Assistance for Cancer Care
heavy economic burdens on both patients and their families.
For many people, a portion of medical expenses is paid by
their health insurance plan. For individuals who do not have
health insurance or who need financial assistance to cover
health care costs, resources are available, including
Government-sponsored programs and services supported by
and their families should discuss any concerns they may have
about health care costs with their physician, medical social
worker, or the business office of their hospital or clinic.
The organizations and resources listed below may offer
financial assistance. Organizations that provide publications
in Spanish or have Spanish-speaking staff have been
American Cancer Society (ACS) office can provide the
telephone number of the local ACS office serving your
area. The local ACS office may offer reimbursement for
expenses related to cancer treatment including
transportation, medicine, and medical supplies. The ACS
also offers programs that help cancer patients, family
members, and friends cope with the emotional challenges
they face. Some publications are available in Spanish.
Spanish-speaking staff are available.
Web site: http://www.cancer.org
Program for Medically Underserved Women provides financial
assistance and relevant education and support to low
income, under- and uninsured, underserved women throughout
the country in need of diagnostic and/or related services
(transportation, child care, and social support) for the
treatment of breast, cervical, and ovarian
Web site: http://www.cancercare.org
Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF) is a
nonprofit organization that provides information, peer
support, and advocacy through publications, an information
clearinghouse, and a network of local support
groups. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to
which eligible families may apply for financial
Web site: http://www.candlelighters.org
voluntary agencies and service organizations such as the
Salvation Army, Lutheran Social Services, Jewish Social
Services, Catholic Charities, and the Lions Club 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.
another mechanism to consider. Some patients find that
friends, family, and community members are willing to
contribute financially if they are aware of a difficult
situation. Contact your local library for information
about how to organize fundraising efforts.
Assistance programs provide food, housing, prescription
drugs, and other medical expenses for those who are not
eligible for other programs. Funds are often limited.
Information can be obtained by contacting your state or
local Department of Social Services; this number is found
in the local telephone directory.
a program through which hospitals receive construction
funds from the Federal Government. Hospitals that receive
Hill-Burton funds are required by law to provide some
services to people who cannot afford to pay for their
hospitalization. A brochure about the program is available
Web site: http://www.hrsa.dhhs.gov/osp/dfcr/obtain/consfaq.htm
Deductions: Medical costs that are not covered by
insurance policies sometimes can be deducted from annual
income before taxes. Examples of 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. The local Internal Revenue
Service office, tax consultants, or certified public
accountants can determine medical costs that are tax
deductible. These telephone numbers are available in the
local telephone directory.
Web site: http://www.irs.ustreas.gov
Society (LLS) offers information and financial aid to
patients who have leukemia, non-Hodgkin's
disease, or multiple
myeloma. Callers may request a booklet describing
LLS's Patient Aid Program or the telephone number for
their local LLS office. Some publications are available in
Web site: http://www.leukemia-lymphoma.org
(Medical Assistance) a jointly funded, Federal-State
health insurance program for people who need financial
assistance for medical expenses, is coordinated by the
Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). 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 locations is also
available on the HCFA Web site. Spanish-speaking staff are
available in some offices.
Web site: http://www.hcfa.gov/medicaid/medicaid.htm
Medicare is a
Federal health insurance program also administered by HCFA.
Eligible individuals include those who are 65 or older,
people of any age with permanent kidney failure, and
disabled people under age 65. Medicare may offer
reimbursement for some home care services. Cancer patients
who qualify for Medicare may also be eligible for coverage
of hospice services if they are accepted into a
Medicare-certified hospice program. 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
TTY (for deaf
and hard of hearing callers): 18774862048
Web site: http://www.medicare.gov
Advocate Foundation (PAF) is a national nonprofit
organization that 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
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
Security Administration (SSA) is the Government agency
that oversees Social Security and Supplemental Security
Income. A description of each of these programs follows.
More information about these and other SSA programs is
available by calling the toll-free number listed below.
Spanish-speaking staff are available.
TTY (for deaf
and hard of hearing callers): 18003250778
Security provides a monthly income for eligible elderly
and disabled individuals. Information on eligibility,
coverage, and how to apply for benefits is available from
the Social Security Administration.
Security Income (SSI) supplements Social Security payments
for individuals who have certain income and resource
levels. SSI is administered by the Social Security
Administration. Information on eligibility, coverage, and
how to file a claim is available from the Social Security
Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a
Federal-State partnership that offers low-cost or free
health insurance coverage to uninsured children of
low-wage, working parents. Callers will be referred to the
SCHIP program in their state for further information about
what the program covers, who is eligible, and the minimum
Web site: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov
There are nonprofit organizations that arrange free or
reduced cost air transportation for cancer patients going
to or from cancer treatment centers. Financial need is not
always a requirement. To find out about these programs,
talk with a medical social worker. Ground transportation
services may be offered or mileage reimbursed through the
local ACS or your state or local Department of Social
Benefits: Eligible veterans and their dependents may
receive cancer treatment at a Veterans Administration
Medical Center. Treatment for service-connected conditions
is provided, and treatment for other conditions may be
available based on the veteran's financial need. Some
publications are available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking
staff are available in some offices.
Web site: http://www.va.gov/vbs/