You might already know that cancer care is not inexpensive, but did you know the average cost of cancer treatment is about $150,000?
Cancer treatment can last for an extended period of time as the patient’s medical team works to contain or kill the cancerous cells. And as you can imagine, the longer the treatment, the more costly it will be.
This financial burden can add a tremendous amount of stress to patients and their families, even those with health insurance.
But about 13.7% of adults in the US are uninsured. You might be one of these people, and are now asking how to pay for cancer treatment without health insurance?
While it’s not an easy process, it is possible and there are solutions for this situation.
If you or someone you know was recently diagnosed with cancer, an important first step is researching options for payment. Read the guide below to learn about the resources available.
Costs Associated with Cancer
It’s important to understand what types of costs are associated with cancer treatment to help prepare you for what’s ahead.
When getting diagnosed, you’ll likely first encounter lab tests and visits with a healthcare provider. This could involve biopsies, and different types of imaging tests, like x-rays, MRI scans and CT scans.
Depending on the type of cancer with which you’ve been diagnosed, surgery could be on the horizon. Many forms of cancer are treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. During the treatment stage, you might also encounter encounter hospital stays, which come with their own individual bills.
Follow-up care might include more tests, such as blood-work, CT scans, or other procedures to monitor and assess your health at this stage. You will likely encounter drug costs at this stage as well.
There’s a lot involved with understanding the cost of cancer treatment and this can all be overwhelming. Once you have an understanding of what you’ll need to pay for, you can get started on understanding financial resources available.
Understand the Financial Resources Available
We’ll cover more specific options below, but the first step is to understand the specific options that might be available to you. Once you’ve been diagnosed, speak to your healthcare provider about the financial resources they can offer.
At Augusta Oncology and Aiken Oncology, we want all of our patients to know that we’re here to support them however possible. That’s why we employ full time patient advocates to provide you with information on financial assistance and counseling to assist you and your family during your cancer journey.
Each state also has its own programs for funding cancer treatment and providing help to uninsured patients. For example, Georgia has the Cancer State Aid program to help patients who don’t have health insurance coverage.
There are also grants given by different foundations, like CancerCare and Cancer.net that offer financial help. You have to apply, but there’s definitely a chance of receiving a grant of this kind. Your Augusta Oncology patient advocate can assist you in the application process.
Seek extra help for other bills and cancer-related financial struggles. There are many programs for housing, mortgage and food costs while going through cancer treatment.
When looking for help from a state or government program, you’ll need to gather your paperwork. You will likely need to show your income and lack of insurance coverage, along with medical records detailing your cancer treatment.
Each cancer patient and situation is different. So talking to anyone in the right position from these programs, hospitals or social work institutions can help. Beyond individual or state-based options, there are larger financial resources available.
Get a Personal Loan
You can possibly decrease the cost of cancer treatment by getting a personal loan. Some choose to merge medical debt into a personal loan to avoid paying the total immediately. With a personal loan, you can create a more manageable payment schedule with installments that can last years.
This is a good option if you know exactly how much you’ll need to spend for the cancer treatment and how much you can afford to pay back monthly. A personal loan will include interest, but it still might be a more affordable option than separate medical debts.
Keep your credit rating in mind to help determine the payment estimate to avoid any kind of bankruptcy. Also consider the lender, since some charge extra fees for processing the loan. You’ll want to keep your options open and do a lot of financial planning before getting a personal loan.
If this doesn’t seem like the right option for you, it could be best to seek the help of others for aid.
Seek Organized Help
In the new digital era, we’ve seen the rise of people seeking financial help on the Internet. Crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe or other social media sites can help you raise some of the funds needed.
This option involves appealing to the public to request funding help for your medical needs. Having a compelling story and strategy can make you stand out on these sites.
Donations can also come from other organizations, like charities or religious groups. Having a relationship with one of these organizations can go a long way, so reach out to your larger social circle and seek help.
By being organized and reaching out to as many people or institutions as possible, you can expand your pool for receiving funds. It can be a daunting task, but by being widespread with your plan, you’ll be able to capture more funds.
Discover How to Pay for Cancer Treatment without Insurance by Researching
You might be feeling overwhelmed by the financial burden associated with cancer. It’s definitely not always a pleasant process.
But you might be surprised by the generosity and help you’ll receive by reaching out to as many of these resources listed above as possible. When starting to think about how to pay for cancer treatment without insurance, the best place to start is with research.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. So creating an individual action plan will likely involve a combination of options.
Click here to learn more about financial help for cancer treatment with us at Augusta Oncology.