When you are diagnosed with cancer, money is usually not the first thought that comes to mind. For many individuals, however, thoughts about money, insurance coverage and income maintenance are part of the second wave of questions. The following tips may be helpful to keep a handle on the financial aspects of treatment.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the cost of treatment. It’s important to know what to expect from treatment, both in terms of physical and financial side effects. If your provider doesn’t raise the issue of cost, you should.
- Call your health insurance company and request an insurance case manager. This single point-of-contact with the health insurance company will help you understand your coverage. Having a case manager allows you to build a relationship and keeps you from having to explain your situation each time you call.
- Ask a friend or family member to help you keep medical bills organized. Keeping up with the explanation of benefits (EOBs) statements from your health insurance company and matching them to the bills received from multiple providers can be an overwhelming task. Friends and family often want to help in some way. Asking someone you trust to keep track of this aspect of your care can benefit both of you.
- Take advantage of the resources available. If you have questions or concerns, please ask. The oncology social worker on the team is a good starting place for general questions about how to make ends meet. He or she can be a listening ear and direct you to additional resources based on your situation.