For patients with cancer, the cost of treatment and care have a tendency to be very expensive. If you or a family member is suffering, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed by the diagnosis, in and of itself, which is valid and understandable. But there’s a good chance you’ve been feeling equally stressed out about how you’re going to manage all of the payments. Learning what options are at your disposal will help reduce some of your financial-related anxiety.
1. Check For Unclaimed Funds
Not everyone is lucky enough to find a 20 dollar bill in their pocket after doing a load of laundry, but it’s not uncommon for people to have unclaimed money waiting for them. Sometimes a distant relative will leave an inheritance—other times someone may have accidentally overpaid the DMV. There are many scenarios that could potentially lead to you having money—money you hadn’t even known existed.
When money gets lost, it goes into unclaimed funds. The state will often attempt to contact the rightful owner before sending any money to an agency. So, if you’re running low on funds and need to pay for cancer treatment, it will be worth your while to search for unclaimed money. You can’t predict until you check!
2. Apply for Financial Assistance
There are organizations that provide financial help for cancer patients. They offer viatical settlements to anyone with a terminal illness. You may be thinking, ”How does this work?”These organizations will buy your pre-existing life insurance policy and give you a lump sum payout so you are able to afford end of life expenses.
The money can be used for treatment, medical bills, the cost of not being able to work, and cancer care. If you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s important for you to keep your health as the number one priority. Being financially unable to cover medical costs or getting stuck in debt will only cause stress that you don’t need to be experiencing.
3. Cancer Support Helpline
Another option is contacting a toll-free cancer support helpline. The Cancer Support Helpline is available Monday through Friday from 9 am to 9 pm EST for anyone diagnosed with cancer. Their trained counselors offer several services. If you need emotional support, they are more than happy to lend a compassionate ear.
As far as financial assistance, they have connections to local and national resources, including basic living expenses and transportation services. They can also provide referrals for clinical trials, financial services, and pediatric oncology resources. You can call 1-888-793-9355 to speak with one of their counselors.
4. Touch Base With Your Creditors
Financial challenges are the last thing you should have to worry about right now. You can inform your creditors of your diagnosis instead of letting stacks of bills pile up. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and you cannot afford to pay your creditors, it’s time to negotiate. A non-profit credit counseling service might be able to assist you in setting up a realistic payment plan with debt collectors or creditors.
5. Set Up a GoFundMe Page
Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Crowdfunding is a quick and simple way for cancer patients (or anyone!) to raise money for treatment and medical expenses. You should be honest and transparent in regards to how much money you need.
Also, your page should have a compelling story of why you need this money. How will the funds help you? What will the costs cover? What treatment will you be going through? How much do your prescription medications cost? Once you’ve completed your online fundraising page, share it on social media. And then share it again. Tag your friends and family in every post. You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you find out how many people are willing to contribute when you’re in need.
You are important. You matter. Most importantly, you should never feel ashamed for asking for help. Asking for help shows bravery, not weakness.