What happens if you get cancer and don’t have health insurance? The answer can be bleak because cancer insurance covers the catastrophic expenses of treatments and medications when cancer touches your life. When you don’t have insurance, anything you own can be liquidated to pay medical bills.
The Overwhelming Cost of Health Care
if you don’t have cancer insurance, the cost of even routine health care becomes astronomical. A diagnosis of cancer doesn’t have to be fatal — more and more people survive cancer with advanced treatments. However, the costs of advanced treatments when you don’t have insurance can disrupt your financial security and change your lifestyle dramatically. Some of the typical expenses you face if you don’t have health insurance include:
• Tests and screenings that include mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.
• Costs of confirming diagnoses of different cancers, such as breast, ovarian, lung, kidney, skin, throat,leukemia, brain, neck or colon cancer
• Procedures that include imaging, surgery, reconstructive surgery, reproductive therapies and getting a second opinion
• Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, nutritional planning, experimental treatments, etc.
• In-person care at hospitals, clinics, hospices, nursing homes, intensive care and ambulatory cancer centers
• Travel and lodging expenses
• Costs of transportation by ambulances and air ambulances
If You Don’t Have Health Insurance, Get Covered for Cancer
Even if you don’t have regular medical insurance, you can get a policy that covers cancer, the most expensive of common health problems. If you don’t protect yourself from the overwhelming financial costs of treating cancer. You might even want to consider getting cancer insurance even if you have regular health insurance.
Many cancer policies pay out lump-sum benefits in addition to any other insurance you might have. That can come in extremely handy because you might be unable to work, and the financial challenges of cancer are all-pervasive, increasing costs in every area of your life.
Cancer generates extreme financial hardships for most families at the worst possible time. Money struggles can aggravate cancer symptoms and compromise effective treatment by increasing stress levels. A CBS news report found that people who develop cancer are more than 2.5 times more likely to file for bankruptcy. Younger cancer victims are even more likely to go bankrupt.
Cancer survival rates continue to rise, but patients universally struggle with the high costs of treatment. The monthly cost of cancer treatment drugs runs as much as $100,000. Your out-of-pocket expenses could be extremely expensive, and some victims are simply priced out of hope for a cure or remission. The Mesothelioma Center reported that 63% of cancer patients struggle with costs.
Low-income Families and a Cancer Diagnosis
Low-income people and other Americans who are uninsured or underinsured face medical bills that run more than 400% of their annual income. Many victims become unable to work for some time after a cancer diagnosis, and these families simply can’t keep up with the continually rising costs associated with cancer treatment.
Even insured families face financial hardship based on co-pays, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses related to cancer and the reduced ability to earn a regular income. Family members also generate expenses for hospital visits, time off work, travel and other incidentals.
Why It’s Essential to Take Out Cancer Insurance for Financial Stability
Cancer insurance provides essential coverage for all the expenses you face after a diagnosis of cancer. This affordable insurance can literally be a lifesaver for cancer victims who need to marshall all their resources to fight the cancer. Financial hardship should not be added to your burden if you have cancer.
Most people can’t conceive of the costs of cancer treatment, and the financial hardships can adversely affect your lifestyle, financial security and attitude. Cancer insurance provides affordable protection against the risks of cancer, and even low-income families can afford to get cancer insurance through work or an independent policy from the federal insurance marketplace.
What to Do If You Don’t Have Health Insurance
If cancer happens in your family, you’re faced with one of the most stressful situations in the modern world. The fact that cancer can be beaten forces families to pursue treatment, and the costs just keep going up. If you don’t have health insurance, you face an uphill battle.
The first step is to find a knowledgeable and empathetic financial advisor to act in your best interests. You can find free advice online from locally based experts who can help you find ways to cover treatment expenses. If you don’t have insurance or enough insurance, don’t assume that you can’t afford treatment or get financial help. Some of the possibilities for financial help include:
• Applying for assistance at your local hospital or cancer treatment center
• Applying for Medicaid
• Volunteering for experimental treatments
• Checking out nonprofit cancer-treatment organizations like CancerCare, Road to Recovery, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society and Cleaning for a Reason
• Researching local charitable organizations and health department programs for grants and other types of financial assistance
• Checking out St. Jude’s Hospital programs for children with cancer
• Crowdfunding pages on Facebook
• Researching state resources for financial assistance, which vary by state
• Enlisting local church support
• Looking for grants from organizations like Cancer.net and others
The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing can often point you in the right direction. Although the group is located in Lewiston, Maine, the center can provide referrals to similar organizations in your area and share education, support services and integrated medicine for any cancer victim.
You might face a tougher battle finding financial support if you’re in the middle class than you would if you were poor, but help is available for anyone. Those who are in the middle class should take note and begin researching cancer insurance policies to manage the risk of facing the high cost of cancer.