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Preparing for Oncology Costs Without Compromising on Quality of Life

By Guest Blogger, Scott Sanders, of Cancer Well
Adapted by Samantha Manns, Marketing Specialist

Coping with terminal cancer is strenuous. Add the excess stress due to the financial burden that comes along with it and is enough to make any patient or family feel trapped. However, the issue of cost is understandably not a priority early in diagnosis as families are desperate to do whatever they can to care for their loved one. Unfortunately, the facts cannot be avoided. The costs of medical care exceed the financial assets of 40 percent of households with a terminally ill family member. This means planning how you’ll cover the costs early on is critical, even if difficult conversations need to be had sooner than you prefer. Here are some things to consider:

Know What Your Health Insurance Covers

Health insurance can offset the expenses that come with cancer care. However, you must still be prepared to cover a portion of the costs. According to Forbes, over one-third of cancer patients who have insurance still spend more than they expect for their treatments. You'll often have to pay a certain percentage of the bill (or copayment) for doctor's visits or other services, and you should be ready to pay a deductible before insurance will cover costs. Additionally, there are limits on which doctors, specialists, and hospitals are covered by your insurance plan. If you see a doctor outside of your network, you may have to foot the entire bill.

Talk to Your Care Team

One of the best ways to manage the costs of cancer care through your care team. Patients should ask for as much information about their diagnosis as possible, including how much treatment will cost and how the diagnosis will affect their ability to make an income. Don't be afraid to express your concern about cost. Healthcare workers know your options very well and can help you find more affordable drugs or treatment services. For example, the same chemotherapy treatment costs 24 percent more at a hospital than at a doctor’s office. Your team may also know of any state programs or private organizations that provide financial assistance to people with cancer.

Many Americans with a cancer diagnosis suffer the financial toll that it takes on their lives. Sometimes this causes people to delay care, stop filling necessary prescriptions, or engage in other cost-saving measures like reducing their spending on leisure activities. These activities are important and are even proven to improve quality of life. Don’t lose things that bring you joy and help you escape your diagnosis. Instead, plan ahead to cover the costs so you can avoid the extra worry and hardship of financial stress.

Reach out to Saisystems Health and connect with a financial counselor today. Contact Sam at 203-567-5232 or smanns@health.saisystems.com.