The cost of cancer care is outrageous, even if you have health insurance. But people with mesothelioma can get help in paying for treatment.
When you’re faced with mesothelioma treatment expenses that can reach six figures, how to pay those bills may seem a bigger hurdle than the actual care. But different options are available to help pay for cancer care and treatment; you just need to know where to look.
Mesothelioma: Government Assistance
Consider applying for state or federal financial assistance to help pay your medical and living expenses while you’re unable to work.
“I’d look at the Social Security Disability Program that can come with Medicare coverage,” says Tanis Hernandez, MSW, an outreach coordinator for the Center for Asbestos Related Disease in Libby, Mont.
Disability payments and Medicare coverage can help pay for at least some of your expenses, and provide living expenses. You can apply for federal Social Security Disability payments through your local office, and if you’re approved, you may also qualify for Medicare. Medicaid is a state financial assistance program for health care services, and you can see if you qualify through your state Medicaid office.
Mesothelioma: Clinical Trials
Clinical trials are another way to receive the best possible treatment for mesothelioma, while still managing the cost of your cancer care; they are often free of charge, and you’ll have access to the newest treatment options in mesothelioma cancer care.
“There are a lot of experimental treatments always evolving for mesothelioma,” says Hernandez, so those cutting-edge treatments may be a good option.
Mesothelioma: Talk to Your Social Worker
When you choose the facility where you want to receive treatment for mesothelioma — whether a hospital or cancer center — consider the resources available there.
“I would look for a social worker in that facility because they’re going to know what resources they’re used to dealing with on a regular basis,” suggests Hernandez. Talk to the social worker in the hospital or cancer center that you’re visiting, and ask her about options to help pay for your care and expenses.
Hospitals and cancer centers may also have financial assistance programs or financing programs for people who are experiencing difficulty paying for their treatment, says Hernandez.
Mesothelioma: Organizations to Help You
There are many organizations that offer help in paying for care, offering free or inexpensive lodging while receiving treatment, says Hernandez. Organizations may also offer free or discounted airfare for people traveling for cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society is just one group that can lead you to help. Hernandez also suggests checking with the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization to see if its staff knows of any financial assistance programs for mesothelioma patients. Another organization to turn to for help is the National Cancer Institute.
The cost of mesothelioma treatment is enormous, with or without insurance to cover some of the expenses. Cancer treatment can last for years, and shuttling back and forth to a long-distance cancer treatment center that specializes in mesothelioma can rack up huge bills. But with a little effort, you can find ways to help pay for your treatment.