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Get help with paying cancer bills.

Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer every year. A diagnosis of cancer can lead to outrageous medical and hospital bills, even for families with health insurance. The good news is that there are programs and resources that can help. Both non-profit organizations and government resources can assist with paying cancer bills and related expenses as well as any other medical bills that may result from the diagnosis.

Most of these programs are administered by charitable and nonprofit groups. They offer grants and other forms of financial aid to patients who have cancer, or even other specific life-threatening or chronic diseases. The funds can be used to help pay for the cost of deductibles, co-payments, and other related medical expenses and health care bills. While the eligibility for each program will vary, in general the patient will usually need to meet specific treatment guidelines and income.

How to get help with cancer bills

After a diagnosis occurs, patients will typically be referred to these assistance programs by the patient-advocate offices or financial counseling organizations of big hospitals and treatment centers. If this form of assistance is not offered, then be sure to ask your health care provider or hospital about your options. In addition, you also can seek out programs online. Some of the programs and resources that people can turn to include those listed below.

The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation - This organization helps eligible patients pay for the cost of health insurance co-payments for treatment of specific cancers. The foundation was created back in 2008. They currently have seven different diagnoses that are eligible for assistance, but the list of items covered continues to expand. They currently cover breast cancer, head and neck cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, glioblastoma, pancreatic and renal cancer.

There are some limits to the amount of help that is provided. Some diseases have a $10,000 annual limit on financial aid, while others have a $5,000 limit. Most participants who qualify for assistance will receive anywhere between $2,500 and $5,000 in cash grants for their cancer bills. Dial 800‑813‑4673.




Many other free health insurance and assistance programs exist, including for people impacted by cancer. With the current state of the health care industry, and with businesses and health insurance companies doing whatever they can to pass costs to patients, these days more people are paying a higher percentage of the cost of their total medical care. People are being faced with higher co-pays and deductibles being paid for by patients. Find other ways to get free health care, that may also cover cancer treatments.

Do patients receive assistance

Yes. Since the CancerCare program began just a few years ago, approximately thousands of people have applied for help. Many of them asked for co-pay assistance, and about 80% of the applicants have received financial aid from the non-profit. About one half of those who received aid were on Medicare or the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and the other half were privately insured through their employer or private health insurance companies.

Currently the CancerCare foundation rejects less than 10% of applications. The number one reason for a rejection is because applicants' total household income exceeds the program guidelines. The cutoff for the program is actually fairly high for a typical assistance program that is targeted at cancer patients. It is currently 400% of the federal poverty level. There can be some exceptions as well. Contact them at 1-866-552-6729 to get more information or to apply.

Financial assistance for cancer bills

There are other non-profit groups and charities that also offer financial assistance and grants for the treatment of cancer and other diseases. the groups will also provide funding to pay for cancer bills as well as hospital and medical expenses.





These other organizations include HealthWell Foundation, which helps with co-pays and premiums for patients with group and individual insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Another place to turn to is the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Co-Pay Assistance Program that helps with private-insurance premiums.

A third option for assistance is the Patient Advocate Foundation Co-Pay Relief Program. This program provides pharmaceutical co-pay help to both underinsured and insured patients, including Medicare Part D recipients. More on Patient Advocate Foundation assistance program.

Yet another organization that people can turn to is Life Beyond Cancer. Learn more. This organization provides cancer patients with money so they can pay their everyday bills, including their rent, mortgage, and energy bills. Continue with Life Beyond Cancer.

Another option for help with cancer bills is Read more. This is a not for profit agency that provides help to people who can’t afford their prescriptio medications on their own. The organization can also provide assistance so people can pay their everyday bills while they are battling their cancer and going through treatment. Find financial help from CancerCareCoPay.

Cancer patients and their families may be able to receive financial assistance, counseling, and/or medications from Cancer Care Inc. The non-profit was founded back in 1944, and every year they are able to support tens of thousands of cancer patients with a wide variety of assistance programs. The support offered to the under or uninsured will vary.

Sometimes they may be able to provide financial assistance and cash grants, and sometimes it may be counseling, advice and an extensive amount of information. People as well as their families can learn about what programs and resources are available to cancer patients.

Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund - May have grants available to pay for expenses such as car insurance, medical co-payments, rent, transportation, auto repairs, mortgage and groceries. It is for cancer patients who range in age from 18 to 40. Email address is

Cancer Legal Resource Center - Provides free information, in English and Spanish, on cancer issues. Survivors, caregivers, doctors and employers may all qualify. Get free information on government programs, free medications, experimental drugs and much more. 866-843-2572

Cancer Survivors Fund may have financial assistance to pay for prosthetics and even college scholarships for cancer survivors. They do not cover treatment costs, but the non-profit will focus on the recovery process. (281) 437-7142

Corporate Angel Network, Inc. partners with major airlines to provide transportation to cancer patients and their families. The non-profit will arrange free flights to treatment centers and hospitals. (866) 328-1313

Disability assistance, including FMLA, may help some cancer patients. there can be vouchers to pay for medications, government health insurance, or financial aid from charities to pay for hospital bills, family travel, or other medical care. Find more information on financial help for the disabled.

Joe's House can arrange for accommodations for cancer patients and their immediate family members. The assistance is available for families who must travel quite a distance away from home for their medical treatment. Telephone number is (877) 563-7468.

Kristy Lasch Miracle Foundation is for women with breast cancer. Financial assistance and grants may be paid out for medical bills, prescriptions and other costs. (412) 872-4125







National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is a government run program. It provides low cost or free access to cervical and breast cancer screening services for uninsured and underserved women. Call (800) 232-4636 for information.

National Children's Cancer Society will offer direct financial assistance and other aid to teenagers, children, and infants with cancer. (314) 241-1600

National Transplant Assistance Fund can be contacted at 800-642-8399. The non-profit organization will help with creating fundraisers for cancer patients in need of transplants and limited financial assistance. It may help individuals move to hospitals or doctor offices, among other centers. The money raised can help them pay their medical bills and treatment costs.

Surviving And Moving Forward, or SAM, may be able to assist cancer survivors under the age of 35. The organization will help them with their transition into post-treatment life. It will offer them grants and scholarships. The organization will try to help survivors pursue their professional and/or educational goals. Call (866) 439-9365.

Where There's A Need, Inc. - Provides free hair scarves for children and women who have experienced hair loss due to radiation cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, or other very serious medical conditions. The agency specializes in offering head scarves for babies, women, young adults, and children. Call 866-803-6095.


By Jon McNamara

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