum, states must provide home care services to people who receive Federal income assistance such as Social Security Income and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Medicaid coverage includes part-time nursing, home care aide services, and medical supplies and equipment. Information about coverage is available from local state welfare offices, state health departments, state social services agencies, or the state Medicaid office. Check the local telephone directory for the number to call. Information about specific state contacts is also available on the Web site listed below. Spanish-speaking staff are available in some offices.
Web site: http://www.cms.gov/medicaid/consumer.asp
* The Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act provides, in most states, Medicaid coverage for treatment to women who have been screened for and diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer, including precancerous conditions, through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. For more information about eligibility and contacts for this program, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) "Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000"
Web page, which is located at http://www.cdc.gov/CANCER/nbccedp/legislation/law106-354.htm on the Internet.
* Medicare is a Federal health insurance program also administered by the CMS. Eligible individuals include those who are 65 or older, people of any age with permanent kidney failure, and disabled people under age 65. Medicare is divided into two parts, Part A and Part B. Part A pays for hospital care, home health care, hospice care, and care in Medicare-certified nursing facilities. Part B covers medically necessary services, including diagnostic studies, physicians’ services, durable home medical equipment, and ambulance transportation; Part B also covers screening exams for several types of cancer. To receive information on eligibility, explanations of coverage, and related publications, call Medicare at the number listed below or visit their Web site. Some publications are available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking staff are available.
* CancerCare is a national nonprofit agency that offers free support, information, financial assistance, and practical help to people with cancer and their loved ones. Financial assistance is given in the form of limited grants for certain treatment expenses. Services are provided by oncology social workers and are available in person, over the telephone, and through the agency’s Web site. CancerCare’s reach also extends to professionals—providing education, information, and assistance. A section of the CancerCare Web site and some publications are available in Spanish, and staff can respond to calls and e-mails in Spanish. Information about financial assistance for all cancers is available at http://www.cancercare.org/get_help/assistance/cc_financial.php on the Internet.
CancerCare has also partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to create the Linking A.R.M.S. program, which provides limited financial assistance for hormonal and oral chemotherapy, pain and antinausea medication, lymphedema supplies, and durable medical equipment for women with breast cancer.
* The LIVESTRONG™ SurvivorCare partnership between CancerCare and the Lance Armstrong Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer survivors. For patients who are 6 months post-treatment with no evidence of disease, limited financial assistance is available for transportation to follow-up appointments, medical copays, cancer-related medications, and neuropsychological evaluation
Telephone: 1– 866–235–7205
Web sites: http://www.cancercare.org
* NeedyMeds is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. The information at NeedyMeds can be obtained anonymously and is free of charge. NeedyMeds is an information source similar to the Yellow Pages; it does not supply medications or financial assistance, but helps people find assistance programs and other available resources.
* The Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF) provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis matters.
Web site: http://www.patientadvocate.org
The PAF’s Co-Pay Relief Program provides limited payment assistance for medicine to insured patients who financially and medically qualify. For more information about the Co-Pay Relief Program, visit http://www.copays.org or call 1–866–512–3861.
* Patient Assistance Programs are offered by some pharmaceutical manufacturers to help pay for medications. To learn whether a specific drug might be available at reduced cost through such a program, talk with a physician or a medical social worker or visit the drug manufacturer’s Web site. Most pharmaceutical companies will have a section titled "patient assistance programs" on their Web site.
In addition to cancer treatments, many cancer patients need assistance paying for transportation to and from medical appointments and basic living expenses such as food and housing. Listed below are organizations dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families during and after the patient’s treatment.
* GovBenefits.gov is a partnership of Federal agencies with a shared vision to provide improved, personalized access to government assistance programs. This Web site’s online screening tool is free, easy-to-use, and completely confidential. The user answers a series of questions, then the Web site generates a list of government benefit programs that the user may be eligible to receive, along with information about how the user can apply.
* The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the Government agency that oversees Social Security and Supplemental Security Income. Social Security provides monthly income for eligible elderly and disabled individuals. More information about these and other SSA programs is available by calling the toll-free number listed below. Spanish-speaking staff are available. Additional contact information for the SSA is available at http://www.ssa.gov/reach.htm on the Internet.
Web site: http://www.ssa.gov/
* Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is administered by the SSA and supplements Social Security payments for aged, blind, and disabled people with little or no income. It provides cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter. Information on eligibility, coverage, and how to file a claim is available from the SSA. The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool is available at https://s044a90.ssa.gov/apps12/best/benefits/ on the Internet.
* The American Cancer Society (ACS) offers programs that help cancer patients, family members, and friends cope with the treatment decisions and emotional challenges they face. To get information about these programs, call the national ACS office, or find a local ACS office by typing your location into the search boxes on the "My Local ACS Office" Web page at http://www.cancer.org/asp/search/mla/mla_global.asp?navToScreen=mla_0
* Hope Lodge, a temporary housing program supported by ACS, provides free, temporary housing facilities for cancer patients who are undergoing treatment. For more information about this program, or to find locations of Hope Lodges, call the ACS’s toll-free number above or visit the Hope Lodge Web page at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/SHR/content/SHR_2.1_x_Hope_Lodge.asp?sitearea=SHR
* The Road to Recovery is an ACS service program that provides transportation for cancer patients to their treatments and home again. Transportation is provided according to the needs and available resources in the community and can be arranged by calling the toll-free number or by contacting the local ACS office.
* The ACS offers Taking Charge of Money Matters , a workshop for people with cancer and their loved ones about financial concerns that may arise during or after cancer treatment, regardless of the person’s health insurance coverage. The session provides an opportunity to discuss financial matters with guest speakers who are knowledgeable about financial planning. More information about this workshop is available on the ACS Taking Charge of Money Matters Web page.
* The National Patient Travel Helpline provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medical air transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical air transportation network.
Web site: http://www.patienttravel.org/
* The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Bureau of Primary Health Care offers Health Centers that provide health care to low-income and other vulnerable populations. Health Centers care for people regardless of their ability to pay. They provide primary and preventive health care, as well as services such as transportation and translation. To locate a Health Center , visit the "Service Delivery Sites" Web page at http://ask.hrsa.gov/pc/ on the Internet.
* Some nonprofit community hospitals are able to provide care for patients in need of financial assistance. Other hospitals have indigent or charity care programs funded by state and local governments. For information about these programs, contact a hospital social worker, who will be able to explain these types of programs. Another type of assistance may be offered through your local health department. The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Cancer Information Service may be able to provide information about local programs by phone at 1–800–4–CANCER. The NCI is a component of the National Institutes of Health.
* State and local social services agencies can provide help with food, housing, prescription drugs, transportation, and other medical expenses for those who are not eligible for other programs. Information can be obtained by contacting your state or local agency; this number is found in the local telephone directory.
* The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can provide information about tax deductions for medical costs that are not covered by insurance policies. For example, tax deductible expenses might include mileage for trips to and from medical appointments, out-of-pocket costs for treatment, prescription drugs or equipment, and the cost of meals during lengthy medical visits. Deductible-qualified medical expenses include those incurred by the patient, spouse, and dependents. Medical expenses may also be deducted for someone who would have qualified as a dependent for the purpose of taking personal exemptions except that the person did not meet the gross income or joint return test. Nursing home expenses are allowable as medical expenses in certain instances. If the patient, a spouse, or dependent is in a nursing home, and the primary reason for being there is for medical care, the entire cost, including meals and lodging, is a medical expense. The local IRS office, tax consultants, or certified public accountants can determine whether medical costs are tax deductible.
Community Voluntary agencies and service organizations
· United Way of America ,
· Salvation Army,
· Lutheran Social Services,
· Jewish Social Services,
· Catholic Charities may offer help.
· These organizations are listed in your local phone directory. Some churches and synagogues may provide financial help or services to their members.
Publications (available at http://www.cancer.gov/publications)
* National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 1.2, The National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers Program
* National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 8.1, National Organizations That Offer Services to People With Cancer and Their Families
* National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 8.9, How To Find Resources in Your Own Community If You Have Cancer