How To Manage Cancer-Related Costs

Cancer-related costs aren’t only physically and emotionally draining, but, most significantly, financially exhausting. What’s more is that most people aren’t prepared for such expenses. That’s because some may only know they have cancer during its late stages, and medical expenses for such are much more expensive. That said, here are some ways you can manage associated costs to this disease: 

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1. Apply For SSD Benefits

Whether you’re an adult or a child, you may want to consider receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits from the Social Security Administration. Cancer is one of the medical problems listed in their Blue Book, but you must also comply with the requirements. 

The terminal stage or Stage IV cancer automatically qualifies an adult or a child to SSD benefits. This means you can start receiving money quickly without filing for claims, and that’s because the Compassionate Allowance program sees this stage as a severe cancer diagnosis. Especially if you meet one or two of the following requirements, you can be eligible for such benefits: 

  • Despite treatment, the cancer is recurrent.
  • It’s inoperable.
  • It’s spread beyond its origin. 

You need to submit the oncologist’s cancer diagnosis, MRIs, test results, and medical records with these conditions. Although you’ll be filing for such, as mentioned, you won’t have to wait for it to be approved. The SSA will automatically tag your case for Compassionate Allowance. 

2. Invest In A Private Health Insurance

Another way is to buy private health insurance even if you don’t have cancer. With insurance policies, you can offset or cover cancer-related costs. However, the extent of coverage still depends on the policy provider. With such, it’s best to compare the best packages before applying for one. 

There are also various kinds of private health insurance, the most common are the following:

  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO): This plan has a group of healthcare professionals providing more affordable medical care to policyholders. The group usually has more in-network physicians as compared to HMOs. However, the health plans or the premiums you pay in PPO are more expensive, and this is because your PPO plan covers most medical costs, including cancer-related fees, when consulting physicians in your PPO network. 
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Unlike PPO with in-network physicians, HMO has specific healthcare professionals. This means you have to select a primary healthcare provider from the list, then your chosen physician will take care of your medical decisions, including the decision to see a specialist. Also, this plan is the most affordable plan. 

However, you may have some limitations, too. These include not receiving payment if you don’t contact your HMO within the day of getting an emergency care. Thus, you’ll have to reach out to them for consulting specialists or receiving non-emergency hospital visits.

As mentioned, you’ll have to seek a referral or permission from your primary care doctor in case you’ll need to see a specialist. While you can visit physicians or hospitals outside their network, you may have to pay a higher fee. This means you get limited options of hospitals and doctors if you want to avoid unnecessary expenses. 

3. Buy Government Insurance Programs

Most importantly, you also need to apply to government insurance programs, like Medicaid and Medicare. You can either choose this over private health insurance or have them both. Since medical expenses related to cancer can be continuous and expensive, the more financial assistance you have, the better. 

What’s best about this is that insurance policy providers can’t deny you such plans even if you have a pre-existing condition, like cancer. They must also compensate you regardless of the condition you had before you got the policy coverage. This means they must pay, and it’s due to the ACA or Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that revolutionized insurance laws in the US. 

Moreover, they should also extend to pay for the following services related to lowering cancer risk: 

  • Medication and counseling to help stop smoking habits that may lead to lung cancer
  • HPV vaccine and regular screening to prevent cervical cancer
  • Consultation with physicians to have preventative medication against breast cancer
  • Consultation with a genetic counselor to learn and understand the risk of breast cancer
  • Mammograms for women 40 years old and above.
  • For 50-75 years old, screening tests for colorectal cancer


There are other ways apart from the ones mentioned above, such as asking cancer-related organizations for financial assistance. However, these organizations may not have enough funds to cater to every cancer patient. That said, the ways above may be the surest ones to ensure that you’ll be able to cover cancer-related expenses. 

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