Treatment

The Financial Side of Terminal Cancer

How to Pay for the Best Care

A guest article by Craig Meadows survivingdayone.com

With all the focus on the human cost of cancer, we sometimes forget that the purely financial costs are substantial, as well. There are high price tags associated not only with treatment, but labs, tests, hospital visits, home health services, equipment/nutrition and miscellaneous expenses such as gas and child care. Unfortunately, even those who are insured are finding themselves paying an average of $703 a month in out-of-pocket expenses.

If you are suddenly faced with a "terminal" cancer diagnosis, your focus should be on your health and well-being, not your wallet. Consider these tips to help you handle the financial side of cancer, brought to you by Craig Meadows of SurvivingDayOne.

Communicate With Your Doctor and Insurance Provider

As soon as you find out you have cancer, it is best to find out what services and treatments you will be covered for. “Cancer treatment is expensive, and there is no shame in discussing your concerns about the cost and figuring out ways to lower it,” Shelley Fuld Nasso, CEO of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship told Kiplinger. In fact, many insurers and hospitals are extremely helpful when it comes to helping you navigate your insurance, pay for out-of-pocket expenditures and point you in the direction of helpful resources. There are some hospitals that have financial counselors on hand as well to help you put together a financial plan for treatment and care, while some insurance providers will offer you the assistance of a case manager.

Know What Medicare Covers

For those age 65 and older, it is important that you know what your Medicare covers. The truth is, not only does it depend on your coverage, but also whether the services and treatments you receive are inpatient or outpatient. For example, Medicare Part A covers inpatient chemotherapy after you pay the deductible, while Part B only covers outpatient chemotherapy provided you pay the deductible and 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount. "Terminal" cancer is often less about the treatment and more about comfort, meaning the expenses you incur are often comfort-related.

What many don’t realize is that Medicare offers a hospice benefit that covers nursing care, medication for pain/symptom relief, home health aides, spiritual care and bereavement services to name a few. To be eligible, you must have Medicare Part A as well as a certification from your physician that your life expectancy is six months or less. However, the benefit can be renewed for unlimited 60-day periods.

Put Your Life Insurance to Work

If you have a life insurance policy, you may be able to tap into it to make it work for you by taking advantage of rider benefits or loans. An accelerated death benefit is a rider that can be attached to your life insurance policy after you have been diagnosed with a critical or “terminal” illness. The rider enables you to withdraw cash that can be used at your discretion granted you adhere to the various conditions and restrictions. Another option worth exploring is taking out a loan from your life insurance policy. The loan is taken from the value of your policy and the sum of the payments you have made over time. However, keep in mind that taking out this loan lowers your death benefit. .

Take Out a Personal Loan

A personal loan is an easy way to access the cash you need to cover cancer-related expenses. While there are various personal loans, the right one for you will be the loan that offers you the best rate. The annual percentage rate (APR) generally ranges from 4.99 percent to 35.99 percent. In addition, the interest rate and payment terms are fixed, meaning the amount you pay won’t go up unexpectedly. Be sure that you understand the penalty for late payment, as well as the amount of time you have to make the payment before you are penalized.

Start a Part-Time Business

If money is tight and you prefer to avoid taking out a loan, another option is to start your own part-time business. Obviously, you need something that won’t be too strenuous, which is why ZenBusiness lists 15 options that wouldn’t be too taxing. They range from baking to taking care of other people’s pets, and best of all, you set your own hours.

A "terminal" cancer diagnosis is a lot to process. Add on the financial aspects, and it can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Stay positive. Take a deep breath. Then explore your options and choose the right one for you.

Note by Healing Cancer Naturally

Please don't take the words in the heading "the best care" to mean that conventional cancer treatment is necessarily the best. I encourage you to explore www.healingcancernaturally.com for ample information on other options.

Photo Credit: Pexels

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