Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It Pays to Make a Phone Call

There's a lot to think about when dealing with cancer. One thing I never considered is that there are resources to help with the expense involved in cancer treatment. Hopefully this blog post will help other cancer patients find organizations that can relieve some of the financial burden.

I figured since I had insurance, I was stuck with the deductible, out-of-pocket expenses, and all the co-pays. However, a few weeks ago at the Light the Night Walk Kick-Off, I met a representative from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (lls.org) who told me about their Co-Pay Assistance Program. I wish I had known about it earlier, but at least I qualify from this point forward for a year.

And since I qualify for the Co-Pay Assistance Program, I am also eligible for their Patient Financial Aid Program (state level) that offers $100 per year to help offset expenses related to cancer care. Considering we've driven over 2,200 miles back and forth to Tulsa this year.....

Obviously, the two programs through LLS are just for leukemia and lymphoma patients. A google search will show other organizations that focus on specific types of cancer. There are also programs that help with other conditions besides cancer.

Another nice resource is through the American Cancer Society (cancer.org) where they issue a $50 Visa gas card yearly if you drive over 50 miles to receive treatment. Why didn't we call them earlier??? But we are thankful to have it now! The American Cancer Society also sponsors the Look Good Feel Better classes and hat/wig rooms.

Thank you, American Cancer Society!

Another organization I called is Cancer Care (cancercare.org). What caught my eye on their website is that they have limited funds to help with travel. It just took a short phone interview to find out I qualify for a $100 grant. The lady asked if I was interested in it. Hellooooo! YES!!!

Thankfully most of our out-of-pocket expenses happened early in the year when we had our tax refund. But eventually all of those extra expenses of co-pays ($50 just to go in for a shot that only took a few minutes) and travel (155 miles round trip for appointments/treatment) add up and mess with the budget. I'm almost out of sick time until June, and in a few short months our deductible and out-of-pocket amounts start all over again.

Don't think I'm just calling organizations and telling them I have cancer in order to get a handout! Each place has it's own guidelines, qualifications, and application process which involves diagnosis documentation from my oncologist. It just takes a little homework and a few phone calls. Besides, the worst they can say is, "No, you don't qualify."

And I haven't just been searching for financial help. I've read great articles and have listened to a couple of webinars on my two types of lymphoma, treatment options, and current research. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (lls.org) is a wonderful resource for information on blood cancers and keeps me updated on legislation that affects blood cancer patients. If I'm going to have cancer, now is a great time in history to have it!

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19 

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