• Is financial aid available - and where do we start looking/

    Asked by JRuth on Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Is financial aid available - and where do we start looking/

    My wife just received the result of her biopsy this morning. Cancer in all three sites that they tested - two in her breast and one in a lymph note. I have been unemployed for months and we have no insurance. Is there any hope for help to deal with this?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      If you'll click on the resources tab at the top, you should be able to find some info. Likewise, I'd check out the American Cancer Society website as well. I wish you the best of luck, both you and your wife.

      over 7 years ago
    • chutzpah's Avatar

      try checking out cancercare.org

      good luck

      over 7 years ago
    • geekling's Avatar

      Although I am sorry to say I do not know where you will find it, there is always hope as long as you live and breathe.

      The State ought to have some sort of insurance (Medicaid) but I am not the one to lead you through that miasma. You might also check with a religious group (Catholic Charities, Jewish Family Services, etc) or the place whre you might worship, if you do.

      Perhaps an organization like the Elks or the Knights of Columbus and so forth. Don't leave stones unturned just because they may be unfamiliar.

      Very good luck.

      over 7 years ago
    • little_fut's Avatar

      There is a state sponsored program called "BCCTP", using your search engine,enter bccpt and it will direct you to get all financial assistance for breast cancer costs. I was just notified that my private insurance had been cancelled, thank God I had previously looked into and was accepted by these wonderful organization. sponsored by Medicaid. (It is the "Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program") I hope this helps. Good bless you.

      over 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Here's a link to a site that list contact info for organizations that offer various types of financial aide

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      Contact the AMC in your area to see what resources are in your area. Also, contact Komen as they can tell you what grantees they have that might be able to help...Komen doesn't give money directly to individuals, but they support many agencies/organizations that provide help...it just depends on where you live. all the best to you and your wife as she goes through this journey...it is hard, but it is doable!!!!

      over 7 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear JRuth,

      Hi, I'm Aliza and I'm a BC patient as well as being a Medical Librarian. I offer referral and research for people on this site and elsewhere.

      Re your question re financial aid, a good place to start is CancerCare - www.cancercare.org. They do offer stipends to offset some costs. The Social Workers there can best advise you. They will likely know of other sources as well as providing counseling for Cancer patients and their caregivers.

      The ACS (which sponsors this site) also has a URL to help you locate possible sources of financial aid:

      www.cancer.org/.../healthinsuranceandfinancialassistanceforthecancerpatient/ health-insurance-and-financial-assistance-outside-sources

      There is another site which would be worth checking out called Bre
      202ast Cancer Partner. They have referrals to all sorts of things for items for BC patients. Their URL is:


      Your Clergyperson, should you belong to a religious comunity is a good source of information. Usually she/he also has a small discretionary fund that he may be able to use to help for something of an urgent nature. They also have connections to the larger agencies within each relgion. Catholicism - Catholic Charities ( this grou is specific to each city so I can't list a URL); Judaism - The Jewish Board of Family and Children's Servicees (there are specific ones for each city so I can't list a URL) and perahps its' umbrella group The Federation
      of Jewish Philanthropies to guide you to other sources, and for Protestants - The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies ( http://www.fpwa.org/cgi-bin/iowa/programs/index.html).

      In some cases the Susan Komen Foundation offers financial assistance. You can contact them at:

      Some other financial sources include:

      Corporate Angel Network
      [phone number redacted]

      Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
      [phone number redacted]

      I hope that this list offers you a good start to your quest to financial aid. I wish you and your wife much good luck. If I can be of further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

      Warm wishes,

      over 7 years ago
    • carm's Avatar

      I direct all my patients to www.needymeds.com. They also get scans at discounted rates and have financial aid programs. Best of luck to you, Carm RN.

      over 7 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      Your wife should try signing up NOW for social security disability. You may get turned down the first time. Don't stop. This will also help you get signed up for Medicaid and other help. It helped me.

      over 7 years ago
    • Risa's Avatar

      My chemo drug company offered me at first $4,000 and the upped it to $24,000 but I didn't need to use it as my insurance paid 100% of my chemo, fortunately. I would suggest to call your drug companies at once.

      I found the information below that you should look into. Good Luck!

      The Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is a group of 14 member organizations that focuses on educating cancer patients and providers about available financial resources.

      The group also provides advocacy services to people burdened with the costs of cancer treatment and care. That's important, because many people have already piled up massive bills in the conventional medical system before they give up on it and turn to alternatives.

      The CFAP's current lineup of member organizations includes:
      • American Cancer Society
      • CancerCare
      • CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
      • Chronic Disease Fund
      • HealthWell Foundation
      • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
      • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Co-Pay Assistance Program Lymphoma Research Foundation
      • The Max Foundation
      • National Organization for Rare Diseases
      • National Marrow Donor Program
      • Patient Access Network Foundation
      • Patient Services Incorporated
      • Sarcoma Alliance
      Each of these organizations provides various forms of financial assistance, including services and products at reduced costs.

      The services will vary depending on locations served and the needs of the individual. For this reason, it is best to contact each organization to determine what is available for your area and level of need.

      Considering the sponsors involved, I doubt if they'll help you much with alternative treatments. But they provide other help that's not medical in nature. And if you're pursuing a combination of conventional and alternative treatments — and especially if your caregiver's name is followed by the magic letters "M.D." -- you might persuade them to help you out on the medical side, too.
      What are some examples of services
      that may be covered?
      I can't say these services will be available for everyone, but here are just a few examples of aid that may be available:
      • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) program consists of drug companies, health care providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups. They help search more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs to find assistance for cancer patients who don't have prescription drug coverage.
      • The American Cancer Society has established "Hope Lodges" throughout the United States. These housing units give families a place to stay when a patient must receive cancer treatments far from home. They also provide free wigs to cancer patients.
      • The Corporate Angel Network provides free airfare to cancer patients who can walk and travel without life-support or medical attention.
      • The Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund (BMCF) is for patients aged 18 to 40 and provides assistance with daily needs not covered by insurance. A typical amount is $600 that can be used to cover medical co-payments, rent /mortgage, transportation, car insurance, repairs, and groceries.
      • The Breasts Friends Hat Project provides free hats to women being treated for cancer.
      • Cleaning for a Reason partners with maid services to offer four free monthly house cleanings to help women undergoing cancer treatment.
      This list represents just a few of the resources that can help ease the financial burdens cancer patients experience. You'll find more examples at the website www.1UpOnCancer.com.

      over 7 years ago
    • JRuth's Avatar

      Thanks to all of you for your suggestions.

      It seems that, at least for now, there is at least one advantage of being unemployed - trying to track down financial assistance in our situation is a full-time job in itself. I am in the process of following all of the leads you have provided, and have come to the conclusion that there is not going to be one solution, but rather bits and pieces from various sources. Even then, it is becoming clear that there will be a big gap that we will have great difficulty filling - a situation I assume all of you are familiar with.

      over 7 years ago
    • little_fut's Avatar

      Hi, I'm little_fut, I answered your question regarding financial assistance. I called my BCCTP worker today and she informed me it was a Federally funded program and if you DO NOT have any medical insurance, they will take you on immedately. Also, any medical bills you have incurred so far, they will attempt pay it for you. Again, the best thing to do is contact them at BCCTP.com If you are not in California,this would be a Medicaid program. Hope this helps.

      over 7 years ago
    • JRuth's Avatar

      Hi, little_fut. I tried bcctp.com and got the error message that the web site could not be found. The search did direct me to the program for California and a couple of other states, but not Oklahoma. However, we did try through Medicaid here in Oklahoma and were declined because our household income (all from social security) exceeded their guidline figure by $23.66 per month and we were told that that the figures on their income tables were absolute. I don't think I have ever before in my life wished I had LESS income. I haven't given up yet. If I have learned anything thus far it is that sometimes you just have to find the person that knows how to do what you need done, and it may take a few tries to find them - or realize that it really can't be done.

      over 7 years ago
    • LisaD@StF's Avatar

      JRuth coming in late with a response. You can try this site if your wife is 55 or older:
      If you are over 55 BenefitsCheckUp is a free confidential, online service of the National Council on Aging (NCOA). The online service will ask a series of questions to help adults over 55 who need help paying for prescription drugs, healthcare, utilities, and other basic needs and identify programs and benefits that could help. (www.benefitscheckup.org)

      Another that gives just a 1 time lump sum is: AVONCares – (80/813/4673)provides financial assistance for transportation, child care, home care, etc. Must have a women’s cancer. Typically awards 100.00.

      Here is another: The Pink Fund- (www.thepinkfund.org) : If you meet their criteria they help to replace lost income through paying creditors directly.

      I know that you have already tried disability, not unusual to get denied, you may want to check into Allusp Life Reclaimed on line at (apply.allsup.com) or call them at[phone number redacted]) They may be able to help.

      I would also ask if you hospital or MD offices offer any financial assistance programs based on income. Call their billing offices usually. At the very least hopefully they can set you up on a payment plan.

      Unfortunately you are right it takes a lot of effort and help comes from many different resources, good luck and prayers!

      over 7 years ago

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