Cancer and Medical Debt
According to Cure one of the big side effects of cancer is financial toxicity. It’s easy to rack up medical bills when fighting for your life against cancer, in addition to the co-payments, the deductibles, the uncovered costs, the days and hours lost from work, the trips to the doctor, the bills climb quickly and it’s been reported that the bankruptcy rates increase fourfold within five years of a cancer diagnosis. When compared to the general population, bankruptcy rates are nearly twice as high among cancer patients one year after they receive a cancer diagnosis.
This startling fact has led to oncologists dubbing the medical debt a cancer patient struggles with as financial toxicity. It’s a sad fact of illness in this country, if you want to be healthy and survive you’re going to accumulate debt along the way.
There are some places cancer patients can turn to for assistance to help them deal with the financial toxicity of cancer. Nonprofit groups and charities across the country are established to help cancer victims and their families deal with a variety of issues that come up after a cancer diagnosis, from the emotional and physical to the financial. Looking for help from these groups can provide the support you need through this illness.
Sometimes it’s best to go to the source to look for financial help. Your healthcare provider and the pharmaceutical company that makes your prescriptions may have help available to you. You can ask for assistance and if they’re unwilling to provide it, turn to a non profit organization to stand behind you and request assistance on your behalf.