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Covering the Costs of a Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
For the millions of Americans who have been diagnosed with cancer, figuring out where to go next can be overwhelming. From paying for treatment to making difficult decisions about long-term care, the financial end alone can induce stress, anxiety, and depression on top of the physical and emotional pain you may already be feeling. And while it’s difficult to think about, preparing for your care is essential, especially if you have specific needs in the long term.
“The health shock can be followed by financial toxicity,” says Lauren Hersch Nicholas of Johns Hopkins University. “In many cases, doctors can bring you back to health, but it can be tremendously expensive and a lot of treatments are given without a discussion of the costs or the financial consequences.”
Fortunately, there are some options for individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal cancer diagnosis. You might look into supplemental insurance, which will make it easier for you to receive care and prescriptions at a much lower cost than other types of insurance. You can also get familiar with long-term treatment plans and think about what will work best for you; planning ahead will save you quite a bit of stress down the road.
Keep reading for more information on how to cover the cost of a cancer diagnosis.
Look for Supplemental Insurance
Supplemental insurance can help cover things your current plan doesn’t, so it’s a good idea to do some research and find out how you can add onto your existing policy. Medicare Advantage plans can offer prescription, dental and vision coverage, which can come in handy after rigorous cancer treatment. It’s important to pay close attention to the enrollment periods and criteria, however; if plan to enroll in Medicare for the first time, it will need to be around your 65th birthday or the 24th month of disability benefits. The dates are very specific.
Learn About the Differences Between Treatments
Cancer treatments vary greatly depending on the type and stage of the disease, and the costs of treatments vary just as much. Oral treatments, which can be taken at home, are often much more expensive than intravenous drugs and can run into the thousands of dollars — and this is a cost you have to pay at the pharmacy. Learning about the different treatments and becoming familiar with how much they cost will help you avoid overwhelming prescription and medical bills.
Look Over Your Life Insurance Policy Carefully
It’s important to look over your life insurance policy very carefully, as it may contain a way to pay for long-term care in the form of a benefit you can draw from early. Look over the fine print and make sure you understand the terms, however, as you won’t want to use benefits that could make things easier for your loved ones.
See a Money Manager
Even with insurance and careful planning, the costs of cancer treatments can be overwhelming. Talking to a money manager might be the best option when it comes to ensuring that you don’t go deep into debt with your treatment. With a little help and some preparation, you can prevent money-related stress during this difficult time.
Learning the best ways to cover the costs of a terminal cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, to say the least. Take care of yourself during this time and reduce stress as much as possible; talk to a counselor or therapist who can help you focus on your mental health while you get things in order, and remember to take one day at a time.