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Manage cancer costs

Learn about the possible costs of cancer care and how you may be able to get support

Manage Cancer Treatment Costs

Cancer care costs may come from many different places. It’s important to talk with your doctor and care team about what costs may be expected. Here are a few things you can do to learn about the possible costs for your cancer care and if there is a way to lower the amount you may have to pay yourself.

Know the types of cancer costs

Cancer care and treatment may include a wide range of costs, including some you may possibly not have expected. They can include direct medical expenses, related non-medical costs, and daily expenses. Learning which costs to expect may help you plan a budget, talk to your insurance company, look for assistance to pay for them, or discuss treatment costs with your doctor.

Here are some possible costs to think about:

  • Doctor office visits
  • Hospital stays
  • Cancer treatment such as radiation, surgery, or medicines
  • Lab tests, imaging tests, and other procedures
  • Travel expenses such as transportation and lodging
  • At-home care and long-term care
  • Changes in living expenses
  • Lost wages from missing work
  • Legal and related expenses

Example questions to ask your doctor

  • Who can help me estimate the total cost of my treatment plan?
  • How long will I be on treatment?
  • Where will I get treatment: In the hospital, your office, a clinic, or at home?
  • What treatments will I need to take?
  • Will I need to see other doctors or be referred to a specialist?
        
Who can help me estimate the total cost of my treatment plan?
How long will I be on treatment?
Where will I get treatment: In the hospital, your office, a clinic, or at home?
What treatments will I need to take?
Will I need to see other doctors or be referred to a specialist?    

Ask about programs to save on medication

Programs to Help Save on Medications for Cancer

There are many private and public programs that may help save you money on your prescription medications. For example, the maker of your treatment may offer a program or there may be another program that may help you lower the amount you have to pay yourself.

Most programs will have you fill out an application and will require information from your doctor. Ask your doctor or health care team about what programs may be available to you and who on your health care team can help you apply. This application will help to determine if you are eligible for financial assistance.

Learn about programs that may offer financial help

When you need advice and help paying the costs of cancer care, ask your cancer care team for a list of programs that may offer financial help. Below is a list of organizations that help people financially.

Medicare.gov Logo

Medicare Savings Programs

If you apply for or already get Medicare, this program may help with the costs of your Medicare coverage

Website: www.medicare.gov

Social Security Administration Logo

Social Security

You may be able to apply for disability benefits through Social Security if you meet eligibility requirements

Website: www.ssa.gov/disability

If you haven’t worked in a while or your income has been low, Supplemental Security Income may be an option for getting benefits

Website: www.ssa.gov/ssi

Family Reach Logo

Family Reach

Family Reach is dedicated to helping with the financial barriers standing between a cancer patient and their care

Website: www.familyreach.org

American Cancer Society® Logo

American Cancer Society

Find resources to help you and your loved ones manage your lives through treatment and recovery. In addition to American Cancer Society programs and services, additional free or low-cost resources from other organizations may also be provided.

Website: www.cancer.org

Ask your community for support

There are many websites that people may use to raise money from family, friends, and others in their community. These sites are known as crowdfunding sites. Many people use them for different needs, including raising money to help pay for extra expenses related to medical care. Each site has different rules, so be sure to read carefully before starting your fundraiser.

GoFundMe Logo

GoFundMe

Website: www.gofundme.com

GoGetFunding

Website: www.gogetfunding.com

FundRazr Logo

FundRazr

Website: www.fundrazr.com

MedGift Logo

MedGift

Website: www.medgift.org