Financial guidance for patients with cancer
Support services help navigate cost of care
Cancer can be an expensive disease to treat. From doctor fees and drug charges to transportation, medical devices and supplies, costs can add up quickly. Insurance plans cover part of medical costs, but you still may be responsible for deductibles, copays and nonmedical expenses related to care.
5 tips to control cancer care costs
We asked our patient care coordinator and financial counselor to share their best suggestions to help you navigate financial concerns during your cancer journey. Here’s what Amanda Hess and Julie Hochstetler at Goshen Center for Cancer Care recommend.
1) Ask questions
Doctor bills, co-pays and deductibles may be the last thing you want to think about right after a cancer diagnosis. Yet, your financial health is important, according to Amanda, our patient financial counselor.
Our resource guide gives you a checklist of questions to ask a patient financial counselor, patient care coordinator or health insurance navigator. The more information you have, the better equipped you are to manage financial responsibilities and relieve stress about finances later on.
Download our Cost of Cancer Care Checklist
Patients at Goshen Center for Cancer Care can get free support services from a financial counselor. It’s the best way to understand costs you may face during your journey.
2) Know insurance basics
Health insurance plans usually cover many costs of cancer care. To take advantage of your plan’s benefits, you need to understand how your plan works. Find out what medical services and medications your plan covers. Understand copays, deductibles and out-of-pocket limits. “We review explanation of benefit statements (EOB) with patients to help them understand their responsibilities for the cost of care,” explained Amanda.
Our Cost of Care Cancer Checklist guides you through important questions to ask your health insurance company.
Bring your health insurance policy information and ID card to your first appointment with a patient financial counselor. A counselor can verify eligibility for insurance coverage and explain payment options that fit your needs.
3) Check out community resources
Several nonprofit service organizations in our community offer valuable resources for patients with cancer. You may qualify for financial aid or support services, such as transportation to and from medical appointments, food assistance and child care. Insurance plans usually do not cover these nonmedical costs. “We help patients navigate their way through each charitable group’s criteria and benefits to find the best fit for them,” said Julie, our patient care coordinator.
Our support services team keeps up-to-date listings of local, regional and national programs that offer financial assistance or services for patients with cancer. Talk with a coordinator about eligibility requirements for services that meet your needs.
4) Know who is in and out of network
Your cancer care team includes a large group of doctors, pharmacies and other healthcare providers involved with your treatment. It’s important to know if all your providers participate in your health insurance plan’s network.
Insurance plans usually cover at least part of the cost of care by in-network providers. You will be responsible for a larger portion of your medical bill for out-of-network care. “Even if a surgeon is in the patient’s insurance network, the pathologist may be out of network,” explained Amanda. Patients can get blindsided by unexpected bills from all their providers.
Talk with your cancer care team about your treatment options. A financial counselor can help estimate costs for the treatment you choose.
5) Understand legal benefits and rights
You may qualify for certain benefits that are protected by state or national laws. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may entitle you to unpaid leave from your job to care for a loved one with cancer. “We work with employers to complete FMLA paperwork for patients or family members who take time away from work during cancer treatment,” said Amanda. You also have rights to appeal an insurance company’s decision to not pay a claim.
Get help with forms, policies, payment plans and other paperwork from a patient financial counselor.
Learn about our free support services
Financial assistance programs
Resources are available for patients who are uninsured or insured but need financial assistance to cover the cost of cancer care.
Local, state and national nonprofit service organizations offer sources for help with financial challenges. Each funding source has specific criteria for eligibility and submitting applications for assistance.
Our community generously supports a patient financial assistance fund at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. Donations through Goshen Health Foundation provide a resource for patients in financial need to continue uninterrupted cancer treatment.
We can help
We want to help you get the right care you need when you need it. That’s why we offer a full range of support services for patients and their families at Goshen Center for Cancer Care. Contact our Help Line to connect with a patient care coordinator or patient financial counselor, (888) 492-HOPE.
To become a patient, call (888) 492-HOPE or fill out a self-referral form.