For many cancer patients and their families, the financial costs associated with the disease is a heavy burden they all have to carry, on top of the physical and emotional pain that cancer brings. Many individuals and their loved ones find it especially hard to concentrate on the actual treatment because they have to think of ways to fund everything, from the consultation and diagnosis, to the treatment and recovery.
Without properly handling their finances, individuals diagnosed with cancer are at risk of financial anxiety, which can affect recovery. Some patients who are deeply affected by their financial status could just start skipping medicines and treatments without their doctors knowing it, increasing the chances of cancer spreading to the body.
This is why it has become crucial to inform cancer patients about how managing their respective finances properly can help them get the right treatment for their condition. Here are some tips that cancer patients can take note to be able to utilize their financial resources more efficiently:
Figure out how much money you will need to support your treatment.
This concern can be addressed by your healthcare specialist, so do not hesitate to ask the moment you or a loved one is diagnosed. He or she will design the best treatment plan given your current financial standing.
You can ask help from your doctor to request for an estimated cost for each possible medical procedure (including professional and miscellaneous fees) from the cashier or billing department. You can also ask them to indicate the possible cost for the entire treatment program. This way, you are able to determine whether you have enough money in the bank to cover all the expenses or if your health insurance policy is sufficient enough for the costs.
Check your insurance coverage.
There is no better time to check your insurance coverage than now. Call your insurance provider and make an inquiry about what is covered and what the limitations are so you are not left hanging when the time comes and you need to pay the medical bills. Check whether your policy can pay all the costs that are indicated in your treatment plan.
Should your policy be enough to cover all the medical expenses, then all you would have to think about are the costs of your non-medical needs, such as food supplies and specific dietary requirements.
It is important to note, however, that you have to monitor your available funds, should your insurance coverage has restrictions with regards to your treatment plan. Make sure you have a primary, secondary, and even a tertiary source of funds because you cannot put your treatment on hold once it starts, otherwise, it would have serious consequences on your health.
Monitor your expenses from the first day of the treatment program.
Keeping track of all your expenditures is another technique that many cancer patients have done in order to effectively manage their finances. This way, not a single cent is wasted or unaccounted for. Write down all your expenses starting from the very beginning. Collect all your receipts and place them in a folder, organized by date.
It would be helpful to take note of your fixed expenditures so you have an idea of how much to keep in your pocket every month and make sure it does not go any lower than that,.
Compare your income with your expenses.
It is also necessary that you check your income and compare it with your expenditures. The ideal scenario is for your monthly salary should be able to at least cover all of your fixed expenditures. If not, then it is crucial to find other ways of making both ends meet. Your financial needs should not be an additional burden to your current health condition, so look into who can help you financially at this time.
Find other means to finance your medical requirements.
There are always other ways of supporting your medical treatment if you do not have the resources to pay for all of them yourself. There are kind and generous individuals as well as not-for-profit organizations that gladly and openly offer assistance to cancer patients like yourself. You can try asking financial support from the government. Ask family members, colleagues, and friends to help you out. At this point, it wouldn’t be practical to look for a second job because that might only bring you more harm than good.
Ask for discounts or seek alternative yet effective options.
There are a good number of cancer patients who are able to get sizable discounts from the entire cost of their treatment program, courtesy of the medical center where they will be treated. Some are able to convince doctors to waive their professional fees. If these are not possible, then you can start seeking alternative means. Do not hesitate to seek help or advice from an alternative cancer treatment center regarding effective treatment options that will cost you less.